Participants in the Department of Agriculture’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children may soon see a temporary increase to their benefits. The increase will apply to the purchase of fruits and vegetables. With $490 million provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, USDA has offered the option of boosting the cash-value voucher benefit by more than three times the current amount for up to four months to provide additional relief during the pandemic.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “We need to promote nutrition security alongside food security to ensure all people at all times have access to nutritious foods.” The cash-value voucher allows participants to purchase fruits and vegetables as part of their WIC food package. Under normal circumstances, the monthly cash-value voucher is $9 per child and $11 for pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women. The American Rescue Plan allows state agencies to temporarily provide up to $35 per child and adult, per month.