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.
Studying facilitators and barriers in coupon redemption for fruits and vegetables by Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children participants
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
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
Studying the impact of combining fiscal incentives and disincentives to improve healthy food purchases by low-income households with children
Using economic modeling, this study seeks to advance nutritional equity by identifying ways to lower economic barriers to healthy eating among low-income households with children. This study will identify mechanisms for directing unhealthy food and beverage tax revenues towards healthy incentives, particularly through existing federally-funded, but local and state-run programs … More