Wilmington, Del. - The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program will see some positive changes October first. For the first time, participants will receive vouchers for the purchase of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. These changes are the first in nearly three decades to the state-run, federally-funded program.
Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) offers new educational materials online to assist health professionals and retailers in helping WIC participants use their new fruit and vegetable vouchers. These materials include a seasonal reference listing the most common, most economical and most easy-to-prepare fruits and vegetables, an important nutrition tip sheet about fruits and veggies and a sheet with tips for the safe handling of raw fruits and vegetables. Check out the new WIC toolkit materials in the health professionals' area of www.pbhfoundation.org.
"We encourage PBH's licensed retailers to use these promotional materials in their in-store signage, as hand-outs, or via web links to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, while health professionals and others can use them directly to inform their WIC eligible clients," said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH. "WIC has always provided nutrition education and support to mothers and the addition of fruit and vegetable vouchers will complement these efforts by increasing their access to these nutritious foods. It will also increase the number of families purchasing fruits and vegetables in all forms."
Besides the addition of fruits and vegetables, WIC families can now also add whole grains, whole breads and tortillas, and canned beans. In the past, the WIC program was limited to milk, cheese, eggs, juice, cereals and dried beans or peanut butter. WIC is a federal program for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or recently pregnant, as well as infants and children up to age five.