The Effects of Changes in WIC Food Packages on Redemptions

Report | January 12, 2012

Wisconsin participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) showed a generally positive response to the revised WIC food package, this study found.

The vast majority of WIC participants used some or all of their food instruments 18 months after the food package changes were implemented, and most participants purchased all of the prescribed foods.

More than three-quarters of WIC participants used their cash value vouchers for fruits and vegetables (CVVs). However, the percentage of WIC participants making full purchases with their traditional food instruments decreased compared to baseline.

While many of the measures demonstrate a high level of acceptance, there was an increase from baseline in the proportion of participants who did not use any food instruments (almost 5 percentage points). The decreases were disproportionate among some WIC subpopulations.

This change was seen across participant categories and racial and ethnic groups, but appears to impact non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native participants the most.

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