This project aims to develop solutions that will increase participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program among Native American communities. Native Americans experience high rates of food insecurity and have higher mortality rates due to diet-related chronic diseases compared to other ethnicities. The WIC program has a strong record of promoting children’s health, growth, and development in marginalized populations; recently, however, Native American participation in WIC has declined significantly. This study seeks to understand barriers to WIC participation for Native American women. In addition, the study seeks to understand how the structural and educational aspects of the WIC program can be modified to reduce these barriers. Finally, the study seeks to uncover specific strategies and policies that could be implemented in WIC centers or WIC-participating food stores serving Native American clients in order to support their participation. This formative study will employ methods such as in-depth interviews, observations, group model building workshops, and follow-up workshops. The researchers will work with Navajo Nation, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), and Zuni Pueblo in order to identify policy and program strategies to improve long-term WIC participation.
Identifying strategies to improve American Indian women's participation in the federal Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Food insecurity among households with children under 18 has increased dramatically during the COVID pandemic; from 15% in 2018 to 28% in June 2020. Governments and school districts have rapidly adopted policies to help children facing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Two leading policies include the Pandemic-Electronic … More
Strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through State Waiver Flexibilities: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Directors
The rapid rise in food insecurity among households with children during COVID-19 has reinforced the critical role SNAP plays in reducing food insecurity and poverty, particularly in low-income communities of color. Waivers and other state program modifications enacted during the pandemic could improve access to SNAP and reduce income and … More