A USDA grant helps preschoolers eat healthy, and is being distributed among six states. The six recipients that will split $2 million are Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
According to USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, the grants will improve retention rates of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Although children are eligible up to age 5, many parents do not re-enroll children after their first birthday. There are a variety of reasons, such as a perception that the program is not necessary after the children start eating solid food, and also a lack of transportation. He believes that the number of preschoolers in the program should be higher.
Across the nation, nearly half the program’s participants receive food assistance.
“WIC is much more targeted,” Concannon said. “The prescribed foods are foods typically missing in the diets of low-income households.”