WASHINGTON – A new poll commissioned by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) found that 20% of participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) would not re-enroll if the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes its proposed cuts to WIC benefits for milk and dairy purchases.
The national tracking poll, conducted by Morning Consult, involved 534 WIC participants. Within the polling group, another 34% said they were unsure whether they would re-enroll in WIC following the proposed cuts.
The IDFA shared that 76% of the WIC participants polled described themselves as concerned about the USDA proposal, and 35% said they would have to use non-WIC funds to make milk and dairy purchases. Another 26% said a USDA reduction would make it harder for to shop for milk and dairy products.
Estimations provided by the IDFA project the USDA’s proposed cuts would reduce the amount of dairy allotted to WIC participants by as many as 6 quarts a month for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and reduce the amount for children between 12 and 23 months old by 4 quarts a month.
“Reducing WIC benefits for milk and dairy will make life harder for millions of women, new mothers, infants and children at a challenging time of high food costs and rising food insecurity,” said Michael Dykes, president and chief executive officer at IDFA. “Moreover, USDA’s own proposal flies in the face of the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which says 90% of Americans are not consuming enough dairy to meet daily requirements. USDA must reverse course and find ways to improve program participation by encouraging the purchase of nutritious dairy products rather than penalizing low-income moms and families during tough economic conditions.”
The polling took place through online interviews between Dec. 14-16. Per Morning Consult, data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on gender by age, educational attainment, race, marital status, home ownership, race by educational attainment, 2020 presidential vote and region.
More results from the poll can be found online at the IDFA’s website.