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Many Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics implemented alternatives to in-person service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including virtual visits and electronic document sharing. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to describe WIC participants’ experiences with remote service delivery and recertification during the pandemic. Participants included mothers and infants who participated in a WIC-based intervention between June 2019-August 2020. All participants (N = 246) were invited to complete a follow-up survey between November 2020-February 2021; 185 mothers completed the survey. The survey assessed sociodemographics, employment, food security, experiences with remote WIC recertification and service delivery, and experiences with obtaining WIC foods during the pandemic. Average age for mothers was 29.2 ± 6.3 years and for infants was 17.7  ± .2 months; 80% (n = 147) identified as Hispanic. Approximately 34% (n = 62) of participants reported very low or low food security and 40% (n = 64) had difficulties buying WIC foods during the pandemic. Among participants who recalled providing documentation of income and address virtually, the majority felt comfortable providing information via email (60%) and text messaging (72%). Participants reported high levels of satisfaction with remote methods of service delivery, as well as overall satisfaction with the WIC program during the pandemic. While ~ 25% of study participants preferred for all WIC services to remain remote, 75% still desired at least some in-person contact with WIC staff after the pandemic. In conclusion, remote methods of WIC service delivery addressed existing barriers to WIC participation and were well-received by study participants.


Kinesiology | Public Health

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Available for download on Friday, April 14, 2023