WIC recipients to receive more fresh fruits and vegetables

Participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) will see a temporary increase in their June through September benefits for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Our district serves around 6,000 WIC participants, so this additional benefit will positively impact many families in our area,” said Kim Young, Nutrition Services and Health Promotion Program Manager for Panhandle Health District. “The positive impact doesn’t stop there; additional dollars in our community benefit local grocers and the economy.”

Idaho received $2.4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to boost the benefit for WIC participants by more than three times the current amount for up to four months to provide additional relief during this difficult time. The additional money will also increase revenue for Idaho’s WIC-authorized grocery retailers.

The benefit allows program participants to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their WIC food package. Under normal circumstances, the monthly benefit is $9 per child and $11 for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. The American Rescue Plan allows state agencies to temporarily provide up to $35 per month for women and children.

WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, whole grains, cereal, juice, beans, peanut butter, infant formula and infant foods at no cost to qualified families. WIC services also include health screenings, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding information and support, help from registered dietitians, and referrals to community services.

The average Idahoan enrolled in WIC receives approximately $45 of healthy foods per month. There are currently about 31,000 people per month receiving Idaho WIC assistance.

To apply for WIC or for more information about WIC in your area, go to signupwic.com, contact PHD’s local WIC office at 208-415-5130, or visit PHD’s website.