Governor Abbott, HHSC announce additional food benefits for Texas WIC families
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced a temporary increase in food benefits for families participating in the Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) through September 2021.
This temporary increase specifically covers the purchase of fruits and vegetables.
“This increase in benefits will help Texans who participate in WIC provide more fruits and vegetables for their families this summer,” said Governor Abbott. “I thank Food and Nutrition Service and HHSC for their continued partnership to ensure Texas children and their families have access to nutritious, healthy food.”
“Texas WIC provides foods that have great nutritional value — providing key nutrients at key stages of development,” said Texas WIC Director Edgar Curtis. “This nutritional support early in life builds stronger, smarter, healthier, and happier children and Texans. Fresh fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with vitamins and other plant-based nutrients, are at the forefront of that strategy.”
The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law in March 2021 and allows states to temporarily provide up to $35 for fruits and vegetables per child and adult, per month. This additional benefit allows WIC clients to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables so they can consume more healthy foods.
As a result of federal legislation, Texas WIC clients will receive four months of additional benefits, from June through September. Clients receive benefits three months in advance and existing clients should already have the $35 in their benefits starting in June.
WIC clients include pregnant and breastfeeding women and children up to the age of five who also meet income guidelines. All WIC clients are encouraged to keep their next appointment to receive additional benefits.
WIC is a federal nutrition program administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The program provides healthy food, one-on-one nutrition counseling, recipes, nutrition classes, and breastfeeding support to mothers and families with children younger than 5.
The program serves approximately 700,000 women and children monthly. For more information about Texas WIC, visit TexasWIC.org