The Online Ordering Behaviors among Participants in the Oklahoma Women, Infants, and Children Program: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Qi Zhang, Kayoung Park, Junzhou Zhang, Chuanyi Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a nutrition assistance program in the United States (U.S.). Participants in the program redeem their prescribed food benefits in WIC-authorized grocery stores. Online ordering is an innovative method being pilot-tested in some stores to facilitate WIC participants’ food benefit redemption, which has become especially important in the COVID-19 pandemic. The present research aimed to examine the online ordering (OO) behaviors among 726 WIC households who adopted WIC OO in a grocery chain, XYZ (anonymous) store, in Oklahoma (OK). These households represented approximately 5% of WIC households who redeemed WIC benefits in XYZ stores during the study period, which was 1 July to 31 December 2020. This period was during the COVID-19 pandemic but after the temporary lockdown in Oklahoma had been lifted. Descriptive statistics were estimated for WIC OO households’ adoption behaviors and their orders. The Cox proportional hazard model and zero-truncated negative binomial regression were applied to examine the relationship between participants’ socio-demographics and the length of time between 1 July 2020, and their first OO, as well as the number of WIC online orders. About 80% of these online orders were picked up without any changes. Minority households had a significantly longer time before adopting their first OO (hazard ratio (HR) < 1, p < 0.001), while households with a child or a woman participant, or more participants, had a shorter time before adopting OO (HR > 1, p < 0.05). Non-Hispanic black households had a fewer number of OOs than non-Hispanic white households (B = −0.374, p = 0.007). OO adoption varied across socio-demographics. More efforts are needed to ensure equal access and adoption of WIC OO.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1805
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Benefit redemption
  • COVID-19
  • Grocery store
  • Online ordering
  • WIC

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