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WIC Moms Buy More Produce



WIC families are buying more fresh fruits and vegetables and have increased their overall fruit and vegetable consumption as a result of the fruit and vegetable cash-value benefit added to WIC in 2009. Purchasing patterns by WIC families show a strong preference for buying fresh fruits and vegetables; the most popular fruits and vegetables purchased are bananas, apples, grapes, greens, carrots and tomatoes. Presentations this week at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) noted that 90 percent of WIC beneficiary families purchased fruit using their cash value benefit, 87 percent of which was fresh fruit. And, 60 percent of WIC families bought vegetables, 52 percent of which were fresh.

In 2009, fruits and vegetables were added to the WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), which now benefits more than 8 million low-income pregnant women, their infants and young children. Moms receive a $12/month cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables and children receive an $8/month benefit.

Also, a new summary report The Impact of the Revised WIC Food Packages on Nutrition Outcomes and the Retail Food Environment by FRAC (Food Research and Action Center) notes that young children enrolled in WIC have increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables, and overweight and obesity rates among this group have declined modestly over the last 3 years.
The IOM has convened a new scientific committee to review and make evidence-based recommendations on revising the WIC Food package, including white potatoes.

For more than a decade, United Fresh has played a leadership role in advocating for fresh fruits and vegetables to be included in WIC and to increase the value of the fruit and vegetable benefit for moms and children.

For more information, please contact Dr. Lorelei DiSogra, 202-303-3400.