Starting June 1, California Women, Infants and Children (WIC) families will now see a temporary increase in their monthly WIC fruits and vegetables benefit to $35. Previously, children ages one to five received $9 per month, and pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women received $11 per month.
Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act allowed the California WIC program to enhance the program’s fruits and vegetables benefit for the summer. The fruits and vegetables benefit has a significant impact on the dietary quality of WIC families.
"This increase allows families to purchase nearly three times the fruits and vegetables for four consecutive months," said Amelia Schendel, Director for the Sacramento County WIC Program
. "We are excited to provide the opportunity for our WIC families to fill up on extra fruits and vegetables."
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the prevalence of chronic disease and strengthens the immune system. This increased benefit will allow families enrolled in the WIC program to buy and consume more healthy fruits and vegetables.
The fruit and vegetables benefit increase will be issued from June 1, 2021, through Sep. 30, 2021. Benefits are good for 30 days from the date they are issued. For example, benefits issued on Sep. 27 can still be used through Oct. 26.
WIC families can also combine their fruits and vegetables benefit with WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks for even more purchasing power at Farmers Markets. The checks are issued in addition to regular WIC benefits between May and November and can be used to buy fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from WIC farmers, farmers markets, or roadside stands.
California residents can learn more about the summer fruit and vegetable increase and the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program by going to MyFamily.WIC.ca.gov or WICFarmers.ca.gov.