National WIC Association

News Release: Reps. DeLauro and Sánchez Announce Re-Introduction of WIC Act

September 18, 2018

News Release
September 18, 2018

For more information, contact:
Stephen Padre, Media Manager
202-387-5247
spadre@nwica.org

For immediate release

Reps. DeLauro and Sánchez Announce Re-Introduction of WIC Act

WASHINGTON— US Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) announced Friday that they will reintroduce the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act. The two congresswomen were joined by other champions of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at an afternoon event at Children’s National Health System organized by the National WIC Association (NWA).

The WIC Act saves young children from slipping through the nutrition cracks by extending child eligibility until a child enters kindergarten or age six; assures critical nutrition in the first two years of life by extending infant certification until age two; and improves maternal survival through extended nutrition services access for postpartum mothers for two years. Each part of the WIC Act would enhance WIC's ability to retain participants, particularly children, and strengthen WIC’s ability to address the nutrition needs of young children and mothers.

The site of the event was chosen because the hospital houses one of Children’s National Health System’s WIC clinics, which the congresswomen and other speakers visited following their announcement. They visited with staff of the clinic and met WIC participants.

“The WIC Act will eliminate the nutrition gap for children who lose access to WIC at age five but do not start school until age six. It will reduce the paperwork burden on families with infants. It will allow WIC to take care of mothers for up to two years post-partum – improving maternal nutrition and health options between pregnancies,” said Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, President and CEO of NWA, who provided introductory remarks at the event. “As the United States faces an epidemic of maternal mortality and morbidity and chronic disease among children, it is vital that WIC is fully accessible to all in need.”

Rep. DeLauro summarized the bill's purpose clearly: "It's about hunger. It’s unacceptable. …No child in the United States of America should go hungry in this land of abundance."

Rep. Sanchez addressed the reasons for the WIC program. “Every dollar invested yields savings in the long run if you give children a healthy start. That success happens all over the country where WIC centers are found,” said Sanchez.

Crystal Reed, who with her 19-month-old daughter became a WIC participant last year, also gave remarks and praised the program. “I think it’s a great program…I just want to thank everybody that’s fighting to keep what’s important to us. Nutrition definitely does go a long way.”

Kurt Newman, M.D., President and CEO of Children’s National Health System, provided welcome remarks for the event. “I believe and Children’s National believes that, as a country, we need to find solutions and we need to endorse solutions, and that’s what that bill does. We know we need to intervene early, and that’s an investment in our children.”

In addition to NWA, the following organizations have endorsed the bill to date:

  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
  • ZERO TO THREE
  • American Heart Association
  • Food Research and Action Center
  • First Focus Campaign for Children
  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
  • MomsRising
  • Bread for the World
  • United Fresh Produce Association
  • American Academy of Pediatrics