Published: March 2021

Journal: Int J Environ Res Public Health

Authors: Landry MJ, Phan K, McGuirt JT, et al.

See more related research

Share


The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, is associated with improved healthy food and beverage access due to its requirement for minimum stock of healthy foods and beverages in WIC-eligible stores. The selection and authorization criteria used to authorize WIC vendors varies widely from state to state with little known about the specific variations. This paper reviews and summarizes the differences across 16 of these criteria enacted by 89 WIC administrative agencies: the 50 states, the District of Columbia, five US Territories, and 33 Indian Tribal Organizations. Vendor selection and authorization criteria varied across WIC agencies without any consistent pattern. The wide variations in criteria and policies raise questions about the rational for inconsistency. Some of these variations, in combination, may result in reduced access to WIC-approved foods and beverages by WIC participants. For example, minimum square footage and/or number of cash register criteria may limit vendors to larger retail operations that are not typically located in high-risk, under-resourced communities where WIC vendors are most needed. Results highlight an opportunity to convene WIC stakeholders to review variations, their rationale, and implications thereof especially as this process could result in improved policies to ensure and improve healthy food and beverage access by WIC participants.

Related Research

July 2022

The Effect of Pandemic EBT on Food Hardship and Family Well-being

Pandemic EBT is a new program, operating since March 2020, that provides children who receive free or reduced-price meals with a voucher to purchase groceries for an amount equal to the value of school meals missed due to pandemic-related school closures. This program is being considered as a model for future nutritional assistance programs. Although More

July 2022

COVID-19 relief measures and food insecurity among low-wage worker families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, record numbers of households, including nearly 14 million children, reported not having enough to eat. In response, the federal government enacted a set of far-reaching relief measures, expanding both USDA nutrition assistance programs as well as other economic safety net measures. Within a sample of low-wage workers with children, this research More

July 2022

SNAP Purchasing Power and Food Insecurity During the Pandemic

Food price inflation is an adverse outcome of COVID-19 that makes nutrition security more difficult for low-income families with children. School closures and pandemic-related assistance programs placed additional strains on the retail food system, which may have further amplified inflationary pressure on the cost of foods needed to support a healthy diet. The goal of More