From Policy to Reality: Assessment of the Successes & Challenges with WIC Cash-Value Benefit Changes in Increasing Child Access to Fruits & Vegetables

Recent cash-value benefit (CVB) increases could increase fruit and vegetable (FV) access of children in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Yet, little is known about impacts of CVB changes on participant access to FVs, participant awareness and satisfaction of CVB changes, and implementation successes and challenges of WIC State agencies More

“I Think That’s the Most Beneficial Change That WIC Has Made in a Really Long Time”: Perceptions and Awareness of an Increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables increased by roughly USD 25/month/person. We sought to understand WIC participant perceptions of this change and barriers and facilitators to using the CVB. We conducted 10 virtual focus groups (5 rural, 5 More

Additional Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers for Pregnant WIC Clients: An Equity-Focused Strategy to Improve Food Security and Diet Quality

Women with low household income and from racial/ethnic minority groups are at elevated risk of food insecurity. Food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with overall less healthy diets, lower intake of the pregnancy-supportive nutrients iron and folate, and significant variations in diet across the course of a month. The goal of this study was to More

Dynamics of macroeconomic factor effects on food assistance program participation in the United States

Macroeconomic factors relating to economic, financial, and sociological stress are identified and their impacts assessed concerning participation in key food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, and NSLP). The econometric analysis covers the period October 1999 to September 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on participation in these programs also is quantified. Based on the parameter estimates obtained More

Insights from Washington State’s COVID-19 Response: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of WIC Remote Services and Expanded Food Options Using the RE-AIM Framework

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WA WIC) adopted federal waivers to transition to remote service delivery for certification and education appointments. WA WIC also expanded the approved food list without using federal waivers, adding more than 600 new items to offset challenges participants experienced More

Federal Nutrition Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic: WIC

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized USDA to approve waivers, requested by WIC state agencies and Tribal Nations, which would ensure WIC benefit access for families already participating in the program, as well as newly eligible families. These waivers and flexibilities provided researchers a More

USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Vendor Criteria

This brief provides the results of an analysis of WIC vendor selection and authorization criteria, and operations and management policies established by the 89 administrative agencies in the United States. This study is the first to compile and examine a database of WIC vendor selection and authorization criteria, and operations and management policies established by More

Examining Facilitators and Barriers to Utilization of the Increased WIC Cash Value Benefit Among NC WIC Participants

Using COVID-relief funds, UDSA temporarily expanded the WIC FV cash value benefit (CVB) from $9-11 to ~$35/month/person for seven months, June – December 2021. The objective of this study is to use focus groups with a diverse group of WIC participants in North Carolina to examine barriers and facilitators to utilizing the temporarily expanded CVB, More