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Ensuring Access to Fruits and Vegetables for the Nation’s Most Vulnerable – Contributions of WIC and SNAP
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are critical programs in the U.S. because they form the basis of the nation’s nutrition and hunger safety net. SNAP has large effect nationwide offering nutrition assistance to 1 in 7 low-income Americans, while WIC serves more than half of all infants in the U.S. and a quarter of all children ages 1-5 years. Despite the reach of these programs, there is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to increasing access to healthy food items and improving eating habits. The objective of this paper is to make recommendations for how WIC and SNAP can work better together to continue to incentivize purchases and support low-income population’s knowledge and access to healthier food choices, particularly those foods that have traditionally been most expensive – fruits and vegetables.