Fruits and vegetables available to WIC beneficiaries – Macomb Daily
There are superheroes and then there are superfoods like apples and berries. Michigan Women, Infants and Children (WIC) customers are reminded that there are additional Cash Value Benefits (CVB) for purchasing fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2022 authorizes state WIC agencies to extend program benefit increases for vegetables and fruits until the end of September.
“Increased WIC benefits are one of the most effective investments to boost the nutritional security of low-income families…and have tripled the amount of fruit and vegetable purchases, a greater variety of products purchased by WIC families and an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption for young children,” said Brian Dittmeier, senior director of public policy at the National WIC Association in a press release. As WIC’s individualized nutritional counseling reinforces this increased benefit, WIC families are empowered to make healthier choices that will resonate with the next generation.”
The monthly cash value benefit for fruits and vegetables will remain at the following increased amounts through September 2022:
• $24 for children.
• $43 for pregnant and postpartum women.
• $47 for people who are breastfeeding.
WIC’s CVB Vegetable and Fruit Advantage was first introduced in 2007 and is credited with improving the dietary quality nutrition of WIC participants and reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity in WIC toddlers.
“Michigan is thrilled to provide this great benefit increase to the women, infants and children we serve,” said Christina Herring-Johnson, Michigan WIC Director. “This increase in fresh fruits and vegetables will continue to promote and support healthier eating habits and excellent overall nutrition.”
“Fruit provides vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and plant chemicals called phytonutrients that help us stay healthy and protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer. Fruit is low in kilojoules (energy) compared to many other foods. Therefore, choosing fruit first over discretionary foods can help prevent excessive weight gain,” according to the Healthy Kids Association.
At least one and a half servings of fruit are recommended per day for children under 8 years old. Two servings per day are recommended for children 8 years and older.
Here are some serving examples:
• 1 medium apple, banana, orange or pear
• 2 small apricots, kiwis or plums
• 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
Michigan residents can learn more about what the Michigan WIC program has to offer by visiting michigan.gov/WIC. To apply for a WIC, visit michigan.gov/MIBridges.