WIC Program Participants To Receive Vouchers For Fruits And Vegetables

Participants in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program will receive vouchers — for the first time — for the purchase of fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables beginning Oct. 1.

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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 vegetables, 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.

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.

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Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

How is this different from the Farmers’ Market WIC vouchers and the senior vouchers? Do you have to have anything in particular to accept them? We already are approved to accept the FM WIC so would we just endorse them the same? Are they vouchers or a debit card?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

How is this different from the Farmers’ Market and senior vouchers? Are they vouchers or a debit card? Since we are already approved as a WIC approved vendor, will we have to go through another approval process?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

You’re kidding right? WIC people have been receiving Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks for years. So have seniors under Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. It is a federal program operating for at least 10 years. Who is this organization, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH)? Sounds like a govt funded “Non-profit”. The FMNP program is another huge waste of our tax dollars. This from one who accepts these checks. The Seniors are the only ones who really use the checks sensibly. Most WIC people don’t know how to cook anyhow and end up buying a bunch of stuff which will end up rotting in the fridge next to the soda pop. Or else they save them for the end of the year and buy pumpkins for their kids. Yes, it is allowed as you can eat pumpkin. Do these people eat these pumpkins? Hardly. Another welfare program to get rid of.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

In Response to Southern Tier Farmer:
The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a seasonal program in operation during the months when local farmers’ markets are open for business. FMNP provides eligible WIC participants with coupons to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at authorized farmers’ markets. These coupons are received in addition to their regular WIC food package and nutrition education. This differs from the new WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers in a couple of ways.

First, the change in food product allocation for the WIC vouchers was part of a complete nutritional overhaul of the program to bring it more in line with the most up-to-date nutrition science. In addition to these fruit & vegetable vouchers, it also added whole grains and canned beans to the list of items that may now be purchased using WIC vouchers. The program changes also reduced the voucher amounts for milk, cheese and eggs, and now stipulate that only one-percent or fat-free milk be allowed for women and children age two and older. These vouchers represent fundamental changes in the allocation of WIC funds to make the program more consistent with US dietary guidelines. Food, through these vouchers, has been provided to WIC recipients for years – but fruits and vegetables were not items that could be redeemed with the coupons. You may not like a “subsidized program” such as this, but if money is going to be allocated anyway (something well beyond our influence), is it not best to use the money on foods that will benefit them most?

Secondly, these new fruit and vegetable vouchers can be used year-round at grocery stores and supermarkets, the usual destination for most food shopping. The new vouchers are also good for canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as fresh, thereby expanding the varieties of food WIC families consume on a regular basis.

If you think this is a waste of money, because they don’t know what to do with the fruits and vegetables, why don’t you help them (since presumably they are your customers) learn how to prepare fruits and vegetables. We have a great many ideas and suggestions at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, or you can hand out information with items available for download or in our catalog, or do demos of your own. If you don’t help us give them ideas about what to do with your products (that don’t take a lot of preparation if they don’t know how to cook), then you won’t have any customers at all in the future. Give them ideas about what to do with pumpkin seeds if you are concerned about pumpkins!

By the way, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) consumer education foundation whose purpose is to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. We are responsible for a variety of nutrition education and marketing programs, including the new Fruits & Veggies—More Matters health initiative. W work to accomplish our mission alongside government agencies, non-profit organizations and members of the fruit and vegetable industry. The foundation relies on the generous support from both the private and public sector to accomplish its goal – with virtually nothing from the federal government (as much as we’ve tried!). You can find more information about PBH by visiting http://www.pbhfoundation.org.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Check out this great video on Vegetable Vouchers

http://www.growingproduce.com/news/gp/?storyid=2607

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

How is this different from the Farmers’ Market WIC vouchers and the senior vouchers? Do you have to have anything in particular to accept them? We already are approved to accept the FM WIC so would we just endorse them the same? Are they vouchers or a debit card?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

How is this different from the Farmers’ Market and senior vouchers? Are they vouchers or a debit card? Since we are already approved as a WIC approved vendor, will we have to go through another approval process?

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

You’re kidding right? WIC people have been receiving Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks for years. So have seniors under Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. It is a federal program operating for at least 10 years. Who is this organization, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH)? Sounds like a govt funded “Non-profit”. The FMNP program is another huge waste of our tax dollars. This from one who accepts these checks. The Seniors are the only ones who really use the checks sensibly. Most WIC people don’t know how to cook anyhow and end up buying a bunch of stuff which will end up rotting in the fridge next to the soda pop. Or else they save them for the end of the year and buy pumpkins for their kids. Yes, it is allowed as you can eat pumpkin. Do these people eat these pumpkins? Hardly. Another welfare program to get rid of.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

In Response to Southern Tier Farmer:
The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a seasonal program in operation during the months when local farmers’ markets are open for business. FMNP provides eligible WIC participants with coupons to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables at authorized farmers’ markets. These coupons are received in addition to their regular WIC food package and nutrition education. This differs from the new WIC fruit and vegetable vouchers in a couple of ways.

First, the change in food product allocation for the WIC vouchers was part of a complete nutritional overhaul of the program to bring it more in line with the most up-to-date nutrition science. In addition to these fruit & vegetable vouchers, it also added whole grains and canned beans to the list of items that may now be purchased using WIC vouchers. The program changes also reduced the voucher amounts for milk, cheese and eggs, and now stipulate that only one-percent or fat-free milk be allowed for women and children age two and older. These vouchers represent fundamental changes in the allocation of WIC funds to make the program more consistent with US dietary guidelines. Food, through these vouchers, has been provided to WIC recipients for years – but fruits and vegetables were not items that could be redeemed with the coupons. You may not like a “subsidized program” such as this, but if money is going to be allocated anyway (something well beyond our influence), is it not best to use the money on foods that will benefit them most?

Secondly, these new fruit and vegetable vouchers can be used year-round at grocery stores and supermarkets, the usual destination for most food shopping. The new vouchers are also good for canned and frozen fruits and vegetables as well as fresh, thereby expanding the varieties of food WIC families consume on a regular basis.

If you think this is a waste of money, because they don’t know what to do with the fruits and vegetables, why don’t you help them (since presumably they are your customers) learn how to prepare fruits and vegetables. We have a great many ideas and suggestions at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, or you can hand out information with items available for download or in our catalog, or do demos of your own. If you don’t help us give them ideas about what to do with your products (that don’t take a lot of preparation if they don’t know how to cook), then you won’t have any customers at all in the future. Give them ideas about what to do with pumpkin seeds if you are concerned about pumpkins!

By the way, Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) consumer education foundation whose purpose is to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. We are responsible for a variety of nutrition education and marketing programs, including the new Fruits & Veggies—More Matters health initiative. W work to accomplish our mission alongside government agencies, non-profit organizations and members of the fruit and vegetable industry. The foundation relies on the generous support from both the private and public sector to accomplish its goal – with virtually nothing from the federal government (as much as we’ve tried!). You can find more information about PBH by visiting http://www.pbhfoundation.org.

Avatar for Anonymous Anonymous says:

Check out this great video on Vegetable Vouchers

http://www.growingproduce.com/news/gp/?storyid=2607