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
Assessing Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program families' online food purchasing behaviors to inform policies targeting expansion of SNAP benefits
Online grocery services may be a promising strategy to increase food access by creating systems that increase the self-reliance of communities to meet their food needs; however, there may be unintended consequences that should be considered. Despite the potential to increase healthier choices, individuals may purchase more soft drinks and … More
Studying facilitators and barriers in coupon redemption for fruits and vegetables by Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participants
The Special Supplemental Nutrition program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally-funded nutrition assistance program supporting low-income women, infants, and children. The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides WIC clients with coupons to purchase fruits and vegetables from approved farmers markets in addition to their regular WIC benefits. … More
Providing actionable evidence for equity-focused strategies to improve diet quality and food security for low-income pregnant women and for infants
Households with children ages 6 and younger are at a particularly high risk of food insecurity (14.3% food insecure). These are also the households in which new pregnancies are most likely to occur. The Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is designed to improve the health of … More