Engagement and Participation of African Americans in California WIC: Recommendations from the Ask the Community First Task Force
By California WIC Association
WIC is recognized as one of the most powerful national programs providing low-income women and young children with nutrition and food assistance, breastfeeding support and education, nutrition education, and referrals to health and social services.
California has the second highest coverage rate among all states, 82%, and 60% percent of all infants within the state are served by WIC. (1,2)
In 2013, California and Texas accounted for more than twenty-five percent of all WIC participants nationwide and, along with six other states including New York, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, comprised over half of all WIC users. (3)
California is a vibrant provider of myriad services to women, mothers, fathers, infants and young children under five years of age, and yet we know for the African- American community there are numerous challenges that influence how much and how well WIC is accessed.
In 2014, WIC witnessed its largest decline in usage since its inception in 1974. Throughout the last ten years, California has seen African Americans’ participation
grow incrementally but there have been fits and starts in their engagement as well. Among the sporadic ongoing increases and decreases in participation throughout California, as with numerous states across the country, California’s WIC Program is at a critical juncture as it reflects on and assesses its impact, role, and relationships with partners, stakeholders and customers.
February 27, 2018
California WIC Association (2015) Engagement and Participation of African Americans in California WIC: Recommendations from the Ask the Community First Task Force. Available online: http://calwic.org/storage/documents/Engaging_Families/ATC_Report_r4.pdf