Community Medical Centers has announced that its families receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) will see a temporary $15 increase in their monthly fruits and vegetables benefit from June through September. Currently, children ages 1 to 5 receive $9 a month, and pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women receive $11 a month. Funding from the American Rescue Plan Act allowed the California WIC program to enhance the program’s fruits and vegetables benefit for the summer.
The fruits and vegetables benefit significantly impacts WIC families’ ability to eat healthy. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables reduces the prevalence of chronic disease and strengthens the immune system. This increased benefit will allow families enrolled in the WIC program to buy and consume more healthy fruits and vegetables.
“Children’s growing bodies require good nutrition, and fruits and vegetables play a critical role in keeping kids healthy,” said Andrea Weiss, Program Manager for CMC’s WIC services. “This is an incredible opportunity in public health to increase access to fruits and vegetables for our young families in San Joaquin County.”
Weiss, a registered dietitian and board-certified lactation consultant, has been with CMC WIC for over 12 years. She manages a staff of 26, serving 8,000 participants at sites throughout San Joaquin County.
WIC families can combine their fruits and vegetables benefit with WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks for even more purchasing power at farmers’ markets. The checks are issued in addition to regular WIC benefits between May and November, and can be used to buy fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from WIC farmers, farmers’ markets, or roadside stands.
The fruit and vegetables benefit increase will be issued this year from June 1 through Sept. 30. Benefits are good for 30 days from the date they are issued. For example, benefits issued on Sept. 27 can be used through Oct. 26.
Community Medical Centers offers WIC services at nine sites in Stockton, Lodi, Tracy and Manteca. Visit cmcwic.org for more information. California residents can learn more about the summer fruit and vegetable increase and the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program by visiting MyFamily.WIC.ca.gov or WICFarmers.ca.gov.
Community Medical Centers is a network of neighborhood health centers serving over 100,000 patients in San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo counties. They offer integrated medical, dental, behavioral health, and supportive services, all using a model that puts the patient at the center of the care team. Working together, they strive to improve health and well-being in local communities. To learn more about CMC, visit cmcenters.org