|DATE:||October 6, 2021|
|POLICY MEMO:||WIC Policy Memorandum #2022-1|
|SUBJECT:||Implementation of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act Temporary Increase in the CVV Benefit for Fruit and Vegetable Purchases|
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regional Offices
|WIC State Agency Directors
All State Agencies
On Sept. 30, 2021, President Biden signed the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act of 2022 (PL 117-43) into law. Under Section 118 of this Continuing Resolution (CR), USDA is directed during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021) to temporarily increase the WIC Cash-Value Voucher/Benefit (CVV/B) for fruit and vegetable purchases for women and children participants to an amount recommended by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and adjusted for inflation. The CR also provides funding necessary to accommodate this increase in the CVV/B. This memorandum sets forth applicable parameters for nationwide implementation of the CVV/B increase.
Under the CR, the CVV/B increase is applicable to women and children participants, via WIC food packages III, IV, V, VI, and VII, as defined by WIC regulations at 7 CFR 246.10(e). For the first quarter of FY 2022, all WIC state agencies must increase CVV/B amounts to $24 for child participants, $43 for pregnant and postpartum women participants, and $47 for fully and partially breastfeeding women participants; these amounts reflect the NASEM levels adjusted for inflation. Consistent with the statutory language that specifies an increase to the benefit for women and children participants, the CVV/B increase does not apply to infant participants receiving food package III.
Since the authority to increase the amount of the CVV/B terminates on Dec. 31, 2021, state agencies may only provide the increased CVV/B to participants as October, November, and December 2021 monthly food benefits. Although the Start Date (i.e., the First Date of Use) of the December food benefits must be in December 2021, the time periods for transacting and redeeming December food benefits may occur after Dec. 31, 2021, in accordance with current state agency policy and procedures.
FNS recognizes that state agencies will need time to operationalize the CVV/B increase. All state agencies must notify FNS of their expected implementation start dates no later than Oct. 15, 2021, by sending an email to SM.FN.WIC.CVV.Increase@usda.gov. The provision of the temporary CVV/B increase must run through Dec. 31, 2021.
Funding for the CVV/B increase will be made available as CR funds are apportioned to FNS. Under the CR, FNS will allocate pro rata shares to state agencies of the total available food and nutrition services and administration (NSA) funds. State agencies must include all funds and expenditures associated with the temporary increase in the CVV/B on their FY 2022 FNS 798 reports.
State agencies may direct any questions related to this memorandum to their respective FNS regional offices.
Supplemental Food Programs Division