Thursday, December 31, 2009 by Lee Mannering
Today in the Federal Register, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service announced an interim rule that increases the amount of cash value vouchers issued to pregnant, postpartum and partially breastfeeding women for the purchase of fruits and vegetables as part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). In amending this rule, all women WIC participants now have access to $10 per month in cash value vouchers for fruits and vegetables as recommended by the Institute of Medicine. IOM’s intent was to move WIC participants toward increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Previously the dollar amount was $8 per month.
This rule is effective December 31, 2009, and state agencies must implement the provisions of this rule no later than April 30, 2010. Comments on this interim rule must be postmarked on or before February 1, 2010.
PMA applauds the move to increase the WIC voucher dollar amounts for produce as the program now gives our nation’s nutritionally at-risk mothers and their young children the ability to enjoy more healthful food choices.