“I Think That’s the Most Beneficial Change That WIC Has Made in a Really Long Time”: Perceptions and Awareness of an Increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Participant Demographics
3.2. Themes from Focus Groups
3.2.1. Cash Value Benefit Increase
Perceptions of Pre-COVID CVB Amount
I remember asking the nutritionist, like, “Why do you only give this small amount?” And she started trying to tell me about how “Oh, well the purpose of the WIC program is to be able to, you know, combine the different foods. So like, you can use a little bit of the fruits for like a smoothie and this and that.” And I just remember feeling like not, not like I had any agency in deciding like how I wanted my diet to be…
Awareness and Perceptions of the CVB Increase
I wish I would got a text or a call from one of the representatives and be like “Hey, this month, we’re gonna be cutting back on some of your, your money for fruit. We just wanna let you know.” Instead of me going to store and me looking crazy ‘cause I’m finna buy all this fruit and I can’t ‘cause I ain’t got enough money.
But now they can kind of dwindled it back down or whatever to only like 20 something dollars and it’s just like “But why though?
…the fruits and vegetables I think is like the most important thing. And I think that is more important than eggs, more important than milk, more important than cereal. They all have their benefits. But I think the vegetables, especially if you’re going to start the kids off when they’re young, you have to give them the vegetables when they’re little or they’re not going to want them.
Barriers and Facilitators to Using CVB
…everything costs so much more, your $9 that would have gotten you, would have gotten you a lot more last summer than it’s going to get you this summer…they also need to think about the reality of inflation and so that like what we can actually get is actually smaller…
Perceived Changes in Household Food Behaviors
And we’ve discovered that he loves asparagus and broccoli. So, we could like do that for lunch or like a little midday snack. I give him some grapes, and like broccoli, or strawberries, and asparagus, just for a healthier snack or lunch, instead of going to like freezer meals and potato chips and stuff like that.
3.2.2. General WIC Benefit Use
Facilitators and Barriers to Using WIC Benefits in General
3.2.3. Desired Changes to CVB and the Food Package
…if I could say, you know, you can keep this bread and give it to someone who would actually use this bread and someone who will actually use this cereal, go ahead and just give me $5 more for fruits and vegetables, and that would be fine. Like, I just think if it’s like tailored to the child like that…
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Rural (%) |
(n = 26)
|Urban (%) |
(n = 29)
|Total (%) |
(n = 55)
|Hispanic or Latina||4 (15)||4 (14)||8 (15)|
|Black or African American||7 (27)||16 (55)||23 (42)|
|White||9 (35)||4 (14)||13 (24)|
|Asian||0 (0)||1 (3)||1 (2)|
|Middle Eastern or North African||0 (0)||1 (3)||1 (2)|
|Black or African American and Hispanic or Latina||0 (0)||1 (3)||1 (2)|
|White and Hispanic or Latina||3 (12)||1 (3)||4 (7)|
|White and Black or African American||2 (8)||1 (3)||3 (5)|
|USD 0–24,999||13 (50)||10 (34)||23 (42)|
|USD 25,000–49,999||12 (46)||16 (55)||28 (51)|
|USD 50,000+||1 (4)||3 (10)||4 (7)|
|HS diploma or less||8 (31)||4 (14)||12 (22)|
|Some college or associate degree||16 (62)||13 (45)||29 (53)|
|4-year college degree or more||2 (8)||12 (41)||14 (25)|
|Participates in SNAP||12 (46)||16 (55)||28 (51)|
|Pregnant||2 (8)||2 (7)||4 (7)|
|Average number of children||1.7||2.1||1.9|
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Duffy, E.W.; Vest, D.A.; Davis, C.R.; Hall, M.G.; De Marco, M.; Ng, S.W.; Taillie, L.S. “I Think That’s the Most Beneficial Change That WIC Has Made in a Really Long Time”: Perceptions and Awareness of an Increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 8671. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148671
Duffy EW, Vest DA, Davis CR, Hall MG, De Marco M, Ng SW, Taillie LS. “I Think That’s the Most Beneficial Change That WIC Has Made in a Really Long Time”: Perceptions and Awareness of an Increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(14):8671. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148671Chicago/Turabian Style
Duffy, Emily W., Daniele A. Vest, Cassandra R. Davis, Marissa G. Hall, Molly De Marco, Shu Wen Ng, and Lindsey Smith Taillie. 2022. "“I Think That’s the Most Beneficial Change That WIC Has Made in a Really Long Time”: Perceptions and Awareness of an Increase in the WIC Cash Value Benefit" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 14: 8671. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19148671