Women, infants, and children cash value voucher (CVV) use in Arizona: a qualitative exploration of barriers and strategies related to fruit and vegetable purchases

J Nutr Educ Behav. May-Jun 2014;46(3 Suppl):S53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.02.003.


Objective: Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) cash value vouchers (CVV) have been inconsistently redeemed in Arizona. The objective of this study was to explore perceived barriers to use of CVV as well as strategies participants use to overcome them.

Design: Eight focus groups were conducted to explore attitudes and behaviors related to CVV use.

Setting: Focus groups were conducted at 2 WIC clinics in metro-Phoenix, AZ.

Participants: Participants in WIC who were at least 18 years of age and primarily responsible for buying and preparing food for their households.

Phenomenon of interest: Perceived barriers to CVV use and strategies used to maximize their purchasing value.

Analysis: Transcripts were analyzed using a general inductive approach to identify emergent themes.

Results: Among 41 participants, multiple perceived barriers emerged, such as negative interactions in stores or confusion over WIC rules. Among experienced shoppers, WIC strategies also emerged to deal with barriers and maximize CVV value, including strategic choice of times and locations at which to shop and use of price-matching, rewards points, and other ways to increase purchasing power.

Conclusions and implications: Arizona WIC participants perceived barriers that limit easy redemption of CVV. Useful strategies were also identified that could be important to explore further to improve WIC CVV purchasing experiences.

Keywords: WIC food package; cash value vouchers; focus group; food access; fruits; low-income; vegetables.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arizona
  • Child
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Food Services / economics*
  • Food Supply / economics*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Poverty
  • Vegetables*