Have you ever passed up the opportunity to complete a survey because you thought your opinion wouldn’t matter anyway? Like a lot of people, your answer is probably “yes.” The Georgia Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) hopes to change your mind with their survey.
Georgia WIC promotes good health by providing food, nutrition education (including breastfeeding promotion and support), and referrals to health and other social services to pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women; infants and children (up to their fifth birthday). Each year the program holds a public comment period where Georgians are invited to comment on the program’s successes and identify opportunities to improve WIC services. Commenters choose from three surveys: WIC participant, advocate or vendor. This year’s comment period is August 1 through August 31.
“In our efforts to move the program from good to great, we encourage all Georgians to take part in this comment period so they can have an impact on the WIC program,” said Debra L. Keyes, Georgia WIC director. “State staff reviews the comments received and considers them for incorporation in our annual plan. We count on the feedback we receive every year to make the WIC program better.”
According to Todd Stormant, RD, LD, nutrition operations manager for Georgia WIC, the participant survey questions are designed to help evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of certain topic areas. One topic believed to be vitally important is the peer counseling program as it supports WIC’s breastfeeding initiative. In this section of the survey, participants are asked questions related to their peer counselor experience including access to a counselor and the information provided. Good or bad, the responses help staff determine if the program is beneficial and provide support for making further process improvements.
Although this is a survey of local opinions, the federal government conducts similar surveys. A perfect example of this is the recent changes in the WIC food package, which can be largely contributed to the feedback from public comments regarding healthier food options.
“One of the positive results of a recent federal survey was the release of the new final food package rule. With this new rule (effective May 5) they were able to increase the fresh fruits and vegetable voucher. Now all WIC participants receive a larger dollar amount to purchase these foods,” said Stormant.
To participate in the survey, or learn more about WIC, visit www.wic.ga.gov.
WIC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.