Start Date: February 2020

ID #: 86827

Principal Investigator: Helen Margellos-Anast, MPH

Organization: Sinai Urban Health Institute

Funding Round: HER Round 12

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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. Research is inconclusive about the extent to which FMNP coupons are redeemed, with some evidence that redemption rates are lower in inner-city communities. This project aims to: 1) better understand the program in practice, including documentation of decision-making, and 2) examine facilitators and barriers to coupon redemption among clients of three Chicago-based WIC clinics and their associated nutritional impact on women and children. The study will collect data on a variety of program metrics such as: the number of clients receiving coupons and the percent of coupons redeemed. Facilitators and barriers to coupon redemption will be assessed using interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Changes in healthy food consumption will be estimated between pre- and post-coupon distribution time points, comparing the change in eating patterns between those who used coupons and those who did not receive coupons. The project will culminate in a framework to improve local FMNP implementation. Additionally, the project will inform state and national WIC policies and strategies to improve nutrition among pregnant and post-partum mothers and their children.

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