Lovelett bill to boost fresh fruits and vegetables program passes Senate

A bill that would promote healthy foods and diets for those enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program passed unanimously out of the Washington State Senate on Feb. 14.

Sponsored by Sen. Liz Lovelett, D-Anacortes, Senate Bill 6309 would establish a minimum investment amount in the fresh fruits and vegetable aspect of the WIC program, making it easier for households to buy fresh, locally grown food. In doing so, the bill would ensure that those receiving benefits would not be subject to fluctuation during times of economic crisis and would receive at least the $28 minimum amount allotted.

“Everyone should have access to healthy foods, especially mothers and young children who need good nutrition to grow and thrive,” said Lovelett. “This bill would be a win for everyone – it would promote access to quality produce to those who need it while also giving our local farmers more stability during the summer markets.”

On top of providing benefits for healthy foods, the WIC program also supplies families with access to nutrition education through kid-friendly recipes, advice for children with allergies, and ideas to encourage active lifestyles.

“My own experience with the WIC program proved to me how great of a resource it is,” Lovelett said. “We want to be sure that the families who don’t always have the capacity to buy healthier options are given the resources to do just that.”

Having passed the Senate, the bill will move to the House for consideration.