WIC Temporarily Expands Benefits; Longstanding Farmers Market Program Begins

Starting this month, women and children in the WIC program will get a temporary four-month increase in their
benefit to buy fruits and vegetables. For women, the benefit increases from $11 a month to $35 a month. For
children, it increases from $9 per month to $35 per month.

“Families don’t need to do anything, just shop like normal. This fruit and veggie benefit is already available on
the eWIC card, effective this month,” said Maricela Elias, WIC coordinator for North Central Public Health
District. The monthly benefit increase will run through September.

The funds can be spent anywhere people already purchase WIC-approved items. It is eligible for fresh, frozen
and canned fruits and vegetables.

“Our families have been super delighted to hear about that increase,” Elias said. “They don’t even mind that it’s
temporary.” The funding for it comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a federal stimulus program
in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WIC program, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children, has a focus
on promoting increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables as improved health outcomes for its participants.
Also back this month is the longstanding Farmers Market program that offers a coupon book valued at $28 that
is usable at local farmers markets or stands.

Families might be eligible to receive more than one booklet per season depending on how many qualifying
participants they have in the WIC program, Elias said.

The Farmers Market coupons are good from June through Nov. 30. Farmers Market coupons will be distributed
by scheduled drive-through events at the North Central Public Health District office at 419 E. 7th St., in The
Dalles. Call 541-506-2610 to schedule an appointment time, or go online at ncphd.org/wic

If you are interested in applying for the WIC program, call NCPHD at 541-506-2610. The WIC program is a
public health nutrition program and supports pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children from birth to
age 5.

The goal of the WIC program is to help participants make healthy food choices for themselves and their family
and get better access to nutritious foods as well as better access to medical and dental care.

The Oregon WIC program is open to Oregon residents who are income-eligible, is one of the categories served
and have a nutritional risk. Risk factors can be weight, certain medical conditions, tobacco use, and needing
help with breastfeeding support. People on the Oregon Health Plan, SNAP benefits or TANF benefits meet the
income requirement.

(For more information, please visit COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon, contact North Central Public Health District
at (541) 506-2600, visit us on the web at www.ncphd.org or find us on Facebook.)