Supporting Public Health Nutrition Services for the Nation’s Nutritionally At-Risk Families and Children

We offer an extensive history of providing assessment, technical assistance, and evaluation services for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). As a nationally recognized leader in strengthening food assistance and nutrition programs, Altarum has conducted dozens of WIC studies, assessments, and technical assistance projects for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA Economic Research Service, and state and local WIC programs.

Decades of Real World WIC Expertise

Through a combination of hands-on experience directing and managing state and local WIC programs, we have assembled a team with extensive WIC expertise. Altarum understands WIC operational intricacies, policy issues, and implementation strategies for nutrition promotion, which allows us to identify specific challenges, issues, and priorities that impact WIC service delivery and tailor solutions to improve programming.

WIC Services offered by Altarum’s Center for Food Assistance and Nutrition

  • Formative research and strategic planning
  • Analysis of program operations
  • Program evaluation methodologies
  • Participant-centered services
  • Staff development training workshops


The WIC Participant-Centered Services Model

  • Assessment and planning: Altarum has conducted assessments and training in more than 30 WIC state agencies in multiple USDA FNS Regions. Utilizing the PCS model and assessment findings, Altarum has worked with many state and local leaders to create strategic plans addressing strengths and challenges for enhancing services through implementation of the PCS delivery model.
  • Communication skills training: The PCS model features a communication approach that is interactive, supportive, and motivational, focusing on the individual’s strengths, capabilities, and inner motivation for personal improvement. Altarum trains staff on the participant-centered communication skills necessary to promote the adoption of positive nutrition and health-related behaviors by WIC participants. Altarum works with state and local leadership to integrate and model this communication approach in all interactions with staff and stakeholders.
  • Leadership and Mentoring: A strong mentoring program supports ongoing progress and development of WIC staff. Altarum has extensive experience creating sustainable systems that incorporate the spirit and style of PCS into every aspect of WIC service delivery.


For further information about Altarum Institute’s food assistance and nutrition programs, please contact:

Loren Bell
Senior Fellow
Center for Food and Nutrition

Linnea Sallack, MPH, RD
Center for Food and Nutrition

Stacy Gleason, MPH
Deputy Director
Center for Food and Nutrition


Altarum WIC Studies and Projects

  • 2016-2018, WIC Breastfeeding Curricula and Training
  • 2015-2017, Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children
  • 2014-2017, Price Variability Across WIC Foods
  • 2014-2017, WIC Data Collection
  • 2013-2016, WIC Vendor Risk Reduction Study
  • 2012-2017, WIC Nutrition Education Study
  • 2012-2015, WIC NSA Cost Study
  • 2011-2020, Feeding My Baby-A National WIC Study of Infant and Toddler Feeding Practices
  • 2011-2016, WIC Vendor Management Study and EBT Option Study
  • 2011-2014, National Worksite Breastfeeding Support
  • 2011-2014, A Study to Enhance American Indian Access to the Revised WIC Food Package
  • 2011-2014, Transition to Online EBT in WIC: Review of Impact and Examination of Participant Redemption Patterns
  • 2011-2014, Mid-Atlantic Region WIC Customer Service Assessment
  • 2011, Effects of the Revised WIC Food Packages on Redemptions
  • 2011, Evaluation of the Impact of the New WIC Food Package Changes on Small Stores
  • 2010 and Ongoing, Participant-Centered Services Assessment, Planning, and Training in states in the Western, Midwest, and Mountain Plains Regions
  • 2006-2010, Western Region Participant-Centered Nutrition Education Project
  • 2007, Development of Local Agency Funding Formulas for Arizona and Virginia
  • 2006, Impact of Medicaid Managed Care on WIC Program Coordination
  • 2005, WIC Vendor Management Study
  • 2004, Evaluating the Impact of Local WIC Nutrition Education Interventions on Participant Food Purchasing Patterns
  • 1998, WIC Vendor Management Study
  • 1995, Adolescent WIC Participant Study



Project Leader

Stacy Gleason Portrait

Stacy Gleason

Deputy Director, Center for Food and Nutrition


Subject Matter Experts