The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.
This final rule amends a number of existing provisions in the WIC program regulations to address issues raised by WIC state agencies, other members of the WIC community, and the US Government Accountability Office. This final rule also incorporates recent legislation and certain longstanding program policies and state agency practices into the regulations. Further, the final rule also streamlines certain requirements in the regulations.
This proposed rule would revise regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and current infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food, provide WIC state agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences, and serve participants with certain qualifying conditions under one food package to facilitate efficient management of medically fragile participants.
The purpose of this report is to illustrate the types and amounts of foods being prescribed within the WIC food package for each category of participants. This report does not provide information on redemption of the food prescriptions, or on actual food consumption; at this time, comprehensive data are available only on food prescriptions.
The WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (PC 2004) report summarizes demographic characteristics of WIC participants nationwide in April 2004, along with information on participant income and nutrition risk characteristics. A national estimate of breastfeeding initiation for WIC infants is included. The report also describes WIC members of migrant farm-worker families.