FMC Gives USDA WIC CVV Rule Recommendations

      Posted On: January 26, 2010

In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s WIC Food Package Interim Rule, the Farmers Market Coalition Policy Committee issued a letter to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, recommending changes specific to the new WIC Cash Value Voucher (CVV). The letter contains five main points:

  1. State WIC agencies should be required to allow fruit/vegetable cash value vouchers (CVVs) at farmers markets and provide resources for WIC agencies to partner with farmers market organizations to educate farmers and market managers about this program.
  2. State agencies should be required and given the capacity to collect and report data on CVV redemption.
  3. WIC regulations should be modified to allow farmers markets CVV redemption procedures to match those for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.
  4. State agencies should be required to allow split tender, so WIC families can pay for part of their fruit/vegetable purchases with cash if necessary—currently, the regulations of 12 state WIC agencies stipulate that items exceeding the value of vouchers must be put back, thereby prohibiting WIC families from maximizing the benefit of their vouchers.
  5. The cash value of the fruit/vegetable voucher for WIC children should be raised from $6 to $8 a month, as originally recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

The USDA’s interim rule can be accessed here, and FMC’s full letter is attached. If you would like to comment on the rule, visit the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal before February 1 and click the “Submit a comment” button for “Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children,”  FNS-2006-0037-0007. Comments may also be mailed to Director, Supplemental Food Programs Division Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 520, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302.