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Published by Patricia Dillon

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Published by: Patricia Dillon on Jan 13, 2011
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The new WIC food packages improve the health andnutritional quality of the foods in the program and inneighborhoods, increase participants’ choice and expandcultural food options by offering fruits, vegetables, andother new foods.The recommendations sent in the many comment letterson the proposed regulations helped USDA to strengthenthe rules it issued on December 6, 2007 compared to theprior proposal. Here is a summary of the rules for fruitsand vegetables in the new WIC food packages:
Fruits and Vegetables
Participating women will receive WIC vouchers for$8 for fruits and vegetables each month: childrenwill receive $6 in fruit and vegetable vouchers.
Exclusively breastfeeding women, a smallcategory of participants in WIC, will receive $10 infruit and vegetable vouchers each month.
For infants age 6 to 12 months, fruits andvegetables have been added in the form of 128ounces of baby food.
States can allow participants to choose freshbananas instead of prepared baby food on alimited basis. (Fresh bananas can only besubstituted for up to 16 ounces of prepared babyfood. The substitution rate is 1 pound of bananasfor 8 ounces of baby food.)
 Allowable Fruits and Vegetables
 All fruits and vegetables are allowed except whitepotatoes.
Fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetablesare allowed.
Organic fruits and vegetables can be allowed if they meet State product and price criteria.
WIC Participant Choice
State agencies must allow participants to use theirWIC fruit and vegetable vouchers to choose anyWIC-eligible fruit and vegetable.
Fruit and Vegetable Cash Vouchers
The dollar amount of the fruit and vegetablevouchers will be determined by state agenciesbased on what is “most beneficial to participantsand cost effective within the WIC redemptioninfrastructure and environment.” 
For example, states could provide three $2 fruitand vegetable vouchers to each child per monthor one $6 voucher.
Stores and farmers’ markets cannot giveparticipants cash back for the unspent portion of afruit and vegetable voucher.
Participants can pay the difference when thepurchase of fruits and vegetables exceeds thevalue of the voucher.
Inflation Index
The value of the WIC fruit and vegetable benefitwill keep up with inflation through an annual costof living adjustment based on the Consumer PriceIndex for Fruits and Vegetables.
Stocking Requirements
To be approved to accept WIC vouchers, storesmust stock at least two types of fruits and twotypes of vegetables. E.g., apples and peaches andcarrots and lettuce. State agencies may establishdifferent requirements for different types of vendors.
USDA IssuesUSDA IssuesUSDA IssuesUSDA Issues NewNewNewNew WICWICWICWIC Food PackagesFood PackagesFood PackagesFood Packages
Fruits and VegetablesFruits and VegetablesFruits and VegetablesFruits and Vegetables WillWillWillWill SupportSupportSupportSupportGood HealthGood HealthGood HealthGood Health and Healthy Communitiesand Healthy Communitiesand Healthy Communitiesand Healthy Communities

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