May 7, 2024
California walnut industry supports the USDA’s expansion of food offerings

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) supports the recent announcements by the USDA for the authorization of nuts and seeds to comprise the full meat/meat alternative component of meals in the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Child Nutrition Programs.

This follows the recent notice of the addition of nut and seed butters, such as walnut butter, as alternatives to peanut butter and eggs in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

California Walnut Board & Commission logo

The CWC believes these changes align more closely with U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and better promote nutrition security. Walnuts are an important component of a healthy diet for Americans and allow for broader access to food choices and nutrition.

This is an important strategic step forward in providing increased access to California walnuts to both underserved and school-aged populations.

“California walnuts are a great tasting, nutrient-dense food which fits with USDA recommendations and provide a wide-range of nutritional benefits, including essential omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA).[1]  We are excited for the addition for walnuts and walnut butter to be available for consumers looking for more plant-based options, vegetarian diets and other food preferences,” Robert Verloop, CEO for the CWC stated.

CWC provided comments to USDA in February 2023 on food products available in the WIC food packages and in March 2023 on the revisions to the Child Nutrition Programs, for the allowance of nuts to be 100% of the meat/meat alternative component of meals.

The California walnut industry applauds USDA for the FNS Child Nutrition and WIC program revisions and looks forward to supporting these food assistance efforts by providing high quality, nutritious and safe walnuts and walnut products for schools and the community participating in the WIC program.

The California Walnut Commission (CWC) represents more than 4,600 California walnut growers and nearly 75 handlers, grown in multi-generational farmers’ family orchards. For more information, visit

[1] 2.5 grams of alpha-linolenic acid per one ounce serving

Tags: ,

Be sure to check out our other specialty agriculture brands

produceprocessingsm Organic Grower

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
Get one year of National Nut Grower in both print and digital editions.

Interested in reading the print edition of National Nut Grower?

Subscribe Today »