Say Hello to WIC
WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. This federal nutrition program connects eligible individuals to critical nutrition resources and support. This includes healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and healthcare referrals for children up to 5 years old, infants, and pregnant and postpartum individuals from households with low incomes.
Despite the demonstrated benefits of WIC, too few eligible people participate. In 2020, only about 50 percent of WIC-eligible women, infants, and children participated in the Program, equating to a shortfall of almost 6 million additional people.
The WIC Community Innovation and Outreach (WIC CIAO) Project wants to change that by identifying innovative outreach strategies to increase WIC awareness, participation, and benefit redemption, and to reduce disparities in WIC Program delivery.
The WIC CIAO Project is funded by a $44 million grant to the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to create this five-year initiative to help increase WIC participation. Through a partnership between FRAC, UnidosUS, the Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF), and the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN), the WIC CIAO Project will support WIC State agencies, which could be either a geographic State agency, a territory, or an Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) that administers the Program; local agencies; and nonprofit entities and organizations in developing and implementing innovative outreach strategies to increase WIC participation and retention, with a focus on underserved populations.
Especially among underserved populations, about available WIC benefits and services.
By identifying tools, communication strategies, and outreach methods effective in increasing participation among those eligible, but not using WIC.
Of eligible individuals and among those enrolled and actively participating in WIC.