Published: December 2021

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Arm K, Miller L

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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.

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