Supporting households is the basis of our mission right here at USDA. So, earlier than we shut 2021, I’d like to look again at considered one of our applications that continues to just do that: the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, generally often called WIC.
WIC presents very important diet assist to moms, caregivers, infants, and kids. Since the begin of the pandemic, the program has offered America’s youngsters the diet they want. USDA lately launched a report on how our program companions leveraged the COVID-19 flexibilities to pivot and proceed serving contributors. For instance, 99% of all WIC native businesses carried out certification appointments remotely, up from 12% prior to the pandemic.
But these numbers don’t inform the complete story; all through the pandemic, we’ve seen examples of agility and innovation from states and companions throughout the nation.
For instance, the Staunton, Va. WIC workplace opened a drive-thru WIC Farmer’s Market to assist rural contributors entry the program. The setup enabled protected social distancing, the place distributors positioned meals immediately into the trunk or backseat and helped hold WIC profit redemption excessive.
Meanwhile, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe now makes use of an upgraded WIC cellular clinic to attain underserved communities with breastfeeding info, handouts & brochures, meals & snacks, and extra.
Maryland up to date their WIC app so contributors might add required documentation and entry diet schooling – all on-line from the security of their very own house.
And Michigan now operates a 24/7 WIC breastfeeding assist name and textual content hotline to reply questions from nursing moms.
USDA thanks all our devoted companions for his or her efforts to maximize the attain and affect of WIC, whereas serving to America construct again higher. Their dedication has made an affect for contributors all through the COVID-19 pandemic, and we all know they’ll proceed to make a significant distinction in years to come.