The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated barriers to participation in the WIC program, since people were encouraged or required to stay home and grocery stores experienced shortages of food items. Washington State’s WIC program has been actively re-tooling service delivery prior to and at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome participation barriers. This project will use the RE-AIM framework and a descriptive and quasi-experimental study design to assess programmatic changes instituted by WA WIC during the COVID-19 pandemic, including waiving the “physical presence” requirement for certification appointments and providing nutrition education and breastfeeding support remotely (together referred to as remote services), and expanding the list of allowable foods. The study will draw on statewide WIC programmatic data and a purposive sample of WIC staff and clients. The study aims to: 1) Examine the reach and effectiveness of the programmatic changes, including how and the extent to which the changes impacted enrollment, participation, client and staff satisfaction, food purchasing, and food security; and 2) Investigate the factors, processes, facilitators, and challenges involved in the adoption and implementation of the programmatic changes and for their continued maintenance.
Assessing the Impact and Feasibility of WIC Remote Services and Expanded Food Options
The USDA Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows SNAP participants to shop and pay for groceries online, rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of participating states increased from 5 to 47. This brief assesses whether the Pilot promotes healthy food access (using the … More
Acceptability, Preference, and No-Show Rates for In-Person and Phone-Based Consultations at Nine WIC Centers in New York City Before and During COVID-19
Access to WIC benefits typically requires an in-person visit to a WIC center, however this became a challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic due to recommendations for social distancing to minimize and prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, in-person requirements were removed for all visits, except first time … More
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest United States Department of Agriculture federal nutrition assistance program. As an entitlement program, SNAP is designed to expand as incomes fall, enabling the program to respond quickly when need increases. For example, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP served an average … More