National WIC Association

April 27, 2020

NWA Launches COVID-19 Response Fund to Help Families Access WIC

For nearly 50 years, WIC has contributed to healthier pregnancies and improved birth outcomes for low-income women and babies. The program has also led to healthier growth and development for low-income children up to age five.

Currently, WIC is facing unprecedented challenges and our community needs additional support.

WIC participants are struggling to access food.
Stockpiling disproportionately impacts WIC shoppers. Participants can only redeem specific approved items that are tailored to the nutritional needs of pregnancy and healthy child development. Due to stockpiling, many store shelves are without adequate amounts of WIC-approved items.

Many newly eligible families don’t know how to access WIC services.
Rampant misinformation has spread about clinic closings and EBT benefit cancellations. People need to know that, although WIC looks different than it did before this crisis, the program is still operating.

As enrollment numbers surge, WIC agencies are administering the program remotely (or by drive-thru) for the first time in WIC history.
Total WIC participation in California increased by over 34,000 participants from February to March. Agencies are working tirelessly to adapt and provide WIC services to this growing number of eligible families.

NWA has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund to ensure that the WIC community has the proper tools to navigate these challenges.
The Fund will help us reach newly eligible people, support agency staff, and ensure that families across the country receive the help they need. Our goal is to ensure that WIC-eligible pregnant women and families with babies and young children know about the program and are able to participate safely and easily, wherever they are.

The Response Fund will support a number of tools to ensure that newly eligible families and current participants can access WIC benefits and services.

Are you a WIC agency struggling to counter rampant misinformation about the program?

Check out NWA’s COVID-19 Messaging Toolkit. This resource provides agencies with WIC community-driven messaging to provide both current participants and eligible families with accurate, up-to-date information. We encourage you to check the Toolkit often for the latest content!

Want to collaborate with the WIC community during this crisis?

Annual Conference 2020 has gone virtual! This year’s theme is Adapting to Change: Supporting the WIC Community. The Resource Fund will ensure that NWA can provide attendees with an optimal virtual experience.

NWA has also created twelve COVID-19 Response Working Groups with various WIC-related focuses including breastfeeding support, communications and outreach, food package changes, MIS data information management, and online certification. These groups provide a platform for WIC stakeholders to share information and ideas. If you are a WIC service provider and would like to learn more about the Working Groups, please reach out to Georgia Machell at

How is NWA supporting tech implementation in WIC?

Several WIC agencies have expressed a need for an online tool to integrate into their certification processes to allow new WIC applicants and current participants to submit documents in a cyber-secure way. The Response Fund will support a rapid pilot to explore options of cyber-secure document upload tools. After the initial pilot phase of work is complete, NWA will consider pathways for developing additional functionality and explore options for scaling-up access to the tool.

 Support the Fund

If you’d like to support WIC families, please donate today.

Thank you to the supporters of the COVID-19 Response Fund.

Don’t forget that most companies will match your donation! Reach out to your HR Department to learn more.

All donations to the National WIC Association (EIN: 52-1482678) are tax-deductible.

Donations are also accepted by check or wire transfer. Checks can be mailed to National WIC Association, 2001 S Street, NW Suite 580 Washington, DC 20009. For wire transfer information, email D. Pierre Francois at