By Cara Beth Lewis
Bladen County Health and Human Services Agency recently shared that WIC’s new fruit and vegetable benefit levels that were recently in effect through December 31st, 2021 will now be available through March 31st, 2022.
The new benefits will maintain current levels of $24/month for children, $43/month for pregnant and postpartum participants, and $47/month for pregnant and postpartum month for breastfeeding participants. Without action through this continuing resolution, the enhanced benefit levels for fruits and vegetables would have expired on December 31, 2021, and benefits would have reverted to $9/month for children and $11/month for adult participants, according to nwica.org.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in December regarding the proposal to extend the benefits:
“Since April, WIC has partnered with retail grocers, farmers, and farmers markets to ensure over 4.7 million participants could purchase more vegetables and fruits. This science-based investment ensures that families have increased access to nutrient-dense foods during the pandemic, as families with young children continue to struggle to put food on the table and childhood obesity rates are rising. Make no mistake: the WIC benefit bump is one of the most substantial investments in healthy food access and improved maternal and child nutrition since WIC’s establishment in 1974. Today’s last-minute agreement in Congress would extend the WIC benefit bump for an additional three months, doubling down on an effective nutrition intervention that is meaningfully expanding access to nutritious foods for low-income families and strengthening child health outcomes.”
Dr. Terri Duncan, Bladen County Health Director, told BladenOnline that the Health Department is working with WIC clients. If you have any questions, please call (910) 872-6218.