Green 6 is working on the Nez Perce Reservation in North-central Idaho for Round 3. This past week they’ve been working...Posted by AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region on Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Federal judges in three states – New York, California and Washington – blocked the rule from taking effect in October, and WIC would not fall under the rule as it is a program for children. But McCoy believes fear has contributed to the dip in WIC participation in Arizona. “If they’re not legal citizens, they don’t want to be on the blacklist, so I think that’s led to a lot of decreases,” she said. To be eligible for WIC, participants must live in the state where they apply for the benefit, have household income less than 185% of the federal poverty level or be eligible for other federal assistance programs. While the Trump administration has proposed revising SNAP eligibility requirements, experts agreed that WIC is safe – for now. “WIC definitely has a lot of support because it is such a vulnerable young population,” said Katherine Hempstead, senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Farber Specialty Vehicles designed and built this mobile unit from a Winnebago commercial chassis. It meets the needs of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. #specialtyvehicles #mobileunit #Winnebago pic.twitter.com/UkaqkZRkzx— Winnebago Specialty Vehicles (@WinnebagoSV) August 31, 2019
Hempstead said the 2009 WIC changes have helped, but are not solely responsible for the “sustained decrease” in childhood obesity rates. “I don’t think we can attribute the decline in obesity to WIC but it has done a lot of really important things that are helpful,” she said. Hempstead is hopeful the downward trend in childhood obesity continues and urges decision-makers to acknowledge the importance of nutritional education in younger populations. “A lot of eating habits are formed in early childhood, so it’s important to give them better food,” she said. The CDC report said that while the decreases are a positive sign, “obesity prevalence remained high in most states in 2016,” and called for “multiple approaches” to deal with the issue.
McCoy said, in addition to a commitment to quality food, educating parents about the program is key to ensuring its continued success. “A lot of people that could qualify for WIC aren’t doing it,” she said. “We haven’t solved obesity in any way, shape or form.” Humble was director of the Arizona Department of Health in 2009 and supervised the state’s implementation of the rule, which he said was the first change to the WIC food package in decades. He said more needs to be done, but the results in the new report are encouraging. “For most of my career, it just kept getting worse and now you can see that some of the interventions that happened are starting to at least make some progress,” he said. For more stories from Cronkite News, visit cronkitenews.azpbs.org.
DYK? There are approximately 276 tribes receiving benefits under #FDPIR through 102 ITOs and 3 state agencies. Learn more https://t.co/fj7ItITMH7 #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth! pic.twitter.com/oHdIH94FNK— USDA Nutrition (@USDANutrition) November 13, 2019
This story originally appeared on Cronkite News and is published via a Creative Commons license. Cronkite News is produced by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.