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Veggies and Fruits Increase Provides More Nutritional Access to WIC Families

Veggies and Fruits Increase Provides More Nutritional Access to WIC Families

Author: Sarah Ekstrand/Monday, May 24, 2021/Categories: IDPH News

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In March, the American Rescue Plan Act authorized State WIC Agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for a period of four months, expanding the vegetable and fruit voucher for children over the age of one and women to $35.00 each month, per participant. This dollar amount is a significant increase from the previous monthly benefit.

WIC’s vegetable and fruit voucher, known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB), was first introduced in 2007 as part of a decades-long effort to increase the nutritional quality of WIC-approved foods. The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers.

Iowa WIC will implement the CVB increase beginning June 1, through September 30, 2021.

Nalo Johnson, PhD, Director of the Division of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention with the Iowa Department of Public Health, shared, “The ability to put additional healthy fruits and vegetables onto the plates of Iowans is a great investment in our state's well-being. These additional benefits not only provide essential nutrients to families and children in need but also help our local communities who produce and sell these commodities. We are grateful Iowa WIC is able to implement this opportunity and move Iowans across our state one step closer to food security.”

In 2020, the WIC program spent $38,749,768 on nutritious foods for Iowa families and had an average monthly participation rate of 59,115. Iowa residents can find additional information on WIC eligibility as well as other related resources, including WIC agencies and vendors by going to the IDPH website here or contacting their local WIC office.

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