The COVID-19 has been acting like a barrier to participation in WIC programs. As parents are required to bring their babies or young children to the clinic for recertification, transportation, taking time off work, or arranging childcare for other children has been acting against. These considerations are more challenging in rural areas, where WIC clinics are far and might take over an hour to reach.

In an increasingly digital world, COVID-19 has proven that WIC services also need to mirror industry practices in healthcare. This would require leveraging of technology solutions for active participation in WIC’s public health nutrition support.

Brockport NY WIC has been actively working on waiving the “physical presence” requirement for appointments and remotely providing nutrition education and breastfeeding support. While expanding the list of allowable foods as grocery stores experienced shortages of food items and staying at home was encouraged at the same time.

Varied Procedures during COVID-19

Since last year, WIC clinics have been bound to adopt the digital service process to carry out their process swiftly.

Today, they have transitioned to phone, video, and curbside services without any disruption to WIC’s public health nutrition service delivery. This whole step is much needed to ensure the safety of WIC clinic staff, participants, and their families, who did not want to put themselves or their children at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Some state WIC agencies have even implemented a two-way video call process to further ease the communication barrier. Studies even showed that adopting this two-way communication process has led to more excellent attendance and engagement by participants.

Though in recent years, before the pandemic, WIC providers had been looking to adopt web-based technologies to deliver nutrition education and breastfeeding services, the pandemic has fastened the adoption process. Today, over 41 State WIC Agencies, including Brockport NY WIC, provide remote nutrition education.

Harmonizing with Healthcare

WIC used to typically conduct a series of health assessments to identify deficiencies, various nutrition risks and then tailor counselling based on it before the pandemic. These assessments were used to educate the individuals and identify the requirement of medical follow-ups for them.

This information is readily available in the electronic health records maintained by the participant’s physician and paediatricians. Because of this, seamless sharing of this information between the medical offices and WIC clinics is possible. Adoption of this process has helped a lot. Especially now, when families are postponing routine check-ups and visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health assessments were deferred under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. But this core public health role has turned towards WIC after the public health emergency was concluded.

This can be considered a fresh opportunity to build a variation of WIC providers by permanently slacking the physical presence requirement and simultaneously strengthening collaboration with healthcare providers to meet a new generation of families.


As people were bound to stay at home, the need to waive in-person requirements for certification appointments has drastically increased. COVID-19 taught us how WIC services need leverage in adopting modern technology to continue the services smoothly.

The Brockport NY WIC has been providing the service delivery before and at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome participation barriers.
Author’s Bio
Shrey Jain is the Co-Founder of Writofy & a Chartered Accountant who works with a team of creative content writers. He holds a forte in creating informative content on niches like crypto, business, fintech, digital marketing, and several others. In addition, his willingness to learn and share his knowledge can immensely help readers get valuable insights on varied topics.