Mothers and children who take part in the WIC supplemental food program are getting a much needed helping hand.
The USDA which oversees the program is allowing mothers with children one year and older to get an additional $2 for fruits and vegetables.
That brings the fruit and vegetables allotment from $6 to $8 per month.
Adams County Health Department WIC coordinator Erin Stehl says you can't underestimate the importance of this extra money.
"Fruits and vegetables are the most expensive healthy food that people can get," Stehl said. "And if they're not able to have help with that they're probably not going to get it. We have provided $6 in fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables since '09, since we had a change then. Now it's going to increase to $8 from all of the children that we've seen during the month of June from here out."
HyVee registered dietician Brittany Donlon says that it's important for kids to get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets because of the role they play in our bone development.
"A lot of times we think about calcium in bones which is great, and it is true but also other vitamins like vitamin K that also play a role in that bone building," Donlon said. "And since we build our bones and grow them until we're about 30, its very, very important, especially in the younger children, especially when they're growing."
Donlon says there is a simple key word that can help us all make sure we get enough fruits and vegetables in our diets each week ... rainbow.
"There's not really any one perfect fruit or vegetables, but its really thinking about the colors of the rainbow and really working on getting the purples, blues, reds, yellows, getting all those different colors, greens," Donlon said. "Because each color has different, has more of different types of vitamins, more of different types of anti-oxidants that all have a different function they play."
The Adams County Health Department WIC program serves about 1,600 people.