On March 12, the American Rescue Plan Act authorized state Women, Infants & Children (WIC) agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for a period of four months. Vegetable and fruit benefits will increase to $35 per qualifying participant, up from $9/month for children and $11/month for women.

WIC’s vegetable and fruit benefit — known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) — was first introduced in 2007 as part of a decades-long effort by the National WIC Association to increase the nutritional quality of WIC-approved foods. The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers.

Oregon WIC will be implementing the CVB increase beginning June 1 until Sept. 30.

Rev. Douglas Greenaway, president and CEO of the National WIC Association, said, “With far too many families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic to afford the healthy foods that help grow healthy children, this temporary boost to the WIC benefit is an investment in our nation’s future. Increased access to vegetables and fruits is a critical step toward ensuring that children have access to vital nutrients, curbing childhood obesity rates while strengthening our local farm economies. In communities across the country, WIC is ready to help as parents continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis.”

 Lincoln County residents can find out if they are eligible for WIC by calling 541-265-4163 or emailing lincolncountywic@co.lincoln.or.us.

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