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WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2018 Food Packages and Costs Report

Resource type
Research type
Benefit Content/Cost
Cost Study
Program Access
Promoting Healthy Eating
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (281.37 KB)
PDF Icon Final Report (3.72 MB)

This report supplements FNS administrative data on total food costs by estimating the average monthly food costs for each WIC participant category and food package type. It also estimates total pre- and post-rebate dollars spent on 18 major categories of WIC-eligible foods in FY 2018. This report is an update to the previous WIC Food Package Report for FY 2016 and WIC Food Package Costs Report for FY 2014.

​Key findings include:
  • In FY 2018, participants were issued quantities of foods generally consistent with the maximum monthly allowance (MMA) for each food.
  • In FY 2018, the average monthly post-rebate food package cost across 52 state agencies, excluding total costs for Food Package III, was $35.79. Average monthly post-rebate food package costs were highest for infants ($44.97) and lowest for postpartum women ($30.72).
  • Consistent with previous studies and FNS administrative data, this report finds that rebates for infant formula and infant foods provide significant cost savings.
  • Fruits and vegetables made up the largest share of post-rebate food costs in FY 2018 (19.5 percent) followed by infant formula (18.2 percent) and cow's milk (15.3 percent).
Page updated: December 02, 2021