To promote the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, the cash-value benefit amount for participants in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children will temporarily increase to $35 per month, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced in a press release.
The increase will be in effect from June to September and is funded by $2.4 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The monthly cash-value benefit is normally $9 per child and $11 for pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, according to the release. The additional money will also increase revenue for Idaho’s WIC-authorized grocery retailers.
WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, whole grains, cereal, juice, beans, peanut butter, infant formula and infant foods at no cost to qualified families. The program’s services also include health screenings, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding information and support, help from registered dietitians and referrals to community services, according to the release.
The average Idahoan enrolled in WIC receives approximately $45 of healthy foods per month, the release said. There are about 31,000 people per month receiving Idaho WIC assistance.