NPI and National WIC Association to conduct evaluations in 5 states of WIC Cash Value Benefit increases for participants to buy fruit and vegetables

Dec 8, 2021

University of California Nutrition Policy Institute researchers will work with the National WIC Association to evaluate the effect of increases to the amount of money participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) receive to spend on fruits and vegetables. Participants receive a “Cash Value Benefit” (CVB) to buy a variety of vegetables or fruits up to the CVB amount. CVB amounts for all women and children on WIC were raised to $35 per month from the usual $9 or $11 from June-September 2021 with funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressional appropriations enabled monthly CVB amounts to continue at $24 for all children through March 31, 2022. The new project will evaluate WIC participants' perceptions of the CVB amounts, household food security, and child fruit and vegetable intake before and after the increases using data collected from surveys of WIC participants across five State WIC Agencies including Connecticut, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico. This project is part of a larger project titled, “Multi-State WIC Participant Satisfaction Survey Project: Learning from Program Adaptations During COVID” funded by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, National WIC Association, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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