Congress puts white potatoes in the grocery cart for low-income moms on WIC

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

It's a political victory for the popular potato.

For the first time, low-income women would be able to pay for potatoes with government-subsidized vouchers issued by the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.

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The potato provision is part of a massive spending bill expected to be approved by year's end.

White potatoes have been excluded from WIC since fruits and vegetables were first allowed under the program in 2009. The Institute of Medicine had recommended they be left off of WIC vouchers, saying recipients of the aid already eat enough white potatoes.

The potato industry has aggressively lobbied for inclusion in the WIC program, saying it's not as much about sales as the perception that potatoes aren't as nutritious as other vegetables.