The WIC Program

Reinvigorating and Reimagining The Pennsylvania WIC Program

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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as the WIC Program, has been a cornerstone in efforts to support the health of mothers and babies – physically, socially and mentally – for 45 years. By providing nutritious supplemental foods, breastfeeding promotion and support, education on healthy eating, and referrals to health care and critical social services, WIC not only helps to assure healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes for women, it also helps to assure healthy growth and development for infants and children up to age five.

WHAMglobal shares common concerns about the declining enrollment and stigma associated with the WIC Program in Pennsylvania. While the WIC Program plays a significant role in maternal and child health outcomes, the USDA estimates that only 60% of WIC-eligible families across the U.S. are participating in the program, and only about one-third of eligible four-year-olds participate. On average, Pennsylvania WIC reaches 49.9% of eligible individuals. Since funding is tied to participation, declining enrollment has meant reductions in federal WIC funding to Pennsylvania.

 

WHAMglobal recently developed a White Paper that explores WIC Program best practices from across the country and the Commonwealth and strategies that can be implemented to support and grow the WIC Program. Please check out the full, downloadable white paper.

 

For more coverage of WHAMglobal’s advocacy for reinvigorating and reimagining Pennsylvania’s WIC Program, check out:

• Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Karen Wolk Feinstein: Help mothers and babies in Pennsylvania

• WESA: WIC Enrollment Is Down, Creating A 'Catch-22'