National WIC Association

February 10, 2022

National WIC Association Spotlights Benefits Increase, Remote Services in 2022 State of WIC Report

On Thursday, the National WIC Association released a new report, The State of WIC: Investing in the Next GenerationThis 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:

  • WIC remains a strong investment. Every dollar invested in WIC services returns $2.48 in healthcare, education, and productivity savings. Consistent evidence validates WIC’s role in reducing the risk of adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes, including preterm birth, low birthweight, and infant mortality. WIC’s nutrition supports are critical at increasing breastfeeding rates, improving dietary quality and variety for children, and reducing childhood obesity among WIC-enrolled toddlers.
  • WIC remains popular with the general public. In September 2021, McLaughlin & Associates/ALG Research conducted a nationwide poll on behalf of the National WIC Association and Alliance to End Hunger. The poll identified 83 percent support from likely voters for WIC services, with 76 percent of likely voters in favor of additional federal investment to increase the value of the WIC benefit and extend postpartum eligibility. Consistent with past surveys, support for WIC crosses party and ideological lines.
  • The WIC benefit bump improves access and consumption of fruits and vegetables. Based on a sample of 29 State WIC Agencies, enhanced benefit issuance resulted in more than triple the amount of WIC fruit and vegetable purchases. The National WIC Association and Nutrition Policy Institute surveyed 10,000 WIC participants in 2021 to assess the impacts of the WIC benefit bump, finding that children recorded an average increase of ¼ cups per day in fruit and vegetable consumption.
  • WIC flexibilities during COVID-19 increased child participation and are popular with participants. Remote WIC services removed persistent barriers to access, resulting in a 10 percent increase in child participation during the first year of the pandemic. WIC providers are adapting to provide modern options in both clinic services and the shopping experience, mirroring industry practices in healthcare and retail settings. After the pandemic, WIC can sustain remote services by coordinating more closely with physicians to reduce duplicative tests and in-person appointments. In a survey of 26,000 WIC participants, 60 percent found it easier to use measurements from a recent doctor’s visit and 65 percent expressed a preference for online ordering options.


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