National WIC Association: Not only is the availability of online shopping options pivotal for saving WIC families time but it also allows access to healthy foods with more ease than ever before.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced proposed changes to allow online transactions in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These changes will create a more simple, convenient, and equitable WIC shopping experience as part of a wider effort to modernize the WIC program. The proposed rule is open for public comment from February 23 to May 24, 2023.
As part of this push for the modernization of WIC, USDA previously announced it would provide WIC state agencies with waivers for physical presence and/or remote benefit issuance for receipt of WIC services.
The following statement is attributed to Dr. Jamila Taylor, President & CEO of the National WIC Association:
“If adopted, this updated rule will create a more equitable model of WIC service delivery. Innovations in the WIC shopping experience are a critical element of modernizing WIC and making WIC resources and services more accessible. Not only is the availability of online shopping options pivotal for saving WIC families time but it also allows access to healthy foods with more ease than ever before.
“Recognizing major shifts in the retail landscape, this proposal meets WIC participants where they are and addresses barriers to food access that are often felt disproportionately by rural and Black and Brown communities. It unleashes a new era of innovation, building on State projects to start online WIC shopping platforms and encouraging a program-wide shift toward modern transaction technologies like mobile payments. These proposed changes open the door to new internet vendors who can meet the specific needs of WIC participants, ideally incorporating features that will simplify and streamline the WIC shopping experience, like filters for WIC-approved items.
“WIC participants deserve accessible and equitable shopping options that reflect changes in their lives, the retail industry, and SNAP program adaptations. USDA's proposal is a major step in the right direction for healthier families across this country. NWA looks forward to commenting on USDA’s specific changes and its continued support of WIC innovations.”
The National WIC Association (NWA) is the nonprofit membership organization for State and local providers of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). NWA is the go-to voice of and for WIC staff at more than 12,000 WIC locations across the country who work to support more than 6.2 million mothers and young children. For over three decades, NWA has worked to build broad, bipartisan consensus for WIC’s programmatic goals and public health mission. NWA provides member-driven advocacy; education, guidance, and support to WIC staff; and drive innovation to strengthen WIC as we work toward a nation of healthier women, children, and their families. Learn more at www.nwica.org.