New research shows an increased WIC Cash Value Benefit for purchasing fruits and vegetables improves children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables

Mar 7, 2022

A recent National WIC Association report, Multi-State WIC Participant Satisfaction Survey: Cash Value Benefit Increase During COVID, shows an increase in child fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) after the WIC Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables was enhanced through the American Rescue Plan Act in summer 2021. The report analyzes over 10,000 responses from WIC participants across 5 State WIC Agencies–Connecticut, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico–in 2021. Researchers found that when the monthly CVB for children was increased from $9 to $35, children's total daily fruit and vegetable intake increased by approximately 1/3 cup. The study also showed that WIC participants prefer a CVB amount higher than $9 and closer to $35 per month to cover the fruit and vegetable needs of their child. The study was conducted by researchers at the UC Nutrition Policy Institute including Lorrene Ritchie, Danielle Lee, and Celeste Felix, in partnership with private consultant Linnea Sallack, Georgia Machell and Christina Chauvenet from the National WIC Association, and Shannon Whaley from Public Health Foundation Enterprise-WIC. The study was funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the From Now On Fund, the National WIC Association, and the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

By Danielle L. Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement
By Lorrene Ritchie
Editor - Director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist