ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has extended a temporary increase of WIC benefits into spring 2022, allowing up to 60,000 women and young children per month to receive healthy fruits and vegetables.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is available for pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age.

The fruit and vegetable cash value benefit (CVB) was introduced in 2007 to improve the health and diets of mothers and children. The standard CVB is $9 to $11 for qualifying children and women.

President Joe Biden signed an appropriations bill on Dec. 3 to extend funding for things like government projects, disaster relief, support of Afghani refugees, and relief for the food insecure and families in need. That law gave the USDA authority to extend the CVB.

That extension means children can receive $24 per month, pregnant and postpartum women $43 per month, and breastfeeding women $47 per month.

About 6.2 million Americans receive WIC benefits each month.

Missourians interested in learning about the benefits of WIC may visit or call TEL-LINK at 1-800-835-5465 to find the WIC local agency closest to them.