This will be the first systematic study to quantify on a national scale how the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package changes, which were made in 2009 and finalized in 2014, relate to packaged food purchases (PFP) before and after these changes were made. The changes were intended to provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food options, promote healthier diets, and provide states greater flexibility to accommodate cultural food preferences of WIC participants since the new policy allows states discretion in the list of authorized foods. The aims of this study are to: 1) describe changes in the nutritional profile of PFP among WIC-participating vs. non-participating income-eligible households with any child ages 1 to 4, and 2) determine if state patterns in WIC package options improved the PFP nutritional profiles by WIC households across states belonging to different WIC package patterns. This will be a natural experiment with pre-post design, using similar socioeconomic but non-WIC participating households in the control group. Nutritional profiles of PFP will be measured by key nutrients, percent of calories from key food groups, percent of calories by convenience level, and percent of calories from processing level. Study findings may be used to identify WIC policy options that work to improve the nutritional outcomes among WIC recipients.
Studying the Nutritional Profile of Packaged Food Purchases under the Revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) required major revisions to food packages in 2009. This study examines associations between WIC revisions and nutritional profiles of packaged food purchases from 2008 to 2014 among 4,537 low-income households with preschoolers in the U.S. using Nielsen Homescan Consumer … More
Farm-to-School Education Grants Reach Low-Income Children and Encourage Them to Learn About Fruits and Vegetables
For children from low-income families, school meals are a significant portion of daily caloric intake and hence an opportunity to address food insecurity. Many states have pursued legislation to institutionalize programs such as farm to school that aim to improve the quality of school meals and acceptance of healthy foods … 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