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IFPA notes produce wins in USDA’s updates to WIC nutrition program

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April 9, 2024 WASHINGTON – The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) BB #:378962, the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce supply chain, welcomes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) updates to its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), helping to ensure fruit and vegetable access for millions of families.

“These updates to WIC will be instrumental in improving nutrition security among some of our nation’s most vulnerable populations,” said IFPA CEO Cathy Burns. “IFPA members across the supply chain look forward to an implementation of the food package that will allow for continued access to nutritious foods including the full variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available at retail.”

Today’s announcement will finalize previously announced proposed changes that include providing more flexibility to tailor food packages to accommodate personal and cultural food preferences and special dietary needs and makes permanent the fruit and vegetable increase participants have been enjoying since 2021.

The changes align with recommendations from the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

In addition to making the latest increase to the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) permanent, IFPA identified four notable additions to the rule:
• It allows participants to substitute their juice allotment for an additional $3 in CVB. Infants aged 6-11 months can receive CVB in lieu of half or all of jarred infant food allotment. ($10/month for half and $20/month for the full allotment)
• Allows fresh herbs to be purchased with the CVB
• Allows fresh cut fruit and vegetable party trays without dressings and dips to be purchased with the CVB
• Codifies that white potatoes are allowed (this has been true for some time, but now it’s clearly documented.)

The WIC program benefits millions of women and children in every community across the country at a time when many lack access to healthy food and nearly half of American children already do not eat a daily vegetable.

“IFPA has long advocated for the importance of a science-based approach in WIC, and today’s announcement delivers on that work,” said IFPA Vice President for Nutrition and Health Policy Mollie Van Lieu. “We already know that WIC works at addressing health outcomes and the final food package will do even more to boost the general healthfulness of the WIC program and benefit the women and children it serves.”

About the International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA)?is the largest and most diverse international association serving the entire fresh produce and floral supply chain and the only to seamlessly integrate world-facing advocacy and industry-facing support. We exist to bring the industry together to create a vibrant future for all. We grow our member’s prosperity by conducting advocacy; connecting people and ideas; and offering guidance that allows us all to?take action?with purpose and confidence.?

Contact: Siobhan May, +1 (302) 781-5855