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The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Economic Issues, 2015 Edition

Listed author(s):
  • Oliveira, Victor
  • Frazao, Elizabeth

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition education (including breastfeeding promotion and support), and referrals to health care and other social services to low-income, nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age. On average, over half of all infants in the United States, over a quarter of all pregnant and postpartum women, and over a quarter of all children less than 5 years of age participate in the program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which authorized funds for WIC, is set to expire on September 30, 2015. The reauthorization process provides an important opportunity to reexamine the operation and effectiveness of the program and to consider improvements. This report explains how WIC works, examines program trends, and discusses some of the major economic issues facing the program (including the impact of economic conditions on participation, some lesser known effects of WIC, and equity and cost-management issues).

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/197543
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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 197543.

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Date of creation: Jan 2015
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:197543
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  1. Oliveira, Victor & Davis, David E., 2006. "Recent Trends and Economic Issues in the WIC Infant Formula Rebate Program," MPRA Paper 6657, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. repec:mpr:mprres:6258 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Hanson, Kenneth & Oliveira, Victor, 2009. "Economic Linkages Between the WIC Program and the Farm Sector," Economic Brief 58992, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Oliveira, Victor & Prell, Mark A. & Smallwood, David M. & Frazao, Elizabeth, 2004. "Wic And The Retail Price Of Infant Formula," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33873, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  5. Michele Ploeg, 2009. "Do Benefits of U.S. Food Assistance Programs for Children Spillover to Older Children in the Same Household?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 412-427, December.
  6. Anonymous & Hamilton, William L. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2004. "Effects Of Food Assistance And Nutrition Programs On Nutrition And Health: Volume 3, Literature Review," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33863, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  7. Davis, David E. & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2005. "Interstate Variation In Wic Food Package Costs: The Role Of Food Prices, Caseload Composition, And Cost-Containment Practices," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33811, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  8. Oliveira, Victor & Racine, Elizabeth & Olmsted, Jennifer & Ghelfi, Linda M., 2002. "The Wic Program: Background, Trends, And Issues," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33847, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  9. Laura Castner & James Mabli & Julie Sykes, 2009. "Dynamics of WIC Program Participation by Infants and Children 2001 to 2003," Mathematica Policy Research Reports eec4a8a8233d4b5b9e4cf6c0e, Mathematica Policy Research.
  10. Laura A. Castner & James Mabli & Julie Sykes, 2009. "Dynamics of WIC Program Participation by Infants and Children, 2001 to 2003 (Summary)," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 91191268ed30473a94a67d2a7, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. repec:mpr:mprres:6256 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Hanson, Kenneth & Oliveira, Victor, 2012. "How Economic Conditions Affect Participation in USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs," Economic Information Bulletin 134682, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  13. Oliveira, Victor & Frazao, Elizabeth & Smallwood, David M., 2010. "Rising Infant Formula Costs to the WIC Program: Recent Trends in Rebates and Wholesale Prices," Economic Research Report 59384, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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