West Virginia WIC to provide temporary benefits increase

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health, Office of Nutrition Services announced that participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will receive a temporary benefit increase for the purchase of additional fruits and vegetables.

Through $490 million in support to the WIC program from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture has offered a boost to the cash-value benefit amount for the months of June, July, August and September. This will allow the West Virginia WIC Program to temporarily increase the benefit to $35 per month for each eligible participant, according to a press release.

The current monthly WIC cash-value benefit is $9 per child, $11 for pregnant or postpartum women and $16.50 for breastfeeding women. WIC clinics will begin to distribute the increased benefits on June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, the release states.

“Investing in WIC helps address food insecurity, a critical issue faced by many West Virginia families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Heidi Staats, state WIC director. “The USDA funding more than triples the fruit and vegetable benefit to allow purchase and consumption of more canned, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables.”

The West Virginia WIC Program has a long-standing history of improving the overall health and nutrition of its participants, according to the DHHR. The program provides women, infants and children up to the age of 5, who are at nutritional risk, with healthy foods to supplement their diets, as well as breastfeeding support, nutrition education and healthcare referrals. WIC offers certification, benefit issuance, breastfeeding support and nutrition education virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the WIC Program or to apply, click here.

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