More Money for Fruits, Veggies And Grains For WIC Program

Photo: Oleg Magni from Pexels.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday that it updated its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, by adding more money for fruit, vegetables and healthy grain purchases.

The federal agency said it added an extra $1 billion for the WIC program, according to a news release.

“WIC has a half-century track record of caring for young families. USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are committed to ensuring that moms, babies and young children continue to thrive through WIC,” said Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These participant-centered changes will strengthen WIC by ensuring the foods participants receive reflect the latest nutrition science to support healthy eating and the brightest futures.”

Other enhancements include:

  • Expanding whole grain options to include foods like quinoa, blue cornmeal, and teff to accommodate individual and cultural preferences.
  • Providing more options within the dairy category, including flexibility on package sizes and non-dairy substitution options such as plant-based yogurts and cheeses as well as requiring lactose-free milk to be available.
  • Adding more flexibility in the amount of infant formula provided to partially breastfed infants to support moms’ individual breastfeeding goals.

WIC state agencies will have two years to implement these changes, allowing time to engage with key partners on how best to tailor the new food packages to meet the needs of participants, the release said.

“For the 6.6 million moms, babies and young children who participate in WIC – and the millions more eligible to participate – these improvements to our food packages have the potential to make positive, life-long impacts on health and well-being,” said Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long.

To learn more, visit the WIC Modernization & Innovation webpage.


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