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 than ever. This research brief focuses on how to strengthen WIC’s impact during and after COVID-19. The brief summarizes the evidence of WIC’s benefits and challenges the program and participants are facing due to COVID-19. The brief addresses what actions are needed in addition to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed by Congress, which provided $500 million for 2020 to support increases in WIC enrollment. The brief suggests increasing access to telemedicine, expanding online food package ordering, in addition to steps already taken, including minimum stocking requirements and food package substitutions for added flexibility.
Strengthening WIC’s Impact During and After the COVID‑19 Pandemic
Breastfeeding protects against overweight and obesity, asthma, eczema, and type-II diabetes, and has long-term health benefits for women. The health benefits of breastfeeding are so valuable that in 1981, the World Health Organization established the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (WHO Code) that prohibits marketing infant formula to … More
Effect of a Home-Visiting Intervention to Reduce Early Childhood Obesity Among Native American Children
The objective of this study was to assess the impact of a brief home-visiting approach, Family Spirit Nurture (FSN), on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption, responsive parenting and infant feeding practices, and optimal growth through 12 months post partum. This study was a 1:1 randomized clinical trial comparing FSN with an … More
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