The Oklahoma State Department of Health is providing increased benefits to its Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program.
1. How are benefits being increased?
The Oklahoma State Department of Health WIC Program is announcing a temporary increase to the Cash Value Benefit, or CVB,and a permanent addition of canned fruits and vegetables to the program’s approved food list.
2. What is a CVB and how will it increase?
The CVB is a cash equivalent benefit, provided by the WIC program, for the purchase of fruits and vegetables. The CVB amount will increase from $9 per month to $35 per month per participant beginning June 1, 2021 continuing through September 30, 2021. This temporary benefit increase is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Current participants will see the increase automatically added to their benefits.
3. What changes are in store regarding the types of fruits and vegetables that can be purchased with CVB benefits?
Until recently, program participants were only able to purchase fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables with their CVB. Now, participants may purchase canned, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
4. What are guidelines for the addition of approved canned foods to the Oklahoma Unified WIC Approved Food List?
Canned Fruits: Any variety of canned fruits (must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR, part 145)); including applesauce, juice pack or water pack without added sugars, fats, oils, or salt (i.e., sodium). The fruit must be listed as the first ingredient.
Canned Vegetables: Any variety of canned vegetables (must conform to FDA standard of identity as appropriate (21 CFR, part 155)); without added sugars, fats, or oils. May be regular or lower in sodium. The vegetable must be listed as the first ingredient.
5. How is WIC funded? How is program eligibility determined and how can those who meet program eligibility apply?
WIC is a federally-funded nutrition education and supplemental food program for pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age. Eligibility is determined by nutritional risk and incomes that fall below 185 percent of the poverty level. Those who meet program eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply by completing the Oklahoma State Department of Health – WIC Program’s online application or by calling toll free: 1-888-655-2942.