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

April 2024

Mixed methods evaluation of the COVID-19 changes to the WIC cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables

Recent cash-value benefit (CVB) increases are a positive development to help increase WIC participant fruits and vegetables (FV) access. This mixed method study aimed to evaluate (a) the CVB changes’ impact on FV access among WIC child participants measured by CVB redemption rates, (b) facilitators and barriers to CVB changes’ implementation, and (c) differences in More

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

June 2024

CACFP Family Childcare Home Sponsor Perspectives – Serious Deficiency Challenges

The federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, commonly known as CACFP, ensures over 4.2 million children, mostly in families with low income, receive nutritious meals and snacks in childcare. However, not all qualifying childcare providers participate in this beneficial program. Research suggests that the serious deficiency process, designed to ensure program integrity, may hinder More