Without Congress’s Help, WIC Vegetable and Fruit Benefit Bump Will Soon Expire
Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to act on appropriations before September 30 to #ExtendTheWICBump
Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, California’s WIC families have been getting a little extra help this summer. The legislation included a provision that temporarily increased the vegetable and fruit cash-value benefit (CVB), from $9 per month to $35. The CVB enhancement is helping families across the state improve the quality and quantity of foods they purchase. The supplemental assistance was prompted due to the COVID crisis but it is scheduled to end on September 30th. In early August 2021 more than one in five California adults living with children were food insecure, cutting the benefit will impact more than 950 thousand infants, children, and mothers in California.
WIC participants report that the increase in this benefit has made a huge difference for their families. Families can purchase more healthy foods, create and support better eating habits, transition babies to table foods in a more nutritious way, and support breastfeeding mothers’ health, amongst other benefits.
Carmina from San Diego explained, “The $35 increase has allowed me to purchase more fruits and vegetables, now I can buy the grapes and strawberries that my toddler loves. Before, with the $9 I could only afford to buy 4 oranges or apples and one or two vegetables for the month. Now I can give my son tomatoes, carrots, celery, spinach, cucumbers, and even pineapple! I am able to afford a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and I feel more confident my son will grow healthy and strong. WIC has been instrumental in our ability to eat healthier ”
The increase to WIC’s Value Cash Benefit is life-changing to many families and your advocacy can help babies and families to continue receiving the benefits and have access to nutritious fresh foods. Congress is making decisions now about what to fund next fiscal year. Contact your Members of Congress and urge them to invest in critically important child nutrition programs.