By Jon Harsanje

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Families in Pinellas County receiving WIC assistance will see a much needed temporary increase in their benefit.

On March 12, 2021 the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) authorized State WIC Agencies to enhance the WIC benefit for a period of four months, expanding the vegetable and fruit voucher from $9/month for children and $11/month for women to $35 per month, per participant.

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WIC’s vegetable and fruit voucher is known as the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). The CVB is credited with improving the dietary quality of WIC participants and reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC toddlers.

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Florida WIC will be implementing the CVB increase beginning June 1, 2021 until September 30. All women and children 1 – 4 years old who participate in the WIC Program will receive an increase in their fruits and vegetables cash voucher to $35 per participant, per month.

For example, a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old child will receive a total of $70 cash voucher to use on fruits and vegetables per month from June – September 2021. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Any brand, variety, size, with no added sugar, syrup, artificial sweeteners, fat, or oil. Organic fruits and vegetables are allowed.

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For information about WIC in Pinellas, call (727) 824-6913 or 6914.