National WIC Association

As Vilsack Advances, Senate Should Move Quickly to Confirm USDA Leadership

February 2, 2021

Press Contact: Natalie Moran

Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee advanced the nomination of Tom Vilsack to serve as President Biden’s Agriculture Secretary. Vilsack had previously served as President Obama’s Agriculture Secretary from 2009-2017.


Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:


"Tom Vilsack is a capable and clear choice to serve as the nation’s next Agriculture Secretary, and the WIC community is excited to see his continued leadership that squarely focuses on expanding access to nutritious foods and addressing systemic racial inequities. Vilsack’s discussion of nutrition insecurity complements WIC’s decades-long work to advance healthier options for families, resulting in a reduced prevalence of childhood obesity among WIC-enrolled toddlers.


"In early steps, the Biden-Harris USDA has taken swift steps to improve the federal response to COVID-19 and advance health equity. We are encouraged by the President’s proposed $3 billion investment in WIC, the elevation of the Office of Tribal Relations as a direct report to the Secretary, and the executive order to expand benefits in SNAP and Pandemic-EBT. We know that Secretary Vilsack will be a proactive and engaged partner in advancing strong nutrition policy initiatives that enhance benefits, increase awareness about effective USDA programs, and taking steps to make WIC more accessible and convenient for families raising young children.


"The full Senate should move swiftly to confirm Secretary Vilsack, ensuring that USDA has the right leadership to tackle the nation’s growing hunger crisis during COVID-19."