Summer 2021 Fruits and Vegetables Benefit Increase and WIC Returns to Pre-COVID-19 Approved Foods
WIC participants receive a monthly Cash-Value Benefit (CVB) or Fruits and Vegetables Benefit on their WIC Card for making fruit and vegetable purchases.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law. As part of the act, the Fruits and Vegetables Benefit has increased to $35 per month through the summer.
Who is eligible?
Every WIC participant who is 12 months and older will be eligible for the increase to $35 for fruits and vegetables!
How long will WIC families get the increase?
The increase to $35 for fruits and vegetables will last for 4 months, from June 2021 through September 2021. These fruits and vegetables benefits are good for 30 days from the date they are issued. For example, fruits and vegetables benefits issued on September 27 can still be used through October 26.
When will I see the increase in my fruits and vegetables benefit on my WIC food balance?
You will start seeing added fruits and vegetables benefits in June. If you have already been issued your fruits and vegetables benefits for June, the amount will be increased to $35 on June 1.
What can I buy with my increased fruits and vegetables benefit?
WIC families can use their increased benefits to buy any variety or brand of dried, canned, frozen, and fresh fruits and vegetables that meets the requirements in the Shopping Guide/Guía de compras.
Some tips for stretching your WIC benefits and food dollars include:
- Checking store ads and websites for sales.
- Creating a weekly meal plan based on sale items.
- Making a grocery list.
- Using grocery store loyalty cards.
- Using coupons.
- Buying store or generic brands.
- Taking advantage of "buy one, get one free" specials.
- Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season.
More details on what can be purchased with the WIC Card can be found on MyFamily.WIC.ca.gov.
Where can I use the increased fruits and vegetables benefits?
You can use your added fruits and vegetables benefits at WIC approved stores and with farmers that accept the WIC Card.
Find approved WIC vendors and farmers accepting the WIC Card on the MyFamily.WIC.ca.gov website.
I could really use some fruit and vegetable ideas that I know my kids will like!
WIC has got you covered! Summer is a great time to add fruit to a green salad or freeze fruit chunks for a cool snack. The increased benefit is a good time to also stock up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies for later.
Your local WIC staff are happy to share lots of simple ways to make fruits and veggies a tasty part of summer eating.
Watch for ideas on our social media channels too.
WIC Returns to Pre-COVID-19 Approved Foods:
What is new with the WIC Approved Food List?
Starting June 1, 2021, WIC will be returning to the regular WIC Approved Food List.
What does this mean for the foods I buy?
Some foods you bought over the past year may no longer be approved to buy with your WIC Card.
Why is this change happening?
During the pandemic, WIC expanded the food list to allow participants to buy other foods when they could not get their regular foods. Now that there are no food outages, we are returning to the pre-COVID-19, regular WIC foods.
How do I know what foods are on the regular Approved WIC Food List?
You can find out what foods are on the regular Approved Product List when you:
- Check your WIC Shopping Guide, which can be found on the MyFamily website.
- Scan a food's barcode at the store using the WIC App to confirm that a food is WIC-approved.
Always check your WIC Food Balance to see what foods are available for purchase.
Here are ways to find your latest WIC food balance information:
- Use the free WIC App.
- Look at your store receipt from your last shopping trip.
- Ask a cashier or customer service person at the grocery store to print your WIC Food Balance.
- Call the toll-free number on the back of your WIC Card: 1-844-4MY-FAMILY or 1-844-469-3264.
It is a good practice to save your receipt in a safe place, such as your wallet.
I would like to talk to someone about these changes. Whom should I contact?
Please contact your WIC local agency for more information. Find your local WIC office here: WIC Clinic Search.
You can also contact the CDPH WIC Division State Headquarters:
Call toll free: (800) 852-5770