Saturday, March 1, 2014

More Foods Available on WIC (Women, Infants, Children) Benefits

New regulations for WIC (women, infant, children) benefits have broadened the food allowable for benefits.  Reflecting changes in food preferences in the last 20 years as well as nutritional trends, the regulations allow more fresh vegetables, fish, meat and things like whole-grain products and yogurt (a food so exotic in my teen years that it was hard to find in the supermarket, and is now hard to dodge).   The program was created to provide healthy food for small children, infants and pregnant women.  Each state has an eligible food list--find the eligible WIC foods for your state here. 

For more information about the program--who's eligible and how to apply, see this page, and for toll-free numbers in your state, see this page.

Despite the fact that regulations are changing to encourage eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, one problem is that farmer's markets and some other fresh food sellers don't have the EBT point of sale equipment needed to sell items to WIC consumers.  If you are a merchant and wish to get point of sale equipment for EBT, there may be funds for that from state or federal government.  Check this page and  contact your state agency in charge of WIC to find out.  Free point of sale EBT-only devices may be available free for markets that conduct over $100 a month in SNAP business. 

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