𝗪𝗜𝗖 𝗡𝗲𝘄𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲𝘀
𝙒𝙄𝘾 𝙁𝙡𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙗𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙚𝙨 𝙐𝙥𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙚: 𝙍𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙩𝙚 𝙎𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙁𝙧𝙪𝙞𝙩 & 𝙑𝙚𝙜𝙜𝙞𝙚 𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙨t
WIC waivers, flexibilities and enhancements related to the COVID-19 pandemic—including remote services and the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) increase—reduced barriers to participation and increased access to healthy food. Recent federal action has addressed these two essential, but temporary WIC flexibilities.
WIC remote services have been extended through at least mid-April 2023. As a result, WIC agencies may continue to enroll and serve participants through virtual appointments. These flexibilities are tied to the federal public health emergency (PHE). Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, guaranteed 60-days’ notice of the expiration of the PHE. Since WIC’s waivers are in place for an additional 90 days after expiration of the PHE, WIC providers will have five-months’ notice between the announcement that the PHE will expire and the end of COVID-related waiver authorities.
As Congress continues to negotiate a government spending bill for federal fiscal year 2023, we remain hopeful that WIC’s temporary CVB fruit and vegetable benefit bump will be extended through September 30, 2023. Temporary CVB amounts are currently set at 50 percent of the recommended intake based on guidance from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, resulting in monthly CVB benefits of $25-49 per month each for eligible mothers and children. The benefit boost has provided WIC families with improved access to nutritious food, leading to increased fruit and vegetable consumption among children enrolled in WIC.
We will continue to monitor action at the federal level and provide updates and policy details by email and on our COVID-19 page.
𝙂𝙚𝙩 𝙊𝙪𝙧 𝙇𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙤𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙈𝙚𝙙𝙞𝙖 𝙏𝙤𝙤𝙡𝙠𝙞𝙩: 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙮 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙨
WIC is not just for moms. Primary caregivers such as grandparents, foster parents, relatives, and fathers can apply for children under 5 in their care. Our new social media toolkit aims to raise awareness of WIC among these groups. The toolkit also provides messaging about the relative ease and simplicity for primary caregivers to use the WIC2Go app, the eWIC card, and how WIC can serve families with busy schedules more conveniently with remote visits. Explore our WIC Primary Caregivers Toolkit to find social media content you can immediately put to use, including sample language in English and Spanish and a large assortment of high-resolution graphics like the images below.
𝙇𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙖 𝙍𝙚𝙬𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘾𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙧? 𝙒𝙚’𝙧𝙚 𝙃𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜!
Hunger Solutions New York is seeking an Outreach Specialist to conduct outreach and education to increase enrollment in WIC among eligible individuals in New York State. If you are interested in joining a team of dedicated professionals working to increase WIC participation in New York State, learn more about this exciting opportunity.
𝙒𝙄𝘾 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝘾𝙤𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙧
Throughout the pandemic, WIC providers quickly adapted to new challenges and changing circumstances, standing up remote services that resolved long-standing barriers to access and resulted in a 10 percent nationwide (13.9 percent for New York State!) increase in child participation.
These flexibilities are tied to the public health emergency declaration, and Congress must act before the end of the year to make these options permanent. In order to #ModernizeWIC, we need the Senate to pass a Child Nutrition Reauthorization that permanently makes WIC more accessible to today’s and tomorrow’s families:
• Extend postpartum WIC eligibility to two years
• Extend child WIC eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten
• Modernize WIC services
Now is the time to strengthen WIC’s critical services to improve the health of the next generation. Our Senators need to hear New Yorkers’ voices to push this over the finish line! Take a two-minute WIC Action at bit.ly/CNRHealth.
𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙉𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙍𝙚𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙨 𝙍𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙-𝙐𝙥
Check out the latest research and resources from our partners around the state and nation.
𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘞𝘐𝘊 𝘈𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘕𝘞𝘈)
In March 2022, ten online focus groups were conducted in North Carolina with WIC participants to elicit their thoughts and experiences about the WIC food package. Key themes from the resulting report, Improving the WIC Experience: Recommendations for a More Valuable Experience, include:
• Many participants felt the current CVB amount for fruits and vegetables was not enough.
• Substitutions and benefit rollovers could help families better meet a child’s shifting eating habits, reduce waste, and combat food shortages.
• COVID-19 flexibilities granted under the public health emergency made it easier for families to enroll and participate in WIC.
We are proud to have our statewide targeted outreach work for WIC and partnership with the NYS Kinship Navigator featured in the Generations United report, Together at the Table: Supporting the Nutrition, Health, and Well-Being of Grandfamilies, the 2022 State of Grandfamilies. With more than 2.4 million grandparents caring for their grandchildren, the report findings reinforce the need to improve access for grandfamilies to federal and state nutrition assistance programs. Some findings include:
• One-in-four grandparent-headed households experience food insecurity.
• More than five percent of WIC-eligible infants and children live in families without parents present; three percent live with a relative caregiver, and two percent with an unrelated caregiver.
𝘍𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘙𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 & 𝘈𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘊𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 (𝘍𝘙𝘈𝘊)
WIC During COVID-19: Participation and Benefit Redemption Since the Onset of the Pandemic, finds:
• From February 2020 through February 2022, NYS experienced a six percent increase in total WIC participation, and 13.9 percent increase in child WIC participation.
• From March 2020 through February 2022, WIC food package benefit redemptions infused $7 billion into local economies nationwide.
• WIC waivers and enhancements during the pandemic simultaneously removed access barriers and increased the value of participating in WIC.
• Despite overall modest growth, WIC is still reaching only about 50 percent of eligible New Yorkers. Lessons learned from the pandemic should be considered for further strengthening of legislative advocacy efforts.
Nutrition in the First 1,000 Days, a new special series in the American Journal of Public Health, identifies the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and the baby’s second birthday as untapped potential and focuses exclusively on this critical time for brain development and when good nutrition has the greatest influence on future health. The 70-page series with more than 15 authors outlines investments needed to achieve nutrition security, new opportunities for pediatricians to better support families in their care with nutrition advice and access, new analysis on the impact of COVID-19 for people who gave birth during the height of the pandemic, how to improve breastfeeding outcomes without leaving anyone behind, and the role of Early Childcare and Education (ECE) settings to strengthen overall support systems for low-income families and influence the healthy growth and development of children.
𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘠𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩 𝘍𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯
Based on their statewide Survey of Food & Health, New York Health Foundation’s new brief, Food Insecurity in Families with Children, explores the impact of food insecurity on families in New York State and outlines recommendations to improve the well-being of food-insecure families with children. Key takeaways include:
• Three-in-four food-insecure households with children cannot afford to feed their children a balanced meal, and approximately half have children who have gone hungry in the last year.
• Nearly 90 percent of WIC participants find the benefits easy to use, and 82 percent agree that their local stores carry enough WIC-approved items.
• The report urges government officials to maximize participation in WIC and other federal nutrition programs through increased outreach and streamlined application and certification processes, and recommends that health care providers implement routine food insecurity screening and referral processes as part of their scope of practice.