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 natural experiment opportunity to understand the impact of these program changes on diet quality, food security, and related health and economic outcomes for children and families. HER funded four research teams to examine the implementation of WIC remote services and online grocery ordering during the pandemic. This brief presents key findings from those studies. Findings from these four projects emphasize the importance of remote services and online ordering in WIC, yet additional policy, program, and research efforts are needed in the short term to improve the availability and accessibility of services.
Published: December 2021
Publisher: Healthy Eating Research
Authors: Arm K, Miller L
Supporting the Wake Forest School of Medicine in implementing a WIC referral program within electronic health records to optimize WIC participationThe United States has an ongoing maternal and infant health crisis, characterized by stark disparities. The WIC program could equitably improve health outcomes, but it is underutilized. Identifying strategies for healthcare systems to efficiently connect pregnant patients with WIC is a public health and policy priority. This study will use the electronic health record (EHR) More
Assessing participation in and implementation of summer electronic-benefits-transfer and non-congregate-meal programs in rural areasSummer EBT and non-congregate meals are summer meal options that have known associations with reducing food hardship and barriers to food access. But take-up can vary across states, which creates disparities among marginalized populations. The study aims to analyze the coverage, take-up, and implementation decisions made around Summer EBT and non-congregate meals. The research team More