To Lift WIC Participation, We Need Innovative Outreach Strategies.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal
nutrition program that provides nutritious foods,
nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and
health care referrals to nutritionally at-risk infants,
children up to 5 years old, and pregnant and
post-partum individuals from
households with low incomes.

Despite the demonstrated benefits of WIC, too few eligible people participate.

In 2019, only 57 percent of all eligible individuals
and 45 percent of eligible children participated
in WIC, equating to a shortfall of almost
5 million additional individuals. Learn
more about recent WIC participation.

The WIC Community Innovation and Outreach (CIAO) Program Wants to Change That.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is facilitating WIC outreach, innovation,
and program modernization efforts to increase WIC participation and
retention and reduce disparities in WIC program delivery.

As part of the outreach, innovation, and modernization strategy and initiatives,
FNS is supporting the WIC CIAO Program which, through a cooperative agreement
with the program partners, will:

Step 1

Provide technical assistance and funding in 2 rounds to a minimum of 25 projects to conduct innovative WIC outreach.

Step 2

Apply an implementation science and evaluation framework to identify effective strategies implemented within projects.

Step 3

Use these learnings to inform a summary report and multiple national resources including an outreach framework for WIC operators and partners.

Watch the WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Program launch event. Puedes ver la versión en español aquí.

WIC CIAO Program Goals

The WIC Community Innovation and Outreach (CIAO) Program
aims to expand partnerships with community organizations and
use of community-level data to develop and test
WIC outreach efforts with three, interrelated goals.

About the Program Team

Food Research & Action Center

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. For more information about FRAC, or to sign up for FRAC’s e-newsletters, go to


UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit

Native American Agriculture Fund

The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers. The charitable trust was created by the settlement of the landmark Keepseagle v. Vilsack class-action lawsuit. NAAF is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community. For more information about NAAF, visit

Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN) is an independent nonprofit research organization providing research, evaluation, and partnership in nutrition-related programs including childhood obesity prevention, food insecurity, and local food systems. GSCN is a remote team geographically dispersed throughout the U.S., with strong roots in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information on GSCN, visit