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Increased WIC Benefits Provide Families with More Fruits and Vegetables

By Melissa Watts

June 04, 2021

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is now providing an increased dollar amount for fruits and vegetables through September 2021. The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) encourages families to sign up for WIC benefits as soon as possible to take advantage of these increased benefits while they are  available. 

“Many people who think their families won’t qualify are surprised to learn that they are, in fact, eligible for WIC,” said Jennifer Parker, Public Health Nutrition Program Director for DOH-Pasco. “Others think they will be taking benefits away from those who may need it more, but that’s not the case.” 

Existing enrolled families will not lose or receive reduced WIC benefits if the number of enrolled families increases. Funding for WIC benefits will increase to meet the need as more eligible families are enrolled. Eligible WIC participants include women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or recently postpartum, and children under the age of 5. 

On March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) authorized State WIC Agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for a period of four months, expanding the fruit and vegetable dollars from $9/month for children and $11/month for women to $35 per month, per participant. WIC’s vegetable and fruit voucher is known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers. 

Florida WIC will be implementing the CVB increase beginning June 1, 2021 until September 30, 2021. All women and children who participate in the WIC Program will receive an increase in their fruits and vegetables cash voucher to $35 per participant, per month.  

For example, a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old child will receive a total of $70 credit on their WIC EBT card to use on fruits and vegetables per month from June – September 2021. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Any brand, variety, size, with no added sugar, syrup, artificial sweeteners, fat, or oil. Organic fruits and vegetables are allowed.  

For more information on enrollment and eligibility for the WIC Program at the Florida Department of Health in Pasco County (DOH-Pasco) please call 1-877-BEBY (1-877-942-2329). 

For more information about DOH-Pasco, visit Pasco.FlordaHealth.gov

 

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @HealthyPasco. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

 

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