National WIC Association

WIC Voices Ring Loud and Clear

November 26, 2013
Categories: Nutrition Education WIC Outcomes

On day one of the federal government shutdown media networks across the country got wind that WIC clinics across the nation may have to close their doors. It quickly became the most intriguing human interest story to come out of that political fiasco.

Reporters were eager to emphasize numbers and statistics—how many state programs would close? How many thousands will be affected?

Stories began appearing about the devastating effect the shutdown could have on the nearly 9 million mothers and young children participating in WIC.

But, could audiences really visualize the effects? Did they know that WIC means more to families than just vouchers or food instruments? Besides, when was the last time you could visualize 9 million, of well, anything?

Statistics and large numbers can add shock value, but rarely evoke our emotions and easily fade from memory. What do stick in one’s mind are the faces and stories of WIC families and their compelling truths

  • Why people—just like you and me—found themselves turning to WIC.
  • How nutrition education changed their perspective on healthy food forever.
  • How they decided to breastfeed based on one WIC peer counselor’s encouragement.
  • How WIC helped change their lives.

Voices Start to Ring Out

As word rapidly spread that WIC may shut down, past and current WIC participants stepped up to contribute their voices to the nation’s airwaves. Their compelling narratives helped paint a picture of how WIC makes a difference to families around the country.

A call on our Facebook page for participants willing to speak to the media yielded grateful responses:

  • “I love my local WIC program. They help and support me with breastfeeding; they are the reason I chose to breastfeed in the first place! I would be more than willing help keep WIC running in any small (or large) way!”
  •  “I would love to participate. If it weren't for WIC, I don't know how I'd be able to afford food for my infant daughter.”
  •  “I would love to speak on behalf of WIC and what a lactation consultant has done for me! Without this program I wouldn't be where I am. Thank you for allowing me to speak on the behalf of many women out there who benefit from this program”

Hearing and Seeing WIC Families

We connected many participants with reporters, but we also started collecting on-camera interviews which we’ll be sharing in the weeks to come.

Today, we feature Christine, Wayne, and their two daughters. Their understanding and appreciation of the program’s mission are remarkable. Here’s one story of the nearly 9 million women, infants and children served by WIC:

Are you currently using WIC services or have you used WIC services in the past? Would you be willing to share your story in a short video clip? We’d love to hear it! Please email for details.