2020 Marks Decade of Decline in WIC Participation

USDA’s Economic Research Service says participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children is declining. Fiscal year 2020 marked the 10th consecutive fiscal year WIC participation declined. On average, 6.2 million people a month participated in WIC in fiscal year 2020, a two percent drop from 2019 and a 32 percent drop from 2010. About half of all participants in 2020 were children one through four years of age, while women, 23 percent, and infants, 25 percent, made up the other half of participants. The reduction was more pronounced for women and infants than for children. Participation fell five percent for women and four percent for infants from the previous fiscal year, whereas the number of children participating fell by one percent. The program provides supplemental food packages, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals at no cost to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk.

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