West Virginia WIC increases Cash Value Benefits to offset inflation
BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Heidi Staats, Director of the West Virginia WIC Program, says her department is constantly working to keep its offerings updated.
“We always are taking our participant feedback and trying to improve our service provision, not only on the food package side but our nutrition education and our breast-feeding support...” she shared.
The WIC Program aims to safeguard women, infants and children, who are low-income. With rising costs due to inflation, WIC leadership decided to make changes to offset those unexpected expenses. So, effective October 1, the program increased its Cash Value Benefits (CBV). This is the third increase since March 2021.
Staats says participants will now receive more in benefits each month. She says it allows them to expand their choices.
“Not only did it increase the variety of fruits and vegetables that they introduced within their families, but it increased the availability of those healthy foods in stretching those dollars throughout the month, throughout several different meals in options for their children and for themselves,” Staats said.
According to a survey conducted by WIC, the program’s participation rose three percent in the 2022 federal fiscal year. Staats says she believes this is a direct result of these benefit increases.
“We had this type of case lit growth which shows that more families are utilizing WIC benefits... You’re taking a typical $40 monthly benefit and increasing that to a $65 to $75 benefit, so that’s quite a significant increase, and I think that participation rate reflects that.”
The Bureau for Public Health says those wanting to learn more about the CVB increases should contact their local WIC office. Listed below is a breakdown of those increases:
- Pregnant women (single child) and non-breastfeeding, postpartum women will receive $44.00.
- Pregnant women of twins will receive $49.00.
- Fully and partially breastfeeding women (single child) will receive $49.00.
- Fully breastfeeding women (multiple children) will receive $73.50.
- Partially breastfeeding women (multiple children) will receive $49.00.
- Minimally breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women will receive $44.00.
- A child 12 months through age five will receive $25.00.
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