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Building Support for WIC: Opportunities for Philanthropic Advocacy 

October 10, 2023, 2:00 pm Eastern

Cosponsored by Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders 

Research shows that participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) contributes to healthier births, more nutritious diets, improved infant feeding practices, better health care for children, and higher academic achievement for students. However, only about half of eligible low-income people currently access the program, and an even smaller share of eligible pregnant people and children aged 1 through 4 utilize the benefit.  

This session gathered experts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the National WIC Association, and 1,000 days to explore why increasing WIC participation is vital to improving maternal and child health outcomes in the U.S. The panel discussed the current opportunities and challenges facing WIC, including how we can best uplift the voices of WIC clients in the policy conversation, reduce barriers to services, improve the WIC user experience, and ensure the program is adequately funded. Funders departed this session with a better understanding of strategies and opportunities to build support for WIC, the organizations doing the work on the ground, and what families can benefit from this program. Moderated by Monica Beltran of W.K. Kellogg Foundation, our speakers included Ty Jones Cox of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Georgia Machell of National WIC Association, Solianna Meaza of 1,000 Days, and Zoë Neuberger of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.