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Income eligibility for the WIC program has increased


Guidelines on income eligibility for the North Dakota WIC program have increased.

WIC program director Amanda Varriano says this increase in monthly income eligibility is based on changes in the federal poverty levels.

"This year, a family of four, which is a pretty common family size, increased by $185 (per month). So, we do kind of keep track of where our families are, if they're really close, we know this time of year that we can call some of those folks back and they might be eligible for the program when we take a look at things again for them."

WIC provides healthy food, nutrition education, and community support to qualifying mothers and young children.

During the last federal fiscal year, the WIC program assisted more than 16 thousand North Dakotans, including almost 5 thousand infants.

Varriano says the new income levels will keep families in the program and help more people who need assistance and access to healthy foods.

"Just with everything, with inflation, I think we've all sort of felt it. So, families will have that addition, if they weren't on the program before, they would have that additional level of assistance. Right now, our cash value benefit (or CVB for short) for the fruits and vegetables, it's permanently higher now. So, for a kid that's about $25 and for a mom that's about $43. Just having those dollars available for those healthy foods is beneficial to our North Dakota families."