As noted in Chapter 3, committee members were required to visit one or more Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) sites. The plan was designed to ensure national coverage both geographically and with respect to racial and ethnic diversity. Committee members prepared and shared reports in a closed session.1 The most outstanding comment from committee members was the variability across WIC sites in several programmatic aspects, as summarized in Box N-1. Previously in this report, the difficulties finding a 1-pound loaf of whole wheat bread were described. Similarly, in states where whole wheat pasta is permitted for purchase, finding a product meeting the 1-pound specification was difficult. Other whole grain products in a 1-pound size but not currently permitted for purchase included whole grain corn pasta and whole grain brown rice pasta. These two versions may also be suitable for gluten-free diets, although the cost is significantly greater. Checkout efficiency although not quantifiable appeared to be qualitatively improved with the electronic benefit transfer instrument.
Similarly, some WIC personnel with whom the committee met on site visits expressed concern about the 18-ounce container of peanut butter, because not all peanut butter vendors offer this size. They and also public commenters expressed concern that manufacturers frequently change package sizes. These changes can affect availability to participants when WIC state agencies define the allowable package sizes to contain costs, which
1 A summary of the committee reports is accessible through the National Academies Public Access File. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.