Online Program

Use of WIC cash value vouchers (CVV) in Arizona: A qualitative study of facilitators and barriers

Monday, November 4, 2013

Farryl Bertmann, PhD, RD, LMNT, Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition, Omaha, NE
Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, PhD, RD, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Karen Sell, MS, Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Phoenix, AZ
Christopher Wharton, PhD, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
In Arizona, cash value voucher (CVV) redemption as part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) remains variable by WIC population category. Although a number of general barriers related to WIC CVV use have been identified, Arizona's WIC population is demographically unique compared to other states, and as-yet unexplored factors, such as cultural attitudes or use of technology, might affect how and where CVV is used by WIC participants. We conducted 8 focus groups with both English- and Spanish-speaking WIC participants to examine trends and attitudes related to CVV use, specifically related to preferences in relation to food choice; perceived availability of preferred and culturally appropriate foods; habits related to use of WIC CVV purchases; self-reported purchasing behaviors; facilitators of, and barriers to, using WIC CVV; and perceived value of WIC CVV. Among other findings, participants reported the value of CVV was worth occasionally considerable effort to use them, specifically employing strategies to maximize their value including purchasing at stores with “gas points” or price-matching. A number of participants noted using mobile phones for calculations within the store to facilitate CVV purchases. Barriers included perceived hostility at the checkout counter from both cashiers and fellow shoppers, as well as lack of knowledge about where CVV could be redeemed. Several participants noted unfriendly interactions as reasons to leave the store without purchasing fruits and vegetables. Most participants also reported never having used CVV at farmers' markets because they were unaware that this was a possibility.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe facilitators and barriers of WIC CVV use in Arizona. Compare facilitators and barriers between English- and Spanish-speaking WIC participants.

Keyword(s): Nutrition, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research, have worked with this population from a variety of perspectives for several years, and am specialized in food insecurity, nutrition assistance, and fruit and vegetable consumption in this population.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.