Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 Waivers in WIC on Participation, Fruit and Vegetable Purchases, and Nutrition Disparities: A Natural Experiment

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has well-documented benefits for low-income mothers and children. Yet, coverage of eligible individuals is incomplete, participants do not fully utilize benefits, and dietary disparities persist. It is unknown whether COVID-related changes to WIC, particularly the increase in the value of the fruit and vegetable More

Understanding Barriers and Facilitators of Universal Free School Meals in NYS

When waivers for Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) ended in 2022, approximately 726,000 students lost access to free meals in New York (NY). This study examines the impact of maintaining (or de-implementing) Universal Free School Meals in NY, especially for Black and Hispanic/Latino families who may be disproportionately impacted by pre-existing inequities. This study will More

Evaluating the Impact of Emergency Food Benefits in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Supermarket Purchases among Families with Children

SNAP and WIC benefits increased in 2020-2021 to combat food insecurity due to COVID-19. Understanding these policies’ impact on household food purchase quality is crucial to guide future recommendations for these nutrition assistance programs. This study aims to assess the effect of changes to SNAP and WIC benefits implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic on the More

Impacts of Increased Cash-Value Benefit on Inter Tribal Council of Arizona WIC Participants’ Program Utilization and Weight Outcomes

Systematic evaluations based on objective measures and longitudinal data are needed to demonstrate long-term impacts of the WIC fruit and vegetable cash value benefit (CVB) increases instituted in March 2021, especially among populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and experiencing high rates of food insecurity and barriers to WIC participation. This study will assess More

Examining the Effects of County-Level COVID-19 Policies on Child Nutrition and Health Equity to Inform Current and Future Policymaking

During the COVID-19 pandemic, policies either mitigated or exacerbated inequities in child health. Existing research has focused on evaluating the effects of federal and state COVID-19-related policies; however, understanding the role of local county policies is also critical to informing current and future policymaking to support child nutrition and health. This study will link data More

The Effect of Pandemic Food Assistance Policies on U.S. Child Food Security and Health

This study seeks to identify effective food assistance policies based on evidence from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program with regard to child health and health equity. The study will examine whether, how, and for whom, the P-EBT and SNAP emergency allotments impacted food insecurity and health outcomes More

Evaluation of WIC Online Ordering during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence from an Oklahoma Grocery Store Chain

The COVID-19 pandemic is worsening the disparities in food access in the United States. As consumers have been increasingly using grocery online ordering services to limit their exposure to the COVID-19 virus, participants of federal nutrition assistance programs lack the online benefit redemption option. With the support of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), retailers More

WIC Participants’ Perceptions of the Cash-Value Benefit Increase during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recent changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Cash-Value Benefit (CVB), which provides participants with money to spend on fruits and vegetables, have the potential to reduce disparities in healthy food access and food insecurity that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few studies have examined how the More

Pandemic-EBT and Grab-and-Go School Meals: Costs, reach, and benefits of two approaches to feeding children during school closures — Lessons from COVID-19 responses

COVID-related school closures across the United States in spring 2020 disrupted the school meal programs that provide critical access to healthy food for millions of children — including children in elementary and middle school and adolescents in high school — from households with low incomes, leading to increased food insecurity. The United States Department of More

The Effect of Pandemic EBT on Food Hardship and Family Well-being

Pandemic EBT is a new program, operating since March 2020, that provides children who receive free or reduced-price meals with a voucher to purchase groceries for an amount equal to the value of school meals missed due to pandemic-related school closures. This program is being considered as a model for future nutritional assistance programs. Although More