Perceived Barriers to Participation in a Supplemental Nutrition Program Among Low-Income Women on the US/Mexico Border

Sharon E. Thompson, University of Texas at El Paso
Brenda A. Smith, University of Texas at El Paso
Keely S. Rees, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Thompson, S.E., Smith, B.A., Rees, K.S. (25). Perceived barriers to participation in a supplemental nutrition program among low-income women on the US/Mexico border. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 3(3), 24-28.


The benefits of supplemental nutrition programs have been well established. In order to gain an insight into perceived barriers to participation in such programs on the US/Mexico border, unstructured qualitative interviews were conducted with former participants of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The main barrier to program participation was a lack of time. Other barriers to participation included confusion about program eligibility and the perceived stigma associated with receiving assistance from WIC. Generally, participants felt that WIC was a beneficial program and would recommend it to others. Expanded hours of operation that address the needs of working mothers were recommended in order to increase the recruitment and retention of program participants.