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
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
The Impact of Increasing SNAP Benefits on Stabilizing the Economy, Reducing Poverty and Food Insecurity amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With unemployment currently at a record high as a result of COVID-19, participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is expected to increase significantly. Congress has already passed three COVID-19 aid bills, which include SNAP provisions such as funding for emergency benefits for SNAP households and program administrative flexibilities. … More
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law on December 10, 2015, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. ESSA created an opportunity to broaden accountability beyond traditional subjects, such as math, to potentially focus on health and wellness in schools. States could select health and … More