National WIC Association

Senate Hearing Prioritizes WIC Access to Improve Child Nutrition Outcomes

March 25, 2021

Rev. Greenaway: “Swift action by Congress to advance permanent reforms integrating telehealth and modernizing and easing WIC access will connect hundreds of thousands of eligible families to WIC services.”

Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing on child nutrition to inform legislative activity to enhance access to healthy foods for children in the next Child Nutrition Reauthorization. The child nutrition programs – including WIC – have not been fully reauthorized since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

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

“WIC drives health equity – improving pregnancy, birth, and child health outcomes while closing racial disparities across the nation. WIC is a smart investment: for every dollar invested in WIC, at least $2.48 is returned in medical, education, and productivity costs. Every day, WIC services transform lives, ultimately saving taxpayers hundreds of millions in health care dollars.

“Today’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing is an important first step toward passing a comprehensive Child Nutrition Reauthorization into law this year. Several times during the hearing, the expert panel highlighted WIC’s crucial role in improving health outcomes for moms, babies, and young children – including improved birth outcomes, enhanced breastfeeding, and reducing childhood obesity. Colorado WIC Director and NWA Legislative Chair Heidi Hoffman made the case for reform clear: after new flexibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘we cannot return to our prior business model.’ Congress needs to swiftly advance permanent reforms that will integrate telehealth, modernize and ease access, and connect hundreds of thousands of eligible families to WIC services.

“The National WIC Association applauds Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman for their early focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has presented fresh challenges and opportunities in delivering nutrition support to families with young children. We look forward to working with Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Boozman, and other members of the Committee on advancing meaningful reforms that will enhance access to WIC’s effective, transformative nutrition support.”