National WIC Association

NWA & WIC Opportunities, Information, and Resources

October 4, 2021


COMING SOON: Building and implementing client-centered technology to achieve WIC’s program mission – FREE pre-conference workshop for NWA Technology Conference attendees

Facilitated by civic tech leaders Nava and Code for America, this 4-hour interactive workshop will focus on growing attendee knowledge and skills for building client-centered technology in the WIC program. Attendees will learn about the principles of human-centered technology, practice implementing those principles through activities, and develop components of a technology project plan to use in future grant/project applications. Topics covered include 1) moving from a requirements-driven technology framework to a people-centered technology framework, 2) goal setting and using technology as a tool for achieving program goals, 3) components of modern software development, including modular technology architecture to prevent vendor lock-in and avoid creating brittle monolithic systems that are expensive to update, starting small and learning and adapting as you go, rapid and iterative cycles of implementation (agile development), and building and implementing technology in partnership with clients and staff (human-centered design),  4) project management and procurement structures that promote human-centered technology development and implementation, and 5) measuring success.

Workshop attendees are asked to come to the workshop with a WIC client or staff challenge that they are interested in solving with technology that they will workshop with other conference attendees and Nava and Code for America staff throughout the session.

Speakers include:

  • Martelle Esposito, MS, MPH, Senior Program Strategist at Nava
  • Eleanor Davis, MPH, Associate Director of Insight and Impact at Code for America
  • Sasha Reid, Senior Software Engineer at Nava
  • Mandy Brown, Senior Product Manager at Nava
  • Genevieve Gaudet, MPH Design Director for Research and Development at Nava
  • Simone Sequeira, Lead Product Manager at Code for America

Event Details:

Date: October 4, 2021.

Time: 1:00 - 5:00 pm ET.

Cost: This FREE pre-conference interactive workshop is only available for individuals who are registered for the Virtual 2021 Biennial WIC Technology, Program Integrity and Vendor Management Education and Networking Conference.

Note: Spaces will be limited and you must register ahead of time. Registration will open within the next week. NWA will send an Association Update when registration opens.


CVB Messaging Toolkit for WIC Community and Partners

NWA has created a social media messaging toolkit on the temporary increase to the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). We encourage WIC agencies and partners to share all content within the toolkit through their communication channels.

The toolkit includes:

  • Press release template explaining the CVB.
  • Plain language for emails and text messaging on what the increase will mean for WIC families.
  • Promotional graphics that inform WIC participants on what the CVB increase means for them. 
  • Promotional graphics translated into Spanish, Burmese, French Creole, and Traditional Chinese.

Please share with your networks. We want to highlight this historic investment in the WIC food package and make sure participants utilize this incredible benefit!

Find all resources on the NWA website, and please share with colleagues, partners, participants, and friends.


State-By-State Data Impact of WIC's Cash Value Benefit (CVB) Increase

If WIC's Cash Value Benefit (CVB) is included in the Continuing Resolution, participants will continue receiving enhanced benefits for veggies and fruits for another year. Check out the most recent participant data from FNS and see just how impactful an extended CVB increase will be for participants.

Click here to read the State-By-State Breakdown of WIC's Cash Value Benefit Increase.


Opportunity to Get Technical Assistance with the WIC Developmental Monitoring Project

Apply by October 15, 2021 to receive technical assistance in implementing "Learn The Signs. Act Early." in WIC. Access the short application now.

The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) has been awarded funding for Year 4 of the WIC Developmental Monitoring Project from CDC. With this funding, ASPHN will expand the number of state WIC programs it works with to promote developmental milestone monitoring within the WIC program. 

Selected state WIC programs will:

  • Learn more about virtual options for promoting developmental monitoring,
  • Help test and provide feedback on these options,
  • Receive technical assistance from ASPHN and CDC about LTSAE in WIC, and
  • Connect with 19 other states that are doing similar work. 

Contact Amber Brown at amberbrown@asphn.org for more information.


Submit your WIC Recipe for NWA's #TastyTuesday on Instagram

NWA's Communication team has recently launched a new campaign on Instagram, #TastyTuesday. Each week, we will be posting different recipes that use foods from the WIC food package innovatively or creatively. If you would like your recipe to be featured, please send the recipe and a picture to comms@nwica.org.


Follow NWA on TikTok

The National WIC Association has recently launched our TikTok page, @natwicassoc! Like our other platforms, we will use TikTok to engage and introduce Generation Z to the WIC program, mobilize around WIC-specific legislation in Congress, and combat any disinformation about the WIC program on the app. We would also like to highlight the innovation that is happening at WIC agencies across the country. As we work to get the app off the ground, we will have occasional calls for content, so stay tuned for more information soon!


Help NWA Highlight the Impact of the Increased CVB – August Data

To monitor the ongoing impact of the increase to CVB, NWA will be sharing a monthly survey for state and local WIC agencies to share real-time data and stories that illustrate the CVB increase's impact. We hope to use some of the data to inform several case studies and advocacy materials. Over 100 members shared data from June. Here is a link to the survey where state and local agencies can share data and testimonials from August.

If you cannot answer all the questions, it is not a problem; just complete as much as you can. Conversely, if you have additional data that is not captured through the survey questions but you think is helpful for NWA to know about, we have included space to share other data of interest. If we have questions, will follow up with you directly.

Thank you for all you are doing during this exciting time to increase equitable access to vegetables and fruits. Thank you in advance for sharing your data and your stories to do all we can to advocate for continued increases of this critical benefit. If you have any questions, please reach out to Georgia Machell at gmachell@nwica.org.

Take the Survey Here


NWA Reflects on an Inspiring National Breastfeeding Month With Blogs & Video

All August, we have been celebrating the benefits of breastfeeding for WIC families. As the month comes to a close, check out these blog posts and a video below about the importance of breastfeeding to the WIC community.


Engaging Dads in WIC Toolkit

Engaged Dads have a powerfully positive impact on the health outcomes for their children. We are proud to share two products developed by the NWA Inclusion of Dads Task force. The tools are intended to be used at the WIC clinic setting to influence our perception, acceptance, and normalizing of dads participation in the WIC experience. Our hope is that you review these materials as a team and are inspired. This resource includes:

We appreciate your focus and intention on including Dads in the WIC experience! If you have questions, please contact the Task Force Chair, Todd Mountin, at Todd.Mountin@DOH.WA.GOV.

Download the toolkit.

View the toolkit on the WIC Hub.


Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with #BreastfeedingIs Campaign and Toolkit

August 1st marks the beginning of National Breastfeeding Month, celebrating the benefits of breastfeeding for families in the U.S. and worldwide. All month long, we’ll be highlighting breastfeeding in different communities and how we can build a landscape of breastfeeding support. Join us for this celebration by posting a selfie or a video on social media that explains what breastfeeding means to you using the #BreastfeedingIs hashtag. Go to Celebrate August Breastfeeding Month to learn more.

Additionally, NWA's Communications Team has prepared a toolkit to celebrate and honor National Breastfeeding Month for WIC agencies and clinics to post on their social media channels. We look forward to a month full of great dialogue and celebration in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.

Download the Toolkit here.


Help NWA Highlight the Impact of the Increased CVB – July Data

To monitor the ongoing impact of the increase to CVB, NWA will be sharing a monthly survey for state and local WIC agencies to share real-time data and stories that illustrate the CVB increase's impact. We hope to use some of the data to inform several case studies and advocacy materials. Over 100 members shared data from June. Here is a link to the survey where state and local agencies can share data and testimonials from July.

If you cannot answer all the questions, it is not a problem; just complete as much as you can. Conversely, if you have additional data that is not captured through the survey questions but you think is helpful for NWA to know about, we have included space to share other data of interest. If we have questions, will follow up with you directly.

Thank you for all you are doing during this exciting time to increase equitable access to vegetables and fruits. Thank you in advance for sharing your data and your stories to do all we can to advocate for continued increases of this critical benefit. If you have any questions, please reach out to Georgia Machell at gmachell@nwica.org.

Take the Survey Here


NWA's 17th Leadership Academy Cohort Starts November 14th, 2021 - Registration is Now Open!

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills and connecting with your peers across the country? No matter where you work in WIC, honing leadership skills is invaluable for personal and professional growth.

NWA offers a customized online learning experience for building tomorrow’s WIC leaders today. Discover your leadership potential. Develop your portfolio with relevant and realistic projects, and use discussion questions to stretch your skills. Dialogue and solve problems with peers nationwide while working in a flexible space.

Learn More or Register Here.

Download the Cohort 17 Calendar Here.


Order the 2022 NWA Calendar Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our lives off-balance. As we reset daily routines, creativity and flexibility are key. The NWA 2022 WIC Calendar focuses on ways your participants and their families can restore balance in their lives. To view a sample of the wall calendar and access order information, click here.


New Online Toolkit for Assessing WIC Certification Practices

A new resource is available to help state, and local WIC agencies assess their certification practices to make it easier for families to apply for WIC and continue receiving services for as long as they are eligible. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities compiled ideas and examples gathered from WIC agencies across the country into an online toolkit for "Assessing Your WIC Certification Practices." The toolkit has seven topic areas, each with a set of questions, descriptions of approaches, and examples. While this is not a comprehensive source of all certification practices, the toolkit aims to share ideas and innovations related to certification, coordination, and outreach. The toolkit and many of the examples in it are available on the WIC Hub. WIC agencies are encouraged to submit additional examples of certification practices and tools using a contact form available in the toolkit to maximize the toolkit's usefulness. New examples will be added to the toolkit and the Hub as they become available.

The toolkit is available on The WIC Hub or here on the CBPP website.


Request for Information: Advancing Racial Justice and Equity and Support for Underserved Communities at USDA

USDA seeks comments from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. USDA seeks input to identify barriers that racial, ethnic, and sexual/gender minorities may face in getting information from USDA. The deadline is July 15. Click here to learn more.


New Report Examines WIC Participation During Pandemic

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just released a new report, Eligible Low-Income Children Missing Out on Crucial WIC Benefits During Pandemic, and interactive data illustrations. Key findings include:

  • WIC participation increased by only 2 percent overall between February 2020 and February 2021, with the change varying widely across states, ranging from a 20 percent increase to a 21 percent decrease.
  • WIC participation increased by 5 percent for infants and children under 5 over this period, with the change across states ranging from a 25 percent increase to a 22 percent decrease.
  • WIC participation by children under 5 grew more slowly than Medicaid enrollment of children and appears to have grown more slowly than SNAP participation by children.

Together, state WIC, Medicaid, and SNAP leaders can use the more nuanced state data available to them to assess the extent to which WIC is reaching eligible families, take steps to enroll more of them, and measure progress over time.


Learn How Targeted Text Messaging Outreach Can Increase WIC Enrollment

Targeted text messaging offers a promising option for reaching more families eligible for WIC, as several recent pilot programs have shown it may help increase awareness about and enrollment in the program. Benefits Data Trust and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently published a guide to using targeted text messaging as an outreach tool, “Targeted Text Message Outreach Can Increase WIC Enrollment, Pilots Show,” which covers:

  • The effectiveness of text message outreach to families who are adjunctively eligible at reaching families, engaging them, and enrolling them in WIC;
  • How texting outreach compares to mail and telephone outreach; and 
  • Key considerations when developing and launching a new targeted text outreach campaign.

This guide is a companion to a guide that focuses on conducting data matching to identify WIC-eligible families that are not enrolled and draws on an earlier report on the pilot projects.

Please contact Zoë Neuberger at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (neuberger@cbpp.org) or Jess Maneely at Benefits Data Trust (JManeely@bdtrust.org) for more information.


The More We Share, the More We Learn: This New Tool Helps You Share Examples from the Field

WIC agencies are creative and innovative. We can learn so much from one another! This WIC Field Notes tool was designed in consultation with NWA’s Evaluation Committee to collect examples of innovative projects and program changes from state and local WIC agencies and share lessons learned.

In the WIC Field Notes tool, you can share information about a project or program change by submitting a written overview, video, or audio file. We will reach out to you to collect any additional information before sharing on the WIC Hub. We hope to build a collection of examples from the field that inspire others and highlight innovative work happening in WIC across the country. We also recommend State Directors use this tool to highlight local agencies who have conducted innovative projects and implemented effective program changes.

NWA knows there is an appetite for learning from across our membership and that the more we share, the more we learn. Please reach out to Georgia Machell gmachell@nwica.org if you have any questions.