Arlington, VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association welcomed provisions in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule updating package sizes and increasing fruits and vegetables in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). FMI Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Government and Member Relations Jennifer Hatcher offered the following statement.

“As private sector partners with the federal government serving as points of redemption for WIC participants, FMI and its grocery members are committed to strengthening the program in a way that aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and provides WIC customers with greater choice and convenience to make the purchasing decisions that best meet their individual and family needs.

“We applaud USDA’s commitment to permanently increasing the monthly cash-value voucher/benefit (CVV/B) amounts for fruit and vegetable purchases in the WIC program to reflect 50% of the Dietary Guidelines’ recommended fruit and vegetable intake for mothers and children. We also appreciate USDA’s approval of new substitution patterns and package size flexibility, which will improve participant access to and utilization of WIC foods. We expect both rule changes will result in measurable benefits for mothers and young children.

“We are glad USDA accepted the recommendations we made in our comments as part of the rulemaking process to make these two updates, and we look forward to working with them and state agencies to implement these changes to ensure all mothers and children served by the WIC program will be able to secure the nutritious foods they need to thrive.”