Calif. Enrollment in Women, Infants and Children Program Varies
Enrollment in California's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children varies widely by county and is made up mostly of Latinos, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California, the Vallejo Times-Herald reports.
The federally funded WIC program promotes nutrition and health among women and children.
There are 84 California WIC agencies, which are overseen by the state Department of Public Health.
In 2014, about 32% of California children were enrolled in the WIC program, but enrollment varied by county (Raskin-Zrihen, Vallejo Times-Herald, 7/21). For example, 49.6% of children in Kern County were enrolled in the program, compared with just 11% of children in Placer County (Inland News Today, 7/21).
The study also found that the largest share of WIC participants were Latino. Specifically, between 2011 and 2012, Latinos accounted for:
- 77.9% of women enrolled in the program;
- 73% of children enrolled; and
- 66% of infants enrolled.
The study noted that Latinos made up such a significant proportion of enrollees because they "comprise the largest share of California's low-income young children."
In comparison, whites -- who comprised the next-largest group of participants -- accounted for:
- About 12% of women enrolled in the program;
- 15% of children enrolled; and
- 18% of infants enrolled in the program.
Meanwhile, the study found that nearly 72% of California children enrolled in WIC in 2012 were covered by Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program (Vallejo Times-Herald, 7/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.