On Thursday, the National WIC Association released a new report, The State of WIC: Investing in the Next Generation. This second annual edition of the State of WIC report, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, outlines the landscape of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during the past year, including the impact of the WIC benefit bump, remote WIC services, and the shift toward online shopping options. This year’s spotlight equity chapter elevates the intersection of environmental justice and health outcomes for WIC families. The report is available on the WIC Hub, a centralized collection of resources covering a wide range of WIC-related topics.
Brian Dittmeier, Senior Director of Public Policy at the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:
“WIC must build a bridge to the next generation, swiftly incorporating lessons learned during COVID-19 to connect eligible families with more robust WIC support. Participant-centered reforms like the WIC benefit bump and remote WIC appointments upended longstanding trends in one of the most significant strides to improve nutrition security during the pandemic. Over the past year, WIC enhanced the purchasing power of 4.7 million WIC participants, issuing over $1 billion in additional fruit and vegetable benefits, and streamlined access to nutrition services to ensure that even more children get a healthy start. This State of WIC report demonstrates how new investments and science-based program reforms can leverage WIC’s effective nutrition intervention to address the nation’s most pressing public health challenges, including maternal health disparities and healthcare costs associated with chronic diet-related conditions like obesity and diabetes. With clear results validating WIC flexibilities implemented during the pandemic, now is the time to double down on WIC’s demonstrated success to deliver on the potential and promise of a healthier next generation.”
This coming year, policymakers can consider long-term reforms to WIC through annual appropriations, Child Nutrition Reauthorization, and USDA rulemaking to revise the WIC food packages and vendor regulations to allow for online shopping. Key findings within this year’s State of WIC report include:
The National WIC Association (NWA) is the non-profit voice of the 12,000 public health nutrition service provider agencies and the over 6.2 million mothers, babies, and young children served by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). NWA provides education, guidance, and support to WIC staff and drives innovation and advocacy to strengthen WIC as we work toward a nation of healthier families. For more information, visit www.nwica.org