Start Date: June 2023

ID #: 283-5114

Principal Investigator: Erica Kenney, ScD, MPH

Co-Principal Investigator: Eric Rimm, ScD

Organization: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Funding Round: ARPA2

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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 cash-value voucher and the introduction of online visits, may point to policy solutions for the under-utilization of WIC. This study aims to estimate the impact of COVID-related changes to WIC on benefit use and participant retention, estimate the impact of increased cash value voucher/benefit on WIC participants’ intake of fruit and vegetables and overall diet quality, and to test whether the impacts of these policy changes were distributed equitably by race/ethnicity.

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