WE ARE The 53%


Over 53% of all children born in the United States receIve food benefits.


Over 53% of all children born in the United States receive food benefits from the WIC Federal food assistance program, yet many of their families struggle with access to the program and burdensome paperwork. Read this backgrounder to learn more about the challenge.

The MIT Media Lab, New America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health invite you to the 53% Conference, an exploration of how emerging technology can radically modernize & improve the experience and health outcomes for mothers and children participating in the WIC Federal food assistance program. Come work with us to design innovative ways to nurture 53% of our nation’s future.



Sept 5th + 6th

On September 5th and 6th, 2017, we brought together futurists, designers, technologists, researchers, public health experts, policymakers, and private sector collaborators to reimagine what is possible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in the Digital Age. Experts from IDEO facilitated the 1½ day experience at the MIT Media Lab, and together we designed innovative ways to nurture 53% of our nation’s future. We believe that your unique perspectives can make an important contribution towards shaping this future.



By 2020, the paper vouchers used to distribute food benefits today will be replaced with a digital system that uses a benefits “debit” card. At the 53% Conference, we’ll explore the transformative possibilities of additional technologies to further modernize the program, help families make food purchases, collect and surface the data about what foods are bought, and provide interactive nutrition feedback and education to WIC clients. Conference participants are invited to also explore innovative approaches for using technology and social media beyond the food purchasing experience – for example, promoting nutritional health and preventing obesity among WIC beneficiaries.



We believe in a future where technology fundamentally transforms the way we nourish and support our mothers and children, democratizing opportunity from before birth.