Program for women and children switches to store brands amid rising food prices

Monday, April 28, 2008 | 12:21 p.m. CDT; updated 4:04 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY — In the wake of higher food prices and an increase in the number of Missourians needing help, a federally funded program to help women and children is switching to store-brand foods.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Women, Infants and Children and Nutrition Services on Monday announced changes to the WIC food list. Clients receive monthly checks that specifically list what and how much a person can buy.

Store-brand cereals and frozen juices will replace more expensive name-brand products or products that have costlier forms or packaging, such as juice in plastic bottles.

The changes are effective starting Thursday.

Bureau of Women, Infants and Children and Nutrition Services chief Lyn Konstant said food prices have risen by 10 percent in the past six months, while participation in the program rose 4 percent.

Konstant said that the program operates on a fixed annual budget.

Click here for a WIC provider map.

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