This study supports the Food and Nutrition Service’s efforts to measure program performance for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); understand the program’s reach; and identify potential unmet nutrition assistance needs, particularly at the state level and participant subgroup level.
For this work, Insight team members explored options for enhancing the underlying methodologies used to estimate the number of women, infants, and children eligible for WIC benefits and the percentage of the eligible population covered by the program. Insight hosted a series of technical expert panel meetings to identify at least three new methodologies for producing the WIC eligibility estimates. Following an assessment of each methodology, Insight produced the following estimates using each of the three proposed methodologies:
- National estimates. Estimates of the total average monthly number of infants, children, and pregnant and postpartum women eligible for WIC by race and ethnicity
- State estimates. Estimates of each state’s share of the national estimates by participant category and race and ethnicity
- Territorial estimates. Estimates of WIC eligibility in Puerto Rico from the Puerto Rico Community Survey data and estimates of program eligibility in the other U.S. territories from the Census Bureau International Data Base data
Insight team members also conducted an analysis to explore why SNAP and Medicaid recipients who are eligible for WIC do not participate in WIC; these findings are presented in a white paper.
- Analysis plan with three proposed estimation methodologies for producing WIC eligibility estimates along with a recommendation for proposed estimation methodology
- Interactive data visualizations illustrating study results
- White paper on SNAP and Medicaid recipients who are eligible for WIC but do not participate