Published: August 2023

ID #: 77239

Journal: Current Developments in Nutrition

Authors: Anderson CE, Au LE, Yepez CE, Ritchie LD, Tsai MM, Whaley SE

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WIC food packages for children ages 1 to 4 include a cash value benefit (CVB) redeemable for fruits and vegetables (FVs) with participating vendors. The CVB value was increased beginning in June 2021. This study evaluated associations of the augmented CVB with the amount and diversity of redeemed FVs among a cohort of 1770 WIC-participating children in Southern California. The augmented CVB was associated with higher redemption prevalence and amount redeemed for 53 of 54 commodity groups at both 35 USD/mo and 24 USD/mo compared with 9 USD/mo. Redemption diversity increased for both fruits, vegetables, and all produce during both augment periods, and modestly greater increases in redeemed fruits relative to vegetables were observed at 35 USD/mo. The most commonly redeemed vegetables were tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, peppers, and avocados and the most commonly redeemed fruits were bananas, apples, grapes, limes, and melons. The augmented CVB was associated with greater redeemed FV amount and greater redeemed FV diversity. Data on FV intake diversity among WIC-participating children are needed to understand dietary impacts of the CVB increase.

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