WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2022 – The U.S. Division of Agriculture acknowledges main progress and promise in a number of modernization and innovation efforts for the Particular Supplemental Vitamin Program for Girls, Infants, and Youngsters, often called WIC. Efforts embody the award of almost $53 million throughout three main grants funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Mixed, these investments will assist WIC attain extra eligible moms and younger youngsters and enhance the service they obtain all through their complete expertise with this system, setting them up for wholesome outcomes and serving to to scale back longstanding disparities in maternal and little one well being.
“WIC is an extremely highly effective public well being program, with robust, confirmed advantages for contributors, so we’ve acquired to do all we are able to to attach eligible moms, infants, and kids to this system and supply them with a optimistic, significant expertise,” stated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These grants construct on the USDA’s intensive efforts to strengthen the WIC program, make it simpler and extra handy for contributors, and use knowledge and suggestions from stakeholders to satisfy our dedication to serve them properly.”
USDA’s Meals and Vitamin Service, or FNS, awarded the next grants with the aim of bettering outreach and program expertise for contributors:
- Neighborhood Innovation and Outreach Cooperative Settlement: FNS awarded $20 million to the Meals Analysis & Motion Middle (FRAC) for progressive outreach to current and potential WIC contributors. FRAC will present funds to WIC state and native companies, neighborhood organizations, and different nonprofits to make use of community-level knowledge to check new methods of delivering WIC messaging and conducting outreach. The grant may also increase partnerships with community-based organizations to attach underserved populations with WIC.
- Expertise for a Higher WIC Expertise: Communications, Knowledge, and Metrics Grants: FNS awarded greater than $23 million to 66 WIC state companies to enhance know-how and repair supply in WIC. Initiatives embody leveraging textual content messaging, cell phone assist, appointment scheduling instruments, plain language and restricted English proficiency assist, and extra.
- WIC Purchasing Expertise Enchancment Grants: FNS awarded about $10 million in grants to 19 WIC state companies to enhance the buying expertise by modernizing in-store buying – responding to suggestions from WIC contributors – and dealing towards on-line buying. Initiatives embody efforts to assist contributors determine WIC-eligible meals within the grocery retailer, plan for and take a look at on-line buying with WIC advantages, and practice grocery retailer employees to supply higher service to WIC contributors.
FNS additionally lately entered right into a contract for the event and implementation of a daring, trendy and strategic nationwide outreach marketing campaign to extend enrollment and retention in WIC, whereas decreasing disparities in program entry and supply.
Participation in WIC is essential to bettering vitamin safety and advancing fairness for underserved teams, together with folks of coloration, tribal populations, immigrants, and rural communities. WIC has a protracted historical past of bettering well being outcomes for kids in addition to longer-term cognitive growth and tutorial achievement. But, fewer than three out of 5 who’re eligible for this system are enrolled, and whereas participation charges are excessive amongst infants, they drop considerably as youngsters become older. FNS is dedicated to modernizing and innovating the WIC program to maximise its affect all through the complete interval of eligibility. To study extra about WIC modernization and innovation initiatives, go to the WIC Modernization & Innovation webpage.
USDA’s Meals and Vitamin Service works to finish starvation and enhance meals and vitamin safety by a set of greater than 15 vitamin help applications, equivalent to the college breakfast and lunch applications, WIC and SNAP. Collectively, these applications serve one in 4 People over the course of a yr, selling constant and equitable entry to wholesome, secure, and reasonably priced meals important to optimum well being and properly being. FNS additionally offers science-based vitamin suggestions by the co-development of the Dietary Pointers for People. FNS’s report, “Leveraging the White Home Convention to Promote and Elevate Vitamin Safety: The Position of the USDA Meals and Vitamin Service,” highlights methods the company will assist the Biden-Harris Administration’s Nationwide Technique, launched together with the historic White Home Convention on Starvation, Vitamin, and Well being in September 2022. To study extra about FNS, go to www.fns.usda.gov and comply with @USDANutrition.
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