The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues
The mission of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children through age 4 who are at nutritional risk. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, nutrition education, and referrals to health care and other social services. Almost half of all infants and about a quarter of all children ages 1-4 in the U.S. participate in the program. WIC accounts for 10% of total Federal spending on food and nutrition assistance. This report describes the WIC program ¿ how it works, its history, program trends, and the characteristics of the population it serves. It also examines current issues facing WIC, focusing mainly on those with important economic implications.
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185 percent Accounting Ofﬁce Background beneﬁts birth outcomes breastfed breastfeeding promotion breastfeeding rates breastfeeding women certiﬁcation Consumer Price Index dietary Economic Issues Edition Effectiveness of WIC’s expenditures Federal poverty guidelines ﬁg ﬁrst FMNP food and nutrition food prices Food Stamp Program fruits and vegetables fully breastfeeding income eligibility Infant Formula Costs infant formula rebates infant/mother pair inﬂation Institute of Medicine interim ﬁnal rule legislation Medicaid million months non-WIC NSA funds NSA grants number of WIC nutrition assistance programs Nutrition Program Nutrition Service obesity overweight participant category participate in WIC percent of poverty postpartum women pregnant and breastfeeding pregnant women purchase reﬂect retail markup revised food packages selection bias signiﬁcant speciﬁc tofu Trends U.S. General Accounting USDA vouchers whole-grain wholesale price WIC agencies WIC food packages WIC infants WIC participants WIC Program WIC State agencies WIC vendors WIC-only stores WIC’s impact WIC’s nutrition education