The Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) announced increased benefits for WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for women, infants, and children.

According to the press release, the last time benefits increased in this capacity was in 2009. The increased benefits of WIC recipients include monthly benefits for fruits and vegetables. Households with children ages five and under can receive 25 dollars a month and an extra 44 dollars for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have just had a child. An additional 48 dollars is given to women who are fully breastfeeding for fruits and vegetables. The benefit increase totals to an extra 37% for families in Montana. 

“We want to ensure that WIC recipients and those who are eligible but not yet enrolled in the program are aware of the benefit increase in October,” said acting WIC manager for DPHHS Kevin Moore. “This is great news because we know that with increases in food prices, times are tough for many families. The additional benefit will help families get the nutrition they need.”

WIC is funded by the Department of Agriculture and was created in 1974 for families and children to help through a critical time of growth and development for children. The program provides families access to healthy foods and also offers breastfeeding education for mothers and referrals to health care, social services, and more. WIC serves all 56 counties and seven reservations. Close to 1,400 women and children enrolled in the program. 

Income requirements for WIC income are that recipients make less than 188% of the federal poverty level and qualify for Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, and the reduced or free lunch program. The voluntary program does not interfere with other programs like SNAP and Medicaid. Those interested in learning more about the WIC guidelines can click here or visit their local WIC clinic.