Published: January 2024

ID #: 283-5099

Publisher: Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

Authors: Nitto A, Vest D, Kersten S, Crespo-Bellido M

See more related research


The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition was funded by Healthy Eating Research to conduct a study exploring how the policy changes in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cash value benefit (CVB), or fruit and vegetable money, during the pandemic impacted the WIC program and child access to fruits and vegetables. From October 2022 to February 2023, GSCN interviewed WIC State and local agency staff and caregivers of WIC participants from across the country. WIC staff included those from Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs), U.S. territories, rural local agencies, and large urban local agencies. Similarly, interviews with caregivers of WIC participants included representation across several racial and ethnic groups from both rural and urban areas. WIC State redemption data also was analyzed to determine if the CVB changes increased access to fruits and vegetables among child participants. Findings are summarized in a Policy Brief, and the accompanying Toolkit was developed to support WIC agencies.

  • Policy Brief: “I was grateful for what I got, but it just seemed like $9 wasn’t enough.” WIC staff and families’ experiences during the WIC fruit and vegetable policy changes
  • Toolkit: From Policy to Participants: WIC State and Local Agency Implementation Toolkit for the Cash Value Benefit

Related Research

July 2022

From Policy to Reality: Assessment of the Successes & Challenges with WIC Cash-Value Benefit Changes in Increasing Child Access to Fruits & Vegetables

Recent cash-value benefit (CVB) increases could increase fruit and vegetable (FV) access of children in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Yet, little is known about impacts of CVB changes on participant access to FVs, participant awareness and satisfaction of CVB changes, and implementation successes and challenges of WIC State agencies More

March 2024

Associations of Increased WIC Benefits for Fruits and Vegetables With Food Security and Satisfaction by Race and Ethnicity

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides nutrition support for racially and ethnically diverse populations. In 2021, the monthly cash value benefit (CVB) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables increased from $9 to $35 and was later adjusted to $24. This study investigated, by racial and ethnic groups, whether More

November 2023

Supporting the Wake Forest School of Medicine in implementing a WIC referral program within electronic health records to optimize WIC participation

The United States has an ongoing maternal and infant health crisis, characterized by stark disparities. The WIC program could equitably improve health outcomes, but it is underutilized. Identifying strategies for healthcare systems to efficiently connect pregnant patients with WIC is a public health and policy priority. This study will use the electronic health record (EHR) More