New WIC Rules Increase Vouchers For Fruits And Veggies, Adds New Eligible Food Items

In a move to promote healthier eating habits, the federal government has announced changes to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which provides food assistance to low-income mothers, babies, and young children. The updated rules, announced by the Food and Nutrition Service on Tuesday, will take effect within two years, with some exceptions.

The new rules make permanent a increase in monthly cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables, first introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, shoppers will be able to purchase canned fish, fresh herbs, and lactose-free milk, among other changes.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasized the importance of fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet, stating that the changes are designed to fill nutrition gaps in the diets of program participants.

The WIC program served an average of 6.6 million low-income Americans per month in 2023, at a cost of over $7 billion. Despite this, only about half of those eligible are currently enrolled in the program.

Under the new rules, fruit and vegetable vouchers will provide $26 per month for children ages 1-4, $47 per month for pregnant and postpartum women, and $52 for breastfeeding women. The changes also expand access to whole grains and culturally diverse foods.

However, the plan did not include a change requested by top allergists to add peanut products to foods allowed for babies ages 6-11 months to help prevent peanut allergies. Research has shown that early introduction to peanut foods can reduce the risk of allergy development in high-risk children.

- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Assemblyman Schnall Sponsors Legislation to Reduce Mandated Busing Distances for Students

Assemblyman Avi Schnall is honored to join as a...

PHOTOS: Officials Gather In Lakewood For 33rd Ocean County Law Enforcement Memorial Day

Representatives from law enforcement agencies across Ocean County joined...

FIRST REPORT: Hatzolah Of Central Jersey Appoints Aaron Mueller As New Captain

Hatzolah of Central Jersey has appointed one of its...

Hatzolah Of Central Jersey Introduces 10 New Members Across 5 Towns

Hatzolah of Central Jersey on Wednesday informed its members...