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The Ongoing Need for Healthy Food in Corner Stores

New research shows that WIC program participants mostly redeem their benefits at large stores, but small, local operations are still an important resource.
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AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Across the United States, people who participate in WIC—the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children—overwhelmingly redeem their benefits at large retail stores, according to a recent USDA report that tracked the proportion of WIC benefits redeemed at various kinds of stores.

Larger stores tend to have a much greater selection, which has been especially crucial to WIC participants since 2009, when WIC revised its food package recommendations to include a wider variety of healthy options, particularly whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.