BOISE, May 22, 2023 – Central District Health has been awarded a $531,612 grant to implement a WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project (WIC CIAO).
WIC CIAO is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and aims to support efforts to develop, implement and evaluate innovative outreach strategies to increase awareness, participation and benefit redemption in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and reduce disparities in program delivery.
“We know there are women and children in our communities who could benefit from participating in WIC and receiving the nutrition they need to thrive, but are not able to access this program,” said Emily Waddoups, CDH WIC program manager. “We are proud to be part of this critical initiative to identify new ways of connecting people to WIC.”
CDH was selected through a highly competitive grant process. CDH proposed two goals to be achieved through existing and new partnerships in the community and outreach with underserved groups: to increase WIC enrollment among immigrant and migrant community members in rural Boise, Elmore and Valley counties, and to bolster WIC retention among refugees in urban Ada County.
The most recent one-year count (May 2022-April 2023) shows that, within CDH’s four counties, WIC provided healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding counseling and referrals for 8,763 participants, serving a total of 2,305 individuals (1,159 pregnant, 1,293 breastfeeding and 717 postpartum participants); 2,394 infants up to 12 months; and 5,146 children up to age 5.
In 2020, only 50 percent of all eligible individuals nationwide participated in WIC, equating to a shortfall of almost 6 million individuals. The WIC CIAO Project aims to change that by expanding partnerships with community organizations and using community-level data to develop and implement innovative WIC outreach efforts.
Reaching more families with WIC will have positive impacts on the community. WIC has been shown to provide wide-ranging benefits, including longer, safer pregnancies, with fewer premature births and infant deaths; improved dietary outcomes for infants and children; improved maternal health; and improved performance at school, among others. In addition to health benefits, WIC participants showed significant savings in health care costs when compared to non-participants.
In total, there are 36 WIC CIAO awardees made up of WIC state and local agencies, including tribal nations and nonprofit entities and organizations.
WIC CIAO is administered through a USDA cooperative agreement with the Food Research & Action Center, in partnership with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, the Native American Agriculture Fund and UnidosUS. WIC CIAO is part of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service broader initiative to modernize WIC.
Visit hellowic.org to find out more about the WIC CIAO Project and awardees and sign up for updates on WIC CIAO events and announcements.
About Central District Health
CDH, Public Health District IV, is one of seven public health districts within the state of Idaho, serving the counties of Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley. With a vision of Healthy People in Healthy Communities, CDH’s emphasis is on decreasing risk factors for chronic disease, improving quality of life and increasing the years of healthy life among residents.
Contact: Maria Ortega, Communications Manager
Office: 208-327-8639 | Cell 208-871-1712
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