Pregnancy is a particularly important time period in which to address food insecurity because adequate nutrition is critical to positive birth outcomes and healthy fetal development. Growing evidence now supports the critical importance of reducing economic barriers to fruit and vegetable purchases in food insecure households in order to support a healthier diet.
EatSF is working hard to address these disparities by rigorously implementing and evaluating interventions designed to reduce food insecurity and support healthy dietary intake among at-risk pregnant women.
Watch this short video to hear EatSF’s Associate Director, Melissa Akers, discuss our exciting partnership with PTBi and WIC.
EatSF has partnered with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and WIC to enroll at-risk, predominantly Latina and African-American pregnant women into the fruit and vegetable voucher program, with the goals of improving access to healthy food, improving health, and ultimately reducing preterm birth rates among this vulnerable group. Since February 2017, EatSF has enrolled over 800 low-income pregnant women through the network of WIC clinics across San Francisco. Women enrolled in the program receive $40 each month in vouchers redeemable for fruits and vegetables.
Leveraging this existing partnership, EatSF received additional funding through the California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) to rigorously evaluate the outcomes of the program. This additional funding is allowing EatSF to determine the extent to which $10 in weekly vouchers redeemable for fruits and vegetables improves intake of fruits and vegetables, reduces food insecurity, and lowers preterm birth rates among low-income, pregnant mothers in San Francisco.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a USDA Federal program that serves low-income, nutritionally at risk:
WIC benefits provide participants with supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics, and screening or referrals to other health, welfare, and social services. EatSF’s partnership with WIC provides pregnant women with additional benefits to further reduce the economic barriers to fruits and vegetables.
Find and contact a WIC clinic near you if you think you would like to learn more about or think you might be eligible for WIC and EatSF benefits!