WIC Field Note
New York WIC Coordination & Application Assistance
By New York WIC Program
New York WIC partnered with a statewide nonprofit anti-hunger organization to launch a targeted outreach program. This program was designed to increase participation in the WIC program with a focus on 20 counties in New York State that were serving less than fifty percent of the estimated eligible population. It involved a network of local WIC Help Specialists who provided one-on-one services to connect eligible individuals to the WIC Program. By engaging with local organizations that serve a similar population, WIC Help Specialists provided community-based outreach to prescreen individuals for eligibility, referred them to local WIC offices, and assisted individuals with making and preparing for their WIC appointments.
Over the course of two years, WIC Help Specialists conducted face-to-face outreach with more than 35,000 individuals potentially eligible for WIC, pre-screened more than 8,600 individuals, and referred more than 4,200 eligible individuals to WIC clinics, of whom more than 3,400 were then certified for benefits. In addition to the direct and individualized support provided, the program developed comprehensive WIC outreach campaigns inclusive of digital and traditional media, for diverse audiences statewide, and collaborated with organizations to further promote WIC in New York State.
Based on the results of the two-year project, New York WIC is again partnering with the same organization to build on and expand outreach efforts. Over a new five-year period, the targeted outreach program will implement both local and statewide interventions to increase awareness of the WIC program and increase enrollment and participation. Lessons learned and best practices from the initial project helped to refine existing and inform new outreach strategies. Under the new program, all counties will benefit from direct support by local WIC Help Specialists as well as statewide campaigns and collaborations. Evaluation of outreach strategies and activities will also continue to be a vital component of the program.
For more information, contact NYSWIC@health.ny.gov.
June 14, 2021