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The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a crucial program for low-income families because it supports healthier pregnancies, improves birth outcomes, and improves child health and cognitive development. Yet over the past decade, the number of eligible families participating in WIC has fallen. How can states start to reverse this trend?
In our latest report with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, we draw on our experience conducting four state pilots to illustrate how data-driven outreach can improve WIC access and strengthen cross-program enrollment. In addition, we are currently concluding a series of workshops on leveraging Medicaid and SNAP data for targeted WIC outreach. We expect to release a public toolkit in the fall containing key learnings from the workshops, resources, and tools for states to help close WIC coverage gaps. In anticipation of that release, you can read our new report, which shows how data sharing can help bolster cross-program enrollment.
BDT is proud to announce that we’ve been awarded the Pew Fund for Health and Human Services’ first-ever Growth Grant. The five-year, $4 million award will enable us to develop an expansion strategy to increase our reach and impact so more Philadelphians can put food on their tables, stay safely in their homes, and access healthcare for themselves and their children.
“Benefits don’t help if people can’t access them.
That’s why we are honored to receive this investment
from The Pew Charitable Trusts that will enable us to identify solutions so that we can put benefits to work to tackle poverty and advance equity and opportunity in concert with community organizations across Philadelphia.”
- CEO Trooper Sanders
We are thrilled to welcome new leaders to BDT who will allow us to expand our national impact. As we continue to help families and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, our efforts to modernize public benefits systems have never been more critical. These directors are a key part of our work as we explore new strategies, partnerships, and products to better serve struggling families.
Meet Neeta Sonalkar and Margaret Spring!
Neeta Sonalkar is our first Director of Higher Education Innovation. In this new role, Neeta will lead BDT’s work to help more students enroll in and graduate from college without burdensome debt by helping to streamline access to financial aid and public benefits. In her previous role at the College Board, Neeta partnered with BDT to build an artificial intelligence chatbot, Wyatt, to guide students through completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), among other college affordability initiatives. Read Neeta’s full bio.
Margaret Spring is our new Director of Product. She will oversee the work to develop a high-level roadmap for the organization’s product strategy, including specification of BDT’s digital tools needs, to drive the roadmap to actionable and successful implementation. Formerly, Margaret was a consultant for Robin Hood, acting as its technical product liaison; she was also a Robin Hood fellow in its social impact incubator. Her professional experience includes more than a decade in project management for financial services and marketing data companies. Learn more about Margaret.
Lisa Dillman, our Senior Research Manager, believes that BDT is uniquely positioned to engage in a variety of research and evaluation activities — from conducting randomized control trials to gathering qualitative data directly from our clients — and she’s leading our initiatives to do just that.
We sat down with Lisa to learn more about her work and how applying an equity lens to our research can help us to better assist more individuals and families.