Saving the Children: The Story of WIC

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Date Developed: 2007. Source: Office of the Maryland WIC Program. Presenter(s): Office of the Maryland WIC Program. Type: Video. Level: Introductory. Length: 25 minutes.


This movie discusses the history of WIC using accounts from advocates, congressmen, legislative aides and leaders in the MCH field. It highlights events leading up to its policy creation, including the 1960’s War on Poverty and the documentary ‘Hunger in America’ showing that children were increasingly victims of malnutrition and hunger. Other noted events include St. Jude Hospital‘s campaign and Dr. David Paige’s from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health pilot study program that worked to address children’s deficiencies in nutrition. The documentary also discusses the struggles of passing WIC at the time, including getting the policy through the legislative process as well as implementing the program. Pitfalls and concerns of the program once it came into effect are also addressed; for example the debate of vouchers or breastfeeding versus formula arose with the ability to pay for formula with WIC. The documentary finalizes with what WIC looks like today and the money saved by this investment in mothers and children.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $180,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.