SALT LAKE CITY – Residents in Cache, Box Elder, and Rich counties are set to benefit from significant updates to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, as announced by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The changes, designed to enhance the nutritional quality of groceries available to millions of low-income mothers, babies, and young children nationwide, will place a stronger emphasis on essential food groups such as fruits, vegetables, seafood, and whole grains.

Under the finalized updates, participants will enjoy a range of benefits aimed at promoting healthy growth and development, addressing key nutritional needs, accommodating personal and cultural food preferences, and supporting individual breastfeeding goals.

Notable changes include an increase in fruit and vegetable benefits, providing $26 per month for children aged 1 through 4, $47 per month for pregnant and postpartum women, and $52 for breastfeeding women. Additionally, the updates expand access to whole grains such as quinoa, wild rice, and millet; introduces seafood options for children; and, reduces or eliminates monthly allowances for juice.

“The updates mean Utah WIC will have greater flexibility to ensure food packages align with personal and cultural preferences,” says Chris Furner, director of the Utah WIC program. “These adjustments offer both current and future participants the opportunity to adopt healthier eating habits, with the potential for long-lasting impacts on health and well-being.”

The implementation of these changes will be coordinated over a two-year period, allowing WIC state agencies in Utah to collaborate with key partners to tailor the new food packages to meet the specific needs of participants.

As of now, Utah is home to 46,328 WIC participants, all of whom stand to benefit from the enhanced nutritional offerings provided by the updated program. Locally, WIC is administered through the Bear River Health Department in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties.

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