Research & Practice

The Pre-Survey Data Analysis of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Field to Family Produce Incentive Program in Ventura County, California

Ventura County (VC), California, is a demographically diverse community consisting of Hispanic/Latinx (44.66%), Asian (7.62%), Black/African American (2.07%), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (1.05%) residents. Despite agriculture being the principal economic driver for VC, limited access to sustainable and affordable sources of fresh fruits and vegetables remains a persistent barrier for low-income families to provide their children with adequate nutrition during critical periods of growth and development.

In collaboration with California State University, Northridge, the VC Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) developed the Field to Family Produce Incentive Program. The program provides additional funding to WIC participants to purchase California-grown fresh vegetables and fruits at authorized farmer’s markets. During registration for the program, participants were asked to complete a pre-survey on demographics, food and nutrition security, skills, attitudes, and confidence in shopping, cooking, and eating healthy on a budget. The pre-survey data was quantitatively analyzed in R using the Chi-Square test, t-test, or ANOVA to illustrate the needs of the most vulnerable WIC participants in VC.

The results demonstrated that younger participants, low-income families, people with lower levels of educational attainment, people of color, people who have recently immigrated, and families with smaller or larger households were more likely to be susceptible to household food and nutrition insecurity, may have lower household resilience, and may have fewer skills and confidence in shopping, cooking, and eating healthy meals on a budget. Priority should be given to these WIC participants in VC by expanding outreach to them and by preparing more culturally, linguistically, age-, and household size-appropriate materials.

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum, PH Concentration Poster

Author(s): Kana Ogaki

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2024