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Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program

WIC serves about half of all infants born in the United States.

For decades, WIC has provided food and other critical resources to millions of families. In 2022, more than 6.2 million people participated in WIC, including almost half of infants born in the U.S. The WIC program plays a key role as a nutrition safety net for these families, including many families of color, who, due to longstanding systemic and structural inequities, experience food insecurity at rates that exceed the national average.  

WIC also helps to keep families with low incomes out of poverty—estimates show that the program contributed to a 2% reduction in the child poverty rate by 2019 compared to what the rate would have been without WIC.

To celebrate WIC’s 50th anniversary and its recent funding win, Senior Program Officer Jamie Bussel joined Georgia Machell, interim president & CEO of the National WIC Association, to discuss what’s next for the program. Watch their conversation here.

In April 2024, USDA finalized changes to the WIC food packages, aligning them with current nutrition science. The changes include:

  • Increasing the fruit and vegetable benefit, providing participants with up to four times the amount they previously received;
  • Increasing access to whole grains in breakfast cereal, bread, and grains, and reducing the amount of sugar in yogurt and milks consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans; and
  • Maximizing food choice to reflect dietary guidance and accommodate cultural and personal preferences.

RWJF submitted comments in support of these updates and urged USDA to implement the changes as soon as possible. Read the National WIC Association’s statement on the finalized changes to learn more.

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Fast Facts

Women, Infants, and Children
31 states or U.S. territories reported obesity rate declines among 2-to-4 year olds participating in WIC between 2010 and 2018
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Women, Infants, and Children
California has the highest percentage of eligible people participating in WIC
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Women, Infants, and Children
In New Jersey, 146,668 people participate in WIC
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The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides federal funding to states to reimburse child care programs and other providers for serving nutritious food to children and adults in their care.

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