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 interim rule revises regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) 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, and provide WIC state agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences.
The WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (PC 2006) report summarizes demographic characteristics of WIC participants nationwide in April 2006, 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.
In 1991 and 1998, FNS conducted national studies of WIC vendors to determine the extent of vendor violation of program rules. After the 1998 study, FNS issued regulations to correct vendor practices. The 2005 study replicates the 1998 study to determine whether the regulations were effective, and to measure the frequency of vendor violations and the degree to which vendors charge accurate prices for WIC transactions.