Rule expands access to fruits, vegetables, whole grains and
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health
and Human Resources Office of Nutrition Services today announced the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has finalized changes to the Special
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) which
expands access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
“The updated guidelines provide a $2 increase
in the monthly amount for children’s fruits and vegetable purchases, from $6 to
$8 per month,” said Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner
for the Bureau for Public Health. “The changes expand whole grain options
available to participants beginning this fall, and will allow states more
flexibility in meeting the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants.”
The updated USDA food package makes
science-based decisions in determining what food items should be in the WIC
food package. The revisions reflect public comments submitted in response
to the first major food package changes in more than 30 years. Updated
regulations governing WIC foods also aligns them more closely with updated
nutrition science, recommendations of the National Academies’ Institute of
Medicine, and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as well as infant feeding
guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
WIC provides pregnant, breastfeeding, and
postpartum women, infants and children up to age five with nutritious,
supplemental foods. The program also provides nutrition and breastfeeding
education and referral to health and social services.
More than 45,000 West Virginians receive WIC
benefits each month. Recent research by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) has identified changes to the WIC food packages as a
contributing factor in the decline in obesity rates among low-income
To learn more about WIC services or how to apply for benefits, call 304-558-0030, or your local WIC office. More information is available online at http://ons.wvdhhr.org/