City of Dallas receives grant to reach more families through innovative WIC outreach efforts
The City of Dallas has been awarded a $344,236 grant to implement a WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project (WIC CIAO). The awarding of this grant coincides with the grand opening of the City’s newest WIC clinic located at 4408 Vandervort Dr., Dallas, TX 75216.
This new clinic has been strategically located in a southern sector of Dallas that will greatly benefit from innovative outreach efforts that the CIAO grant will provide.
WIC CIAO is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and aims to support efforts to develop, implement, and evaluate innovative outreach strategies to increase awareness, participation, and benefit redemption in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and reduce disparities in program delivery.
“Too many women and children in Texas are missing out on the nutrition they need in order to thrive,” said Jessica Galleshaw, director of the Office of Community Care. “We are proud to be part of this critical initiative to identify new ways of connecting people to WIC.”
In Dallas, WIC provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding counseling and referrals for 76,409 participants, including 22,548 pregnant and postpartum individuals, 19,092infants up to 12 months, and 34,769 children up to age five.
“WIC is an incredibly important program – the evidence is clear that it supports better health and well-being for children,” said Jeff Sullivan, senior director of Child Poverty Action Lab. “Ensuring increased access for Dallas families across communities means we can capture those improved outcomes and positively impact more children’s long-term trajectories.”
The Fruitdale location in Dallas is celebrating its grand opening on Thursday, June 29 at 10 a.m.
Those in attendance include Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn King Arnold, Assistant City Manager Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Office of Community Care Director Jessica Galleshaw, and WIC Program Administrator Alethea Borrego, Senior Director of Child Poverty Action Lab Jeff Sullivan, and Regional Director, Child Nutrition Division, Southwest Region, United States Department of Agriculture Eddie Longoria and Fruitdale area residents and community members are invited to join the festivities.
In 2020, only 50 percent of all eligible individuals nationwide participated in WIC, equating to a shortfall of almost 6 million individuals. The WIC CIAO Project aims to change that by expanding partnerships with community organizations and using community-level data to develop and implement innovative WIC outreach efforts. Reaching more families with WIC will have positive impacts on the community. WIC has been shown to provide wide-ranging benefits, including longer, safer pregnancies, with fewer premature births and infant deaths; improved dietary outcomes for infants and children; improved maternal health; and improved performance at school, among others. In addition to health benefits, WIC participants showed significant savings in health care costs when compared to non-participants.
In total, there are 36 WIC CIAO awardees made up of WIC state and local agencies, including tribal nations, and nonprofit entities and organizations.
WIC CIAO is administered through a USDA cooperative agreement with the Food Research & Action Center, in partnership with the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, the Native American Agriculture Fund, and UnidosUS. WIC CIAO is part of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service broader initiative to modernize WIC.