In 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was modified to align the WIC food packages with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As part of the revisions, WIC added a fruit and vegetable (F/V) voucher to the food packages. This paper describes a quasi-experimental study that examined whether F/V prices at stores authorized to accept WIC decreased after the policy revision in seven Illinois counties. The study also examined F/V price variations by store type and neighborhood characteristics. Overall, researchers found that canned and frozen vegetable prices decreased after the policy change, particularly at small stores. Chain supermarkets and mass merchandise stores (e.g., Walmart) had lower canned and frozen F/V prices, but higher fresh F/V prices compared with small stores and non-chain supermarkets. Researchers found limited price differences across neighborhoods. Although canned vegetables were more expensive in neighborhoods with greater proportions of either Hispanic or Blacks, fresh F/V prices were lower in neighborhoods with higher concentrations of Hispanics.
Impact of the Revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Food Package Policy on Fruit and Vegetable Prices
This article describes the results of a study that examined changes in fruit and vegetable (FV) availability and selection at Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) vendors before and after implementation of the 2009 revised WIC food packages in Illinois. Overall, availability and selection of commonly … More
Evaluating the Impact of a WIC Food Package Revision on Retailer Participation and Fruit/Vegetable Supply Characteristics in Northern Illinois
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will implement a ground-breaking new policy by October 1, 2009 that adds a cash-value voucher for fruits and vegetables to the food packages provided in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (also known as WIC). This provides a rare opportunity to … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … More