WIC

Info related to Women, Infants, and Children act.

Corner Stores Stock Healthier Foods After Aid Program Changes

March 20, 2012 in News

U.S. News & World Report, Health Day. March 20, 2012.

Changes to the WIC program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) have prompted corner stores to stock healthier foods, at least in the two low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods included in this study. Program participants are now given vouchers to pay for healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods, tofu, and reduced-fat milk. 

“According to the study, the change prompted the corner and convenience stores in the neighborhoods to carry vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, reduced-fat milk and other healthyfood products.

The researchers also found that the changes to the program increased the availability of nutritious foods without increased cost to families or the government.”

“Even stores that did not participate in WIC began to stock healthier food items, the study found.”

 

The Multnomah County Healthy Retail Initiative and the Village Market: A Closer Look

November 17, 2011 in News

November 17, 2011, Blue Oregon

A detailed update on two Healthy Retail Programs in Multnomah County, Oregon (Portland Area), both launched in 2011.  Multnomah County’s Healthy Retail Initiative has 20 stores in the program, each receiving $4,500 in funding for store improvements.  The program takes a comprehensive approach, as described by program manager Rachel Banks: “The initial element is in regards to social marketing, with the County providing free materials to retailers that stock a minimum amount of healthy food items. These include the door signs and shelf talkers, which have the graphic of the apple saying ‘Healthy Options Here.’ The purpose of this element, of course, is to let people know that the store is committed to offering an expanded selection of healthy objects and that they are headed in the right direction. Another element is providing technical assistance, including such aspects that the store may not have previously been familiar with- for example, the correct handling of produce. A variety of trainings to partner retailers are being provided in response to the needs identified by the retailers, including proper food labeling and getting stores certified to accept WIC [the federal Women, Infants, and Children program.] Whole Foods has been an invaluable partner when it comes to helping provide these trainings. And the final element is creating and developing community involvement around the Healthy Retail Initiative, relying on the community served by these stores to help get the word out through the County’s website, collecting stories, and having the community conduct an evaluation of these stores.”

The Village Market is another new Healthy Retail program operating a not-for-profit store with the city’s housing authority and a local social service agency, Janus Youth.  Open since June, 2011, the program has economic development benefits as well as health, employing 15 people. The manager states while great strides have been made, a lot of work still needs to happen, including developing a marketing plan and outreach to vendors that carry ethnic foods.

 

National Agricultural Library WIC Learning Center: Food Packages Page

November 15, 2011 in Tools

This site provides numerous educational and publicity resources for staff involved in implementing the WIC package changes.

Minnesota Department of Health: WIC Program Information for Grocery Stores & Pharmacies

November 15, 2011 in Tools

This website includes extensive information about recent changes to WIC and implications for retailers. Numerous resources for retailers include posters, shelf labels, shelf talkers, a cashier checklist, a retailer fact sheet and UPC codes for both ineligible and eligible foods. A new WIC shopping guide is available as a pdf in both English and Spanish. Information includes Minnesota-specific resources as well as more general resources that will be useful in any state.

California WIC Association: WIC Connect page

November 15, 2011 in Reports

WIConnect is a campaign designed to implement the WIC food package changes in a strategic and coordinated fashion in California. The site includes handouts and resources that may be useful to people in other states.

Impact of the Revised WIC Food Package on Small WIC Vendors: Insight from a Four-State Evaluation

March 25, 2011 in Reports

March 25, 2011, Altarum Institute. This report describes findings of a study that examined the impact of the changes to the WIC food package on small, authorized WIC stores. The study included small WIC stores in Colorado, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and found that small stores are adding healthy foods to their inventories in response to the food package changes. While findings from store manager interviews revealed some challenges in finding the new WIC foods in allowable form and in maintaining food freshness, their overall response to the new food package was very positive.

2 Spokane Convenience Stores Offering Healthy Food

November 16, 2010 in News

The Seattle Times, November 16, 2010. This article features the Spokane Healthy Corner Stores Program, run by the Spokane Regional Health District. Two convenience stores will stock healthier foods in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The project is using $10,000 in federal stimulus funds to launch the program. One of the stores plans to stock baby food and formula to help mothers in the area. The Program will help stores accept WIC food vouchers and assist with pricing and advertising.

Two Area Convenience Stores Take the Spokane Healthy Corner Store Challenge

November 15, 2010 in News

November 15, 2010. This article features the Spokane Healthy Corner Stores Program, run by the Spokane Regional Health District. Two convenience stores will stock healthier foods in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The project is using $10,000 in federal stimulus funds to launch the program. One of the stores plans to stock baby food and formula to help mothers in the area. The Program will help stores accept WIC food vouchers and assist with pricing and advertising.

Report Finds District’s “Grocery Gap” Leaves Some Neighborhoods with Few Options for Healthy Food; Urges Creation of an Initiative to Spur Development and Close the Gap

March 16, 2010 in News

March 16, 2010, D.C. Hunger Solutions. This press release describes a new report by D.C. Hunger Solutions and Social Compact that found many low-income neighborhoods in Washington D.C. lack access to full-service grocery stores. The report, When Healthy Food is Out of Reach, recommends the creation of a Healthy Food Access Initiative that would “attract full-service grocers and other healthy food vendors to underserved neighborhoods and improve the capacity of existing food retailers in those areas.”  The recommendations emphasize including corner stores and other small-scale ventures in the initiative.

The New WIC Package: Opportunities and Challenges for Corner Stores

October 26, 2009 in Reports

Call Date: October 23, 2009

This call focused on implementation of the new WIC package at small-scale stores. It highlighted examples of
how groups were working with corner stores to support them with implementing the changes effectively. It
also included a brief overview of the changes in the WIC package and the status of implementation of the new
rule, a summary of key challenges and opportunities for small-scale stores, information on how stores get
certified as WIC vendors, and resources for more information.
The key presenters were:

  • Tae Chong, National WIC Association (DC)
  • Hannah Burton Laurison, Public Health Law & Policy (CA)
  • JoAnne Berkenkamp, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (MN)
  • Rudy Sicari and Stacey Flanagan, Public Health Solutions (NY)

Call Notes
Call Summary
Call Recording [mp3]