Starting October 1st, 2009, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program–a nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, and young children eat well and stay healthy–will be offering new and healthier food packages to its participants.  Families in the federally funded program will be given cash-value food vouchers to purchase a wider assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-grain breads and brown rice, among other nutritious options.

The new package has less fat, more fiber and more nutrition variety. These changes are designed to offer healthier, more diverse options and to encourage breastfeeding.  Packages now include brown rice, oats, bulgur, barley, tortillas, fresh fruits and vegetables. Another change to help increase the intake of fruits and vegetables is the addition of cash value vouchers to allow participants to purchase fresh, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables.  There will be increased food benefits for breastfeeding women, particularly exclusively breastfeeding women.  Soy milk and tofu will be available for those who have a diagnosed allergy or intolerance to cow’s milk or a dietary preference for soy products.

WIC is a federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants, and children.  WIC helps families by providing checks for buying healthy supplemental foods from WIC-authorized vendors, nutrition education, and help finding healthcare and other community services.  Participants must meet income guidelines and be pregnant women, new mothers, infants or children under age five.  In California, 82 WIC agencies provide services locally to over 1.4 million women, infants and children each month at over 600 sites throughout the State.*

For more information on the WIC changes, please visit the California WIC Homepage.

*from California WIC website