West Virginia nutrition program to offer benefits boost

May 19, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia women and children who participate in a nutrition program will receive a temporary benefit boost this summer for the purchase of additional fruits and vegetables, state health officials said.

The Women, Infants and Children program will increase the benefit amount to $35 per month for each eligible participant from July through September.

The current benefit is $9 per child, $11 for pregnant or postpartum women and $16.50 for mothers who breastfeed, the Bureau for Public Health’s office of nutrition services said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offered the increase through $490 million from the American Rescue Plan.

“Investing in WIC helps address food insecurity, a critical issue faced by many West Virginia families during the COVID-19 pandemic,” state program director Heidi Staats said. “The USDA funding more than triples the fruit and vegetable benefit to allow purchase and consumption of more canned, frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables.”