An initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Recommendations

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation urges these actions to prevent hunger and increases in poverty.



October 12th, 2023


  • Extend WIC eligibility to postpartum mothers through the first two years after the birth of a baby and to children through age 6. Enable infants and children to participate for two years before having to reapply.
  • As proposed by USDA, make permanent the current increase in the monthly Cash-Value Voucher benefit for purchases of fruits and vegetables and ensure it keeps pace with inflation. 
  • Reinstate and/or make permanent the pandemic-related waivers that have enabled families to access WIC services during the pandemic, including allowing certification via phone or drive-thru clinics, extending certification periods, expanding the allowable food items for WIC shoppers, and continuing telehealth models. 
  • Ensure that all women who qualify for WIC based on income and nutritional risk are able to participate, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. 
  • Advance racial equity in WIC participation, including by making approved foods within the WIC packages more culturally relevant; providing targeted support based on health disparities; and establishing a process for equitable beneficiary participation in program design, implementation, and evaluation. 
  • Finalize the proposal to enable participants to use benefits online, implement administrative changes necessary to support that, and provide the resources needed for states to implement these changes as well.
  • Ensure updates to the WIC food package continue to be grounded in sound nutritional science and reflect the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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