National WIC Association

News & Blog


May 23, 2017
Foundation for American Greatness? These Cuts Won't Heal

The Trump Administration released its FY 2018 Budget, "A New Foundation for American Greatness", at 11am Eastern Time today. 


May 22, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

This week's update includes information about the Affordable Care Act Repeal, FY 2018 Appropriations, the potential implications of the leaked budget documents, and more!


May 15, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

FY 2018 Budget
The Trump administration plans to release its FY 2018 Budget next Tuesday, May 23. The budget is expected to show balance within 10 years, in part through sweeping cuts to mandatory spending, including to Medicaid and other public health programs. Public health agencies are bracing for the largest cuts to federal funding in more than a decade and fear that many programs aimed at curbing disease outbreaks and reducing health costs will be completely zeroed out. The cuts expected in Trump’s budget, when combined with the spending reductions in the House Republicans’ healthcare bill, would likely mean a loss of $1-2 billion per year for state programs that ensure access to vaccines for poor children and flag disease outbreaks. This funding loss could potentially force states to trim programs or divert local funds. We will keep you updated on the FY 2018 Budget and Appropriations process in the coming weeks.


May 12, 2017
Making Sure WIC’s Doors Stay Open to All Eligible Moms and Young Children

Many of you received NWA’s Association Update on Tuesday afternoon with a link to the Guardian article, Undocumented immigrants avoid vital nutrition services for fear of deportation. In the Update, NWA described the article, provided a link to our survey asking about the effects of the current political climate on caseload, and included links to our previous blog posts on the issue of WIC and immigration.

NWA has received numerous responses to the survey, the vast majority of them appreciative of our leadership on this issue and grateful for the opportunity to share stories about how recent political actions and rhetoric have affected WIC staff and participants. We have also received a handful of critical responses.


May 8, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

FY 2017 Funding Update:

Last Friday, the President signed into law a $1 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the government running through September. The bill had passed the Senate earlier by a vote of 79-18 and the House by a vote of 309-118. You can read more about the spending bill by visiting our Weekly WIC Policy Update from Monday.


May 4, 2017
Washington Update: ACA Repeal Passes the House, Omnibus Passes the Senate

Read about the House's passage of the ACA replacement and the Senate's passage of the FY 2017 Omnibus. 


May 1, 2017
Weekly WIC Update

FY 2017 Funding Update

Late last night, US House and Senate negotiators reached a bipartisan deal on a $1.1 trillion spending bill for the remaining five months of FY 2017. The 1,665-page legislation comprises the 11 unfinished FY 2017 appropriations bills, including the Agriculture Appropriations bill, which sets funding for WIC. While Republicans control the House, Senate, and the White House, congressional Democrats held some leverage in the spending negotiations as their votes will be needed in the Senate, and likely the House, for passage of the bill. The Senate needs 60 votes to advance legislation, meaning the 52 Republicans will need help from at least eight Democrats.


April 25, 2017
Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Agriculture Secretary

The Senate voted yesterday evening to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture. The vote was 87 to 11 with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) voting against the nomination. Perdue is the first agriculture secretary nominee in 31 years to receive even a single no vote from the floor. He is expected to be sworn in later today.


April 24, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Federal Government Funding for Remainder of FY 2017 in the Crosshairs

Members of Congress must agree by this Friday, April 28 on how to fund the federal government for the remaining 5 months of FY 2017 to avoid a government shutdown. A funding bill will come in the form of another Continuing Resolution (CR), an omnibus appropriations bill, or some combination of the two (a so-called “Cromnibus”).

Budget negotiations have been made all the more contentious by President Trump’s threat to withhold payments used to subsidize insurance costs for poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if Democrats do not agree to fund the border wall between the US and Mexico. The White House has offered a dollar-for-dollar trade with Democrats of border wall money in return for the ACA Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) subsidies. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) agree that CSR payments are must-haves in the omnibus spending bill. However, Democrats are unlikely to budge when it comes to providing federal funds for building the border wall.


April 19, 2017
In Defense of WIC: WIC Staff Run Tests that are Necessary for Ensuring the Health of Participants

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: WIC staff run tests unnecessarily such as drawing infant blood. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


April 12, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The Nutrition Education Provided by WIC Staff is Beneficial & Participant Centered

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: The nutrition education provided by WIC staff is condescending. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


April 11, 2017
Resources for Assuaging Immigration Fears from WIC Participants

Are you looking for a document to share with participants who have expressed concerns about participating in WIC because of their immigration status? If so, please feel free to adopt and use the following flyers developed by Michigan WIC. These flyers use simple language to let participants know that WIC welcomes everyone, that WIC does not ask for or keep information about visa status or citizenship, and that all participant responses are kept confidential. The flyers are available in English, Spanish, and Arabic. They can be printed on 8 ½ x 11 paper or on larger poster paper, and can be handed out or hung up in your WIC clinics.


April 10, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

FY 2017 Budget:

Policymakers have yet to arrive at an agreement on how to fund the government for the remaining 5 months of FY 2017. The deadline of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) is April 28, meaning that Congress will have only five days after returning from recess to reach an agreement in order to avoid a government shutdown. This will be a daunting task, as there are still 115 outstanding issues on which House and Senate appropriators have not reached agreement.


March 27, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Healthcare Replacement Bill

Last Friday afternoon, House Republican leaders pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from consideration on the House floor. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) provided remarks just after 4 p.m. Eastern Time Friday, in which he conceded, “We’re going to be living with Obamacare [the Affordable Care Act (ACA)], for the foreseeable future.” There is no indication at this early date whether or not the Republican effort to “repeal” and “replace” will be resurrected.


March 24, 2017
Healthcare Vote Today: We Need Your Help!

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Among the provisions negatively impacting public health in your community and state, AHCA eliminates the critical Prevention and Public Health Fund starting in Fiscal Year 2019, cutting more than $16 billion in federal funding for public health over the following ten years.


March 23, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The WIC Shopping Experience is a Work in Progress

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: The WIC shopping experience is a nightmare. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


March 20, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

President’s Budget Blueprint:

Last Thursday, President Trump released his FY 2018 Budget Blueprint. The budget blueprint, also known as the “skinny budget,” includes top-level funding requests and some basic economic projections, though far less information and detail than the previous five administrations. The Trump administration’s full budget is expected to be released in mid-May.

President Trump’s skinny budget cuts $54 billion of non-defense discretionary spending—representing the largest domestic spending cut to the US budget in more than four decades—while increasing funding for the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.


March 16, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The WIC Program's Formula Rebate Program Saves Money for the WIC Program

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: WIC participants purchase over half of the formula sold in the U.S. which means formula companies make a lot of money off of the program. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


March 16, 2017
Trump Administration Releases Budget Blueprint

This morning, President Trump released his FY 2018 Budget Blueprint. The budget blueprint, also known as the “skinny budget”, includes top-level funding requests and some basic economic projections, though far less information and detail than the previous five administrations. The Trump administration’s full budget is expected to be released in mid-May.


March 13, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations Challenges

Senate Democrats today warned their Republican colleagues that they would not support appropriations bills unless they included essential spending priorities, raising the risks of a potential federal government shutdown after April 28, 2017.

The warning is no idle threat as passage of Senate spending bills will require a 60-vote threshold.


March 8, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The WIC Program Should Promote Breastfeeding for its participants

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: The WIC program shouldn’t promote breastfeeding because low-income working women probably have life circumstances the least conducive to breastfeeding. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:

Sample Talking Points:

  • Lack of support in breastfeeding is a larger reflection on the country’s national policy and perspective on the importance of breastfeeding.
  • WIC collaborates with local and community pediatricians and hospitals to promote and support breastfeeding and baby-friendly hospital environments.
  • WIC participates on state and local breastfeeding coalitions to improve continuity of breastfeeding care, make public spaces breastfeeding friendly, and fight for policies that support breastfeeding.
  • WIC services improve breastfeeding rates among diverse populations of low-income women.1
  • Participation in the WIC breastfeeding peer counseling program is associated with an increased rate of breastfeeding initiation.2
  • Women who attend WIC breastfeeding support groups are twice as likely to plan to breastfeed as those who do not.3
  • WIC breastfeeding initiation rates have risen from 42% in 1998 to 70% in 2014.4
  • Maternal WIC participation has been shown to improve breastfeeding rates.5


March 8, 2017
House Republican Healthcare Bill Released on Monday

On Monday night, Republican leaders from two House committees—the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), and the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)—released long-awaited draft bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Both committees are marking up their respective bills today.

For information about the bills, please see:


March 6, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations Limbo Continues

The current Continuing Resolution (CR) is set to expire in less than 8 weeks, piling on pressure for Congressional leaders to hop to it with passage of appropriations (funding) bills for the remainder of the current 2017 fiscal year or stare down the risks of a federal government shutdown.


February 27, 2017
R Street: Changes to WIC eligibility have led to poorly targeted program

This morning at the Washington Leadership Conference, Douglas Besharov discussed WIC eligibility. We invite you to read his recent R Street article.


February 22, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The WIC Program Promotes the Benefits of Breastfeeding

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: The WIC program overstates the benefits of breastfeeding. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


February 15, 2017
In Defense of WIC: The WIC Food Package is Prescriptive and Specific to the Needs of the Participant

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: The WIC food package is too restrictive and should be more like SNAP. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


February 13, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Budget Update: As previously expected for most first year, new administrations President Donald Trump’s administration will likely forgo submitting to Congress a budget outline this month. The administration will more likely wait until April or even May to release its full FY 2018 budget. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 requires that the President submit their budget request for the upcoming fiscal year no later than the first Monday of February. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), who served as Appropriations chairman for the last three Congresses, urged the administration not to skip the budget outline because doing so would push back the appropriations process. Rogers said such a delay would run the risk of having Congress adopt a continuing resolution (CR) next fall.


February 9, 2017
In Defense of WIC: Guidance for Navigating Uncertainty around WIC and Immigration

The National WIC Association (NWA) has received comments and stories from across the country expressing anxiety about recent immigration pronouncements from the White House.

First, despite the uncertainty, it is important to keep in mind that WIC policy has not changed. Our doors remain open to all vulnerable mothers and young children who meet WIC income guidelines and who are at nutrition risk.


February 6, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Affordable Care Act Update: This week, House Republicans are expected to mark up three Affordable Care Act (ACA) bills discussed in hearings last week. The more conservative members of the House Republican Caucus, concerned about recent discussions of "repairing" the law instead of full repeal, are pushing to have as much of the ACA repealed as possible. At the same time, members of the House and Senate are receiving correspondence and telephone calls from constituents expressing concerns about repeal without replacement.

 

 


February 3, 2017
Draft Executive Order Potentially Impacting WIC

Many of you have likely seen or are aware of media reports that the White House may issue an Executive Order relating to public charge rules for immigrants, both legal and undocumented, who use federal public benefits.


February 1, 2017
In Defense of WIC: WIC’s Targeted Food Packages DO Improve Health Outcomes

You may encounter the following criticism of WIC: WIC food package restrictions do not lead to better health, and the program’s nutritional and health benefits are hard to prove. Here are some suggestions for how to respond if and when you encounter this claim:


January 30, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Supreme Court Nominee:
President Trump is expected to announce his nominee to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court vacancy on Tuesday evening and will likely choose someone who would become a core member of the conservative wing of the Supreme Court. Senate Democrats have promised to filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland, whom former President Obama had nominated to fill the vacancy last year. Unlike all other executive and judicial nominees, Supreme Court nominees can still be blocked by the Senate minority.


January 27, 2017
AAP Issues Statement on Protecting Immigrant Children

Following Wednesday’s immigration-focused Executive Orders signed by President Donald Trump, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement underscoring the Academy’s continued support for immigrant children and their families.


January 23, 2017
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

New President: Last Friday, Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. In his 16-minute Inaugural Address, the billionaire hotelier and former reality TV star promised that “America will start winning again, and winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.” It remains to be seen how the new President will fulfill these promises.


January 13, 2017
Loudoun County Fights Childhood Obesity

Loudoun County Health Department, located in Leesburg, Virginia, is one of the local agencies participating in the Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children (CPHMC) project, through NWA’s cooperative agreement with the CDC.


January 5, 2017
Press Release: National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released their Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice: Final Report

For Immediate Release

January 5, 2017
Contact: Hannah Shultz
hshultz@nwica.org
202-232-5492

WASHINGTON – The National WIC Association (NWA) is thrilled that key recommendations from the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released today in their Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice: Final Report reflect recommendations made by NWA, available here. We are delighted that the NASEM recommendations provide WIC families with options and flexibility to meet their dietary and nutrient needs, opportunities for increased consumption and choice in whole grains and fruits and vegetables, decreased certain foods that were found to be offered in too large a quantity or were burdensome to WIC families, and encourage continued and improved support for breastfeeding moms.


December 19, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Congressional Schedule: The 114th congressional session officially ended last Friday, December 16. Lawmakers will be on recess until Tuesday, January 3, 2017, when the 115th Congress is scheduled to convene its first session.

Priorities for the 115th Congress: House Republican leaders are hoping to use the Republican control of the House, Senate, and Presidency to fulfill long-standing conservative goals in 2017. These goals include reducing domestic discretionary spending (disproportionately affecting human needs and social justice programs), dismantling the Affordable Care Act, passing sweeping tax cuts, and repealing a host of Obama administration regulations.


December 12, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Congressional Schedule: Many lawmakers have already left Capitol Hill for the holiday recess. The 114th congressional session officially ends this Friday, December 16th. The 115th Congress is scheduled to convene its first session on 3 January 2017.

FY 2017 Funding: The Senate passed a FY 2017 continuing resolution (CR) last Friday evening by a vote of 63 to 36, narrowly averting a government shutdown. The Senate also passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation bill (WIIN, formerly known as WRDA) on Friday by a vote of 78 to 21. WIIN authorizes $170 million in aid for Flint, Michigan to address its water pollution crisis.


December 7, 2016
Agriculture Chair Roberts: Child Nutrition Bill is Dead

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) said yesterday afternoon that efforts to complete the bill to reauthorize child nutrition programs have come to an end.


December 7, 2016
House Releases 5-Month Continuing Resolution

The House released their continuing resolution (CR) yesterday evening to fund the government past this Friday. It runs through April 28th at the same funding levels of FY 2016 – $1.07 trillion – which keeps the budget below the federal government’s strict spending caps. This means WIC will continue to operate at an annual funding level of $6.32 billion until the end of the CR.


December 5, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations: Legislators have just five days left to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government beyond December 9th, 2016. The CR that is currently being considered will now likely last through mid-April 2017 and will give the Republican Majority in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump the final say in how the government is funded for the remaining six months of FY 2017.

It is anticipated that the House will vote on the CR on Thursday, with the Senate to follow shortly after. House Republicans are hoping to wrap up the 114th Congressional session on Thursday after passing the CR and the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, which includes $170 million to help Flint, Michigan rid its water supply of lead pollution.


November 29, 2016
Call For Abstracts

There is so much happening in WIC! What have you been up to? Have you been involved in a great WIC project that you’d like to share with the WIC community? Please consider submitting an abstract for an oral or poster presentation at the NWA 2017 Annual Education and Training Conference and Exhibits in Philadelphia, PA, April 2 – 5 2017. The Annual Conference is an important forum for sharing new ideas and learning from each other.


November 28, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations: Congress is back in session this week after last week’s Thanksgiving recess. Legislators now have less than two weeks to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government beyond December 9th. The CR that is currently being considered will likely last through March 31, 2017 and will give the Republican Majority in Congress and President-elect Donald Trump the final say in how the government is funded for the remaining six months of FY 2017. The text of the CR is unlikely to be filed until next week.


November 22, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Lifting Up Your WIC Voice During this Uncertain Time

Three weeks after the November 8th election, many of us are still feeling shocked, anxious, uncertain, and even fearful about the future of our country. The new political landscape that we will face in 2017 is likely to have significant implications for WIC, but we do not know at this point exactly what those implications will be.


November 14, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Federal Election Outcome: Last Wednesday, Donald J. Trump was declared 45th President-Elect of the United States. He will take office on January 20, 2017. In addition, Republicans have maintained control of both the House and Senate by a margin of 46 seats in the House and 3 seats in the Senate.


November 7, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Election Day – tomorrow, November 8, 2016: This is a reminder to please go out and vote tomorrow if you have not already done so! There are important races throughout the US, not to mention the federal elections for President, US Senate, and US House of Representatives. Please be sure that your voice is heard by helping to elect policymakers that will support and strengthen WIC. You can read about key Senate races and House races on www.270towin.com.


October 31, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Election Day – November 8, 2016: This is a reminder to please mark your calendars for Election Day, just one week from tomorrow! There are important races throughout the US, not to mention the Federal elections for President, US Senate, and US House of Representatives. Please be sure that your voice is heard by helping to elect policymakers that will support and strengthen WIC. You can read about key Senate races and House races on www.270towin.com. If you are unable to vote on Election day or would just prefer to vote early, you can learn about how to do so using this handy google tool.

 


October 24, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Congressional Schedule: Members of Congress are currently on recess until after the November 8th election.

Appropriations Update: Congress’s biggest task when they return the week of November 14th will be to negotiate 11 appropriations measures to fund government agencies and programs, including WIC, for the remainder of FY 2017. There is a commitment from both chambers to complete all remaining appropriations bills by December 9th. When members return the week of November 14th, the Senate will have just 15 working days and the House 12 working days to complete appropriations. The goal is for the full Appropriations Committee to be finished with their work by December 2nd in order to provide enough time for passage on the floor of both the House and Senate.


October 17, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Congressional Schedule: Members of Congress are currently on recess until after the November 8th election.

 


October 3, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Congressional Schedule: Members of Congress are currently on recess until after the November 8th election


September 29, 2016
Congress Passes 10-week Continuing Resolution

The House approved a 10-week continuing resolution (CR) late last night which will fund the government at 2016 funding levels until early December. 


September 12, 2016
What the Dissolution of Relationships with Infant Formula Manufacturers Means

WIC is a federal public health nutrition program administered by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Congress, the USDA and State WIC Agencies establish policies that govern WIC and its operations.

The National WIC Association (NWA) is a non-profit membership association that advocates for WIC and provides education and training to WIC staff. NWA does not create WIC policy or have oversight of WIC.


September 10, 2016
Press Release: National WIC Association Statement on Infant Formula Manufacturers

For Immediate Release
September 10, 2016
Contact: Hannah Shultz
hshultz@nwica.org
319-541-7357

Denver, CO: This morning, National WIC Association (NWA) Board of Directors Chair, Donna Bister, announced during NWA’s 2016 Nutrition Education & Breastfeeding Promotion Conference the Association is ending its relationships with infant formula manufacturers, putting into effect a resolution passed in May 2015 and reaffirmed in May 2016 by voting members of the Association.

Effective immediately, NWA will no longer invite infant formula manufacturers to be members, exhibitors at conferences, advertisers or sponsors of events and activities.


June 7, 2016
Call for Abstracts: 2016 Nutrition Education and Breastfeeding Conference

The NWA 2016 Nutrition Education and Breastfeeding Conference Planning Committee Co-chairs are calling for presentation and poster abstracts until COB Tuesday, June 28th. We plan to begin contacting selected presenters during the week of July 18th. If your presentation was not selected, we hope you will consider creating a poster around your topic.


May 17, 2016
Tweet Your Opposition to the Child Nutrition Act!

Please join us in tweeting about the Child Nutrition Act. The House of Representative dropped a bill that is bad news for WIC and other child nutrition programs.

It takes less than 30 tweets to get the attention of most congressmen. Let them know what you think of this bill!


May 16, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Congressman John Kline (R-MN), is now rumored to be preparing to mark up their child nutrition reauthorization legislation (H.R. 5003) this week, possibly Wednesday.

Chairman Kline issued a statement on Tuesday 3 May defending his committee’s bill, H.R. 5003, against “partisan attacks” from “organizations that championed a massive expansion in the federal government’s role in child nutrition” during the last Child Nutrition Reauthorization process in 2010.


May 3, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Recess: Both chambers of Congress are out this week and will be back in session early next week.


April 25, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: The House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), introduced an unfortunate child nutrition reauthorization bill, the ironically titled Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), last Wednesday.


April 22, 2016
House Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill Bad for WIC and Other Programs

The House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), introduced an extraordinarily bad child nutrition reauthorization bill, the ironically titled Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), yesterday afternoon.


April 21, 2016
2016 Annual Conference Highlights: Tuesday, May 24th

The early registration ends tomorrow Friday, April 22nd. After the 22nd, the price increases. Save more by taking advantage of this rate and register today!

The room block at the conference hotel Is filling up quickly. Please book your hotel today.

View the agenda to see what you can expect to learn!


April 20, 2016
Local Lens: Crescent City WIC Services

Crescent City WIC Services Inc. (CC WIC) in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana is one of the local agencies participating in the Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children project, through our cooperative agreement with the CDC.

Many of the residents of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana don’t live close to grocery stores. When shopping for groceries locally, there are very few healthy, affordable options to choose. This 2,567 square mile area has only 2 grocery stores and 4 year-round farmers’ markets. Figures show that over 41% of the adults living in this parish have high blood cholesterol, 31% are diagnosed with high blood pressure, and 33% of adults ages 20 and over are considered to be obese. A lack of access to fresh, healthy foods are contributing to poor diets and higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases. To overcome the access obstacles, this project will need to transform local policies, systems, beliefs and practices within cultural norms so that healthier choices become real, feasible options for people living in Plaquemines Parish.


April 12, 2016
Resource Navigators in Montgomery County, MD

CCI is one of the local agencies participating in the Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children project, through our cooperative agreement with the CDC.

CCI Health and Wellness Services and the Healthy Jumpstart Coalition (HJC) are dedicated to improving community health by providing residents of Montgomery County, Maryland comprehensive access to preventative health services and chronic disease management. According to the CDC, most Americans underuse preventive services and individuals experiencing social, economic, or environmental disadvantages are even less likely to use these services. By integrating a resource navigator at the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) centers, families will be guided through a seamless process in which they receive one on one referral assistance. This innovative program will provide more than 30,000 residents the opportunity to access more than 20 services throughout the county.


April 11, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Last Tuesday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Congressman John Kline (R-MN), sent a confidential discussion draft of their Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill to partners. It has since been leaked to the media allowing us to share it with our members. This draft has not yet passed the Committee, and changes to the draft may be made before the bill is considered. No markup on Child Nutrition Reauthorization has yet been scheduled in the House, but it may take place soon.

The committee's discussion draft differs significantly from the bipartisan Senate Child Nutrition Bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee in January. With regard to WIC, the House discussion draft does not include a provision to give states the option to enroll children in WIC until their sixth birthday or until they enter full day kindergarten, as the Senate bill does. The discussion draft also departs from the Senate bill by excluding the Senate Agriculture Committee’s provision to give states the option to certify infants for up two years.


April 4, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

The Senate returns to Washington today after a two week recess, while the House remains in recess until next week. Senate Appropriations subcommittees have several hearings scheduled for this week to take testimony from agency directors on their FY 2017 requests. However, the Agriculture subcommittee, which sets funding for WIC, has not scheduled any further hearings as of yet.


March 30, 2016
Making Baltimore’s Food Deserts Bloom with Healthy Food

Anna Bondy, MPH, RD, LDN and Susan Gross, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN write this piece about what's going on in Baltimore.

The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” This brings up an important point that we need to remember to enjoy our food and help people with limited food access and budgets to do the same. The most enjoyable foods are foods fresh from the farm, seasoned well, and cooked with skill. So, if we want our communities to eat right, (and enjoy it) we need to help them access fresh foods and herbs, and teach them how to prepare these foods.


March 28, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Both chambers of Congress are on recess this week. Members of the Senate will return April 4th, while the House of Representatives will not return until April 12th.

The House FY 2017 Budget Resolution, which was approved by the House Budget Committee, chaired by Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) on March 18, has faced opposition among some Republicans during the past couple of weeks. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said that the budget resolution will not come to the House floor for a vote until it has the 218 Republican votes it needs in the face of united Democratic opposition. Under the 1974 Budget Act, both houses of Congress are supposed to agree on a budget by April 15, but this deadline is now looking harder to meet.


March 25, 2016
National Nutrition Month with the East Side Health District

Check out this information that was put together by the East Side Health District in East St. Louis. The East Side Health District is one of the local agencies participating in the Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children project, through our cooperative agreement with the CDC.

March, known as “National Nutrition Month,” is a month-long celebration emphasizing the importance of making healthy choices about eating and physical activity.


March 21, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

FY 2017 Budget and Appropriations: Last Wednesday, the House Budget Committee, chaired by Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) approved its FY 2017 budget resolution, known as “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America” by a vote of 20-16. The overarching theme of the budget proposal is balancing the budget, reducing spending, and paying off the federal deficit. To achieve these goals, the resolution cuts non-defense discretionary spending (the spending category that WIC falls into) by $877 billion over ten years—a cut of 18.6%. While it maintains the FY 2017 non-defense discretionary spending cap set by the Balanced Budget Amendment of 2015, in FY 2018 it cuts non-defense discretionary spending from $516 billion to $472 billion, a cut of $44 billion, or 8.5%. Under this resolution, the budget then freezes non-defense discretionary spending at the $472 billion level for the next nine years. This spending cap, if passed into law, could have grave implications for WIC operations moving forward. In addition, the budget resolution promises a full repeal of Affordable Care Act.


March 14, 2016
Weekly WIC Policy Update

FY 2017 Budget and Appropriations: Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, chaired a hearing last Wednesday to review the FY 2017 budget request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Witnesses at this hearing included The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, as well as Robert Johansson, Chief Economist at USDA, and Michael Young, USDA Budget Officer. Secretary Vilsack stressed the importance of WIC in his testimony, and assured the Subcommittee that the administration’s desired funding for 2017 will be adequate to meet WIC caseload needs.


March 14, 2016
15 Local WIC Agencies Awarded for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Community Health (CDC/DCH) has funded 47 new community organizations, including 15 local WIC agencies, to improve healthy eating, increase opportunities for physical activity, promote tobacco-free/smoke free environments, and/or improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and disease management at the community level. These awards, which are part of CDC's Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) National Organizations program, have been provided to chapters or affiliates of the American Heart Association, American Planning Association, and National WIC Association to use sound, evidence-based strategies that reduce the risks of costly chronic disease and promote healthier lifestyles. The 47 new chapters/affiliates can be viewed here. With this second round of funding, there are now 97 unique communities that have been supported since April 2015.


March 11, 2016
Submit Comments to the IOM

As you are aware, the WIC food package is currently being reviewed by an Institute of Medicine expert committee. In January 2015, NWA submitted more than a dozen recommendations to the Committee. Earlier this month, NWA submitted an additional recommendation to support infants aged 9-11 months. Specifically, NWA requests that States be allowed the option to offer the older infants the same forms of fruits and vegetables currently offered to their children and women participants. Read the comments here.


March 8, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

NWA Legislative Agenda: We at the National WIC Association are proud to share our 2017 Legislative Agenda. Here are some highlights from the agenda:

Total Funding Request of $6.37 billion + contingency fund
Set Aside for Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program of $90 million
Set Aside for Management Information Systems (MIS) and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) of $75 million
Set Aside for WIC Infrastructure of $14 million
Set Aside for Program Initiatives and Evaluation of $26 million
$2/month increase in fruit and vegetable vouchers for fully breastfeeding women adding up to a total of $6.02 million
Maintaining the Contingency Fund at $150 million

NWA’s WIC funding request differs from the President’s 2017 Budget in two ways: 1. An additional $10 million for Breastfeeding Peer Counselors and 2. An additional $6.02 million for increasing fruit and vegetable CVVs for fully breastfeeding women. The president’s budget asked for a total of $6.35 billion for the WIC program, versus NWA’s $6.37 billion.

We will be launching a letter campaign supporting our legislative asks very soon, which you can sign onto using our website’s Advocacy Central page. Please be on the lookout for this letter as well as instructions for how to sign-on.


February 10, 2016
USDA Temporarily Allows WIC Funds for Flint-Area WIC Recipient Lead Testing Among Other Actions

Dr. Kathryn Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services today announced that USDA “will temporarily allow Michigan to use WIC funds to conduct lead testing for WIC participants,” affecting potentially 3,800 participants.


February 9, 2016
Washington Update: President's Proposed FY2017 budget

Today, the President released a proposed budget for FY 2017. The budget includes $6.35 billion for WIC which is sufficient to meet current caseload of 8.1 million participants. The budget also includes $80 million for breastfeeding peer counseling, a $20 million increase from recent years, and $10 million more for research.


February 1, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

In the face of the water contamination crisis currently afflicting the city of Flint, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a $28 million appropriations bill last Friday to provide Flint with the resources needed to address the public health crisis. The House and Senate unanimously approved the measure earlier last week. The $28 million appropriation, an additional allocation out of the 2016 fiscal year, includes: $2.7 million for the Michigan Department of Education to provide additional school nurses, “Early On” monitoring for kids 0-3, and nutritious snacks for elementary school children; $5.8 million for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for testing and other costs; and $15.5 million to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Resources for field operations, nutrition support (including WIC services) and the purchase of bottled water and filters.


January 29, 2016
Has your state committed to the NWA National Recruitment & Retention Campaign yet?

We are in the midst of planning a 3 year campaign to help with recruitment and retention in the WIC program. We've been working closely with partners at Meredith and are confident this campaign will help address declining caseload experienced across the country, and increase positive perceptions of WIC. Take a look at this presentation to get more information.

The campaign has three guiding goals:

  1. Increase recruitment
  2. Increase retention
  3. Improve perception


January 28, 2016
IOM Review of the WIC Food Package Interim Report

Within WIC, there are three main policy areas: the appropriations process, Child Nutrition Reauthorization, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Review of the WIC Food Packages. Each process involves examining the latest research and data on WIC; however, the process for reviewing the WIC food package is, perhaps, the most scientific as it involves looking at the science behind the nutritional needs of the WIC population and the evidence on the impacts of the current package. The WIC food package is reviewed every 10 years by an IOM expert committee. Central to the review is that recommendations are “grounded in the most recently available science” and meet the nutritional needs of the WIC population.


January 19, 2016
Bi-Partisan Child Nutrition Bill Strong for Mothers and Young Children

The National WIC Association applauds Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Stabenow (D-MI) for their leadership and teamwork with Members of both parties on the Committee to create a strong, bi-partisan Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization bill. Scheduled for mark-up tomorrow morning, the bill, if passed, would set policies to strengthen the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other child nutrition programs for 5 years. 


January 15, 2016
WIC Participant and Program Characteristics FAQs

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2014 (PC 2014) report. This biennial report provides nationwide demographic information on WIC program participants as well as information on participant income and nutrition risk characteristics. Both a summary and full report can be accessed here. Below are some frequently asked questions about the PC 2014.


January 7, 2016
U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services Release 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Today, the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The Guidelines are based on the Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Guidelines translate much of the Committee’s Scientific Report into “succinct, food-based guidance that can be relied upon to help Americans choose foods that provide a healthy and enjoyable diet.


January 4, 2016
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Budget Reconciliation: House leaders are preparing this week to send budget reconciliation legislation to the President that would eliminate key provisions of the Affordable Care Act and withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood. Republican leaders have elected to use the reconciliation process as a way to force President Obama to veto the bill, since reconciliation means the bill will make it to the president’s desk without being subject to a Democratic filibuster. The reconciliation bill, H.R. 3762, passed in the House last October and was later amended in the Senate. The House will now vote on the revised Senate version, which eliminates the penalties in the Affordable Care Act for individuals who don’t purchase medical insurance and for companies with more than 50 workers that fail to provide health-care coverage. The Senate version also includes language to repeal additional taxes and financing mechanisms from the 2010 healthcare law


December 21, 2015
Eat Fit for Life!

Local WIC Agencies Encourage Restaurants to Highlight Healthy Menu Items

The Community Partnerships for Healthy Mothers and Children (CPHMC) project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), places local WIC agencies at the forefront of public health work by bolstering WIC’s direct service model with policy, systems, and environmental change approaches. Coordinated by local WIC agencies with support from a multi-sector coalition, CPHMC supports innovative community health initiatives at the local level to improve access to healthy food environments and strengthen community-clinical linkages. Four local projects in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, and Michigan are working to energize their communities through restaurant menu labeling initiatives. These projects—Por Vida, Eat Fit Northshore, Healthy Options, and Healthy Families of Oceana County (HFOC) Food Labeling Initiative—are working with local restaurant owners to highlight healthy and flavorful options on the menu.


December 16, 2015
We Took Your Stories to Congress!

Over the last several months, NWA has been collecting stories from WIC participants and staff around the country. We received thousands of stories in the mail from the East Coast, West Coast and in between. We also received stories online and by email. The message is clear: people appreciate WIC enormously. As one participant from Florida told us, “WIC means hope."


December 14, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

2016 Budget Update: Last Friday, Congress passed H.R. 2250, a 5-day Continuing Resolution (CR), to provide lawmakers with a bit of extra time to negotiate the details of the 2016 omnibus spending package. Members of Congress now have until midnight Wednesday to pass the omnibus bill.


November 25, 2015
A Thanksgiving Message from NWA

We are each reminded this and every Thanksgiving Holiday of the great mystery that unites us one to another and from generation to generation, in gratitude for the return of seed time and harvest, for the increase of the ground and the gathering in of its fruits.

Much has changed since early humankind gave thanks for the bounty of the harvest. The foods that many of us will be fortunate to share this weekend will in many cases have traveled halfway across the nation, even halfway around the world to our tables.


November 23, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Budget Update: Congress is currently on a 10-day Thanksgiving recess. Upon their return to Capitol Hill next Monday, November 30, members of the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate will continue to negotiate what will likely be an omnibus spending package, a single legislative document that will set the budget of nearly all government departments for FY2016. The deadline for the federal spending package is December 11, at which time we will face another government shutdown if an agreement has not been reached. Disputes over funding distribution among the 12 separate spending bills as well as the inclusion of policy riders (i.e. policies that are attached to spending bills that do not relate to spending) continue to delay a final agreement. The funding level for the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which sets spending levels for WIC, has yet to be finalized


November 17, 2015
Reflection on the Tragedy of the Attacks in Paris from Douglas Greenaway

Paris is an iconic city for the world – a witness to freedom and democracy – the city of light. It is a culturally diverse city as are many American cities and is a beacon of tolerance in an increasingly intolerant world. The United States, and particularly New York, knows the experience of terror that Paris has once again witnessed. It is a blessing to see the people of the United States stand in solidarity with the people of France.


November 2, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Last Friday, the Senate passed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. H.R. 1314 suspends the U.S. debt limit through March 2017 and increases federal spending for domestic and defense programs by more than $80 billion over the next two years. This measure effectively prevents the U.S. from defaulting on our federal loans and significantly lowers the risk of a government shutdown in December. The Act also gives Treasury the authority to shift accounts, essentially deferring a potential default until near fiscal year 2018.


October 28, 2015
Bipartisan Budget Agreement Reached

A two-year bipartisan budget agreement was reached late Monday night by leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the White House. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she hopes to bring this to a vote in the House this week. If passed, this agreement would avert a government shutdown, at least for the next two years.


October 26, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Affordable Care Act and Budget Reconciliation

The House voted along party lines last Friday to approve a budget reconciliation bill, H.R. 3762, that would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and halt federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year. The final vote was 240-189, with one Democrat voting in favor (Congressman Collin Peterson, D-MN) and seven Republicans voting against (Congressmen Ken Buck, R-CO; Bob Dold, R-IL; Richard Hanna, R-NY; Walter Jones, R-NC; Mark Meadows, R-NC; Matt Salmon, R-AZ; and Mark Walker, R-NC). It is suspected that Congressman Peterson voted in favor due to his strong opposition to abortion, while the Republicans voting against likely felt that the bill does not go far enough to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


October 21, 2015
WIC Research to Practice: Researcher Spotlight

“You have to care about your job and you have to care about what you do. You can’t fake that.” -- Martha Meza

Recruiting and retaining participants for any study can be challenging. Martha Meza, Executive Assistant to Special Projects at PHFE WIC, spoke with us about her experience in data collection for a study taking place in California. The study, titled Online Nutrition Education: WIC in the 21st Century evaluates the impact of online nutrition education vs. in person nutrition education. The research is a collaboration between UC Berkeley and Public Health Foundation Enterprises (PHFE) WIC.  Martha collected data from WIC participants in the form of telephone interviews in both English and Spanish. The return rate for participant engagement was around 98%. We had the pleasure of speaking with Martha about her approach to this type of data collection and her techniques to getting such impressive return rates.


October 19, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Budget Update: The Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), plans a hearing Wednesday on the need to revamp the federal budget process. Senate Republicans are currently in discussions with the White House on plans for a budget deal that would raise discretionary spending. This deal could include changes to the budget process.


October 19, 2015
Response to NY Times Article

Courtney Jung’s article ‘Overselling Breast-Feeding’ on October 16th mischaracterizes the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children known as WIC, our country's most important science-based public health nutrition program for mothers and young children.

WIC serves more than 8 million members, including more than half of all babies born in the United States. As a short-term, evidence-based intervention program, WIC is designed to influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors in a targeted, high-risk population. WIC is well documented to improve health outcomes for many of America’s most vulnerable families.


October 13, 2015
WIC Research to Practice Hot Topic: Caseload Decrease

recent article published in USDA’s Amber Waves, considers the factors that have influenced national WIC caseload decline. Specifically, the article considers the macro level issues, attributing caseload decrease to the declining birthrate and upturn in the economy. The decline is significant: Recent preliminary numbers from FNS show that earlier this year, national caseload dropped below 8 million for the first time in over a decade. A key theme within the issue of caseload is ‘retention’ – why are eligible people either not entering the program or choosing to exit the program?


October 5, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Legislative Update: No Government Shutdown…For Now

Last Wednesday, in the final hours before the end of the fiscal year, Congress passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown today and keep the government running until December 11th. In recent weeks, it was unclear whether Congress would be able to come to agreement on the measure. In the Senate, the CR passed with a vote of 78 to 20. The measure passed the House with bi-partisan support and a divided Republican party in a vote of 277 to 151, with 186 Democrats and 91 Republicans in favor and 141 Republicans opposing.


September 14, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Congressman John Kline (R-MN), is now rumored to be preparing to mark up their child nutrition reauthorization legislation (H.R. 5003) this week, possibly Wednesday.

Chairman Kline issued a statement on Tuesday 3 May defending his committee’s bill, H.R. 5003, against “partisan attacks” from “organizations that championed a massive expansion in the federal government’s role in child nutrition” during the last Child Nutrition Reauthorization process in 2010.


September 2, 2015
Share Your Story!

We have extended our story collection campaign!


August 11, 2015
Be a Voice for WIC during August Recess

Both Houses of Congress are currently on August recess and will return to Capitol Hill on September 8, 2015. During this time, when members of Congress will be in their home districts, the National WIC Association would like to encourage you to reach out to your Senators, Representative, and their staff to give them a tour of a WIC clinic in your district. Providing legislators with an inside-look into what WIC does and who WIC serves will help to emphasize how important the program is and show policy-makers that WIC is worth protecting.

 


August 5, 2015
Share Your Story!

will markup the reauthorization<span 1.6em;"=""> of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

Leading up to the markup, NWA is collecting stories from WIC participants, service providers and anyone else who has been impacted by WIC.


August 4, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Update: Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry announced last Monday that the Committee will markup the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 on September 17, 2015.

Please join us in urging Congress to honor our recommendations for WIC reauthorization this year. You can read our Reauthorization Legislative Agenda and Summary, and send a letter.


August 3, 2015
USDA Recognizes WIC Agencies for Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is recognizing state and local agencies of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (more commonly known as WIC) that excel in offering education and support for breastfeeding mothers. As part of World Breastfeeding Week activities, Vilsack has also proclaimed this week, Aug. 1-7, as National WIC Breastfeeding Week, “in appreciation of breastfeeding mothers and of all the dedicated volunteers, professionals, communities, and organizations who support their efforts.”


July 27, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

WIC 2016 Funding Update: This timeline covers WIC Appropriations progress for the last six months, as well as what we can expect in the next few months:

  • February 2015: President Obama released his 2016 budget on February 3, which provides a total of $6.62 billion to the WIC program, including a contingency reserve of $150 million, $60 million for breastfeeding peer counselors, $14 million for infrastructure, and $55 million for management information systems ($30 million for management information systems [MIS] and $25 million for electronic benefit transfer systems [EBT]). The President’s budget estimated that WIC would serve approximately 8.5 million mothers and young children per month.


July 20, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee chaired by Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) passed the Agriculture Appropriations bill in a bipartisan vote of 28-2. The bill includes $6.513 billion for WIC in FY2016, which is $29 million more than the House bill’s proposed WIC funding allocation and likely enough funding to meet anticipated caseload needs. It also included $60 million for breastfeeding peer counselors and other related activities, $13.6 million for infrastructure, and $55 million for MIS/EBT.


July 13, 2015
Tell Congress to Protect and Improve WIC!

Click here to write a letter telling Congress to Protect and Improve the WIC Program through Child Nutrition Reauthorization! The customizable text of our letter is below:

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has been instrumental in improving at-risk women and children’s health, growth and development, and preventing health problems for 41 years. WIC serves approximately 8 million mothers and young children through 10,000 clinics nationwide.

Quality nutrition services are the centerpiece of WIC: nutrition and breastfeeding counseling and education, nutritious foods, and improved healthcare access for low and moderate income women and children with, or at risk of developing, nutrition-related health problems including overweight, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. WIC’s committed, results-oriented, entrepreneurial staffs stretch resources to serve the maximum numbers of women, infants, and children and ensure program effectiveness and integrity.


July 13, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

The House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chair, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking, completed its markup of the FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill last Wednesday, July 8. The draft bill was ordered to be reported favorably by a voice vote. 


July 6, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

The House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), advanced its FY 2016 Health and Human Services, Education and Labor Appropriations bill last Wednesday. Committee members approved the bill in a 30-21 vote (along party lines) after a nearly seven-hour markup.

The bill has the potential to harm the nation’s health in a number of ways. First, despite the Supreme Court’s recent ruling protecting subsidies for access to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the federal exchange, it blocks discretionary funding for the ACA. If signed into law, this would mean that the nearly 16 million people who depend on federal subsidies to purchase health insurance would be denied coverage.


June 29, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Supreme Court Decision on ACA Subsidies: In a major decision, the Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the federal subsidies that help nearly 6.4 million people pay for their HealthCare.gov health insurance plans are legal under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The 6-3 ruling on King v. Burwell means that the 34 states being considered in this case will avoid skyrocketing prices on individual plan insurance and will prevent the loss of health coverage for nearly 8 million people in those states.


June 22, 2015
WEEKLY WIC POLICY UPDATE

Appropriations Update:
The House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair, Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking, completed its markup and released a draft of its FY 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill last Thursday, June 18.

The draft bill funds WIC at $6.484 billion, including $60 million for breastfeeding peer counselors, $55 million for management information systems (MIS), including WIC EBT systems and activities, and $14 million for WIC infrastructure. The Subcommittee did not provide monies for the contingency fund.


June 17, 2015
House Appropriations Committee Releases WIC Appropriations Bill Mark

17 June 2015 – The House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair, Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking, will markup their version of the FY2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill, including funding for the WIC Program tomorrow 18 June.


June 15, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

FY 2016 Budget Controversy

The FY 2016 Budget continues to be a contentious issue here in Washington. Senate Republicans, lead by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would like to approve HR 2685, the House-passed Defense Appropriations bill, as early as this week. This bill includes language that would protect defense spending from budget sequestration. Senate Republicans want the bill to be approved first among the 12 Appropriations bills for the same reason, so that it is not subject to sequestration cuts. They would prefer that non-defense discretionary programs such as WIC, which will be negotiated later in the process, be exposed to deep cuts.

President Obama and Democrats in both chambers want the caps lifted for both domestic and military programs.


June 8, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


June 4, 2015
Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and Linda Sánchez Introduce Wise Investment in Our Children Act to extend WIC to Age Six

Please read about an exciting marker bill dropped today by Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) which would extend eligibility for children to participate in WIC until their 6th birthdays. 


May 4, 2015
The National WIC Association Responds to WSJ Article on WIC Infant Formula Rebates and Program Eligibility

Read Reverend Douglas Greenaway's letter to the editor in response to last week's Wall Street Journal article about WIC, infant formula rebates, and program eligibility. 


March 24, 2015
50 Communities Awarded for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Including 17 Local WIC Agencies

Read about the 50 local communities being funded by the CDC's National Implementation and Dissemination for Chronic Disease Prevention Program. 


March 23, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


March 16, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


March 2, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


February 19, 2015
2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Submits Recommendations to HHS and USDA

The National WIC Association (NWA) is pleased to share that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted its recommendations to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


February 9, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


February 3, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update: President's FY 2016 Budget

President Obama released his 2016 Budget request yesterday. Read more about the president's budget in this week's WIC Policy Update.


February 3, 2015
Joint Statement on the IOM Letter Report: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher

This statement was released today by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National WIC Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest, First Focus and March of Dimes in response to the release of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher


January 26, 2015
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


January 14, 2015
NWA Recommendations for the 2014/2015 IOM Review of the WIC Food Packages

Read NWA's recommendations for the WIC food packages.

Categories: Nutrition

December 11, 2014
WIC FY2015 Funding Update

Latest WIC Funding Update.


December 2, 2014
Reach Them, Teach Them, Keep Them

Learn about our 2015 theme: Reach Them, Teach Them, Keep Them!


December 1, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


November 17, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy news.


October 30, 2014
Celebrating WIC at USDA's Anniversary Event

NWA celebrated WIC's 40th Anniversary with the USDA.


October 14, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

NWA makes statement on WIC Food Package review.


October 8, 2014
How to Get WIC Videos Played as PSAs

See tips on how to get WIC PSAs aired.


October 1, 2014
Strengthening Families By Connecting Them to Healthcare

Watch our WIC Anniversary Healthcare Referrals video!


September 29, 2014
NWA to Receive $2.39 Million from CDC to Fund High-Risk WIC Agencies for Chronic Disease Prevention

Learn more about this exciting initiative.


September 22, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


August 4, 2014
Strengthening Families’ Health with WIC Breastfeeding Support

Celebrate WIC during National Breastfeeding Month!

Categories: Breastfeeding

July 28, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy info.


July 21, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy update.


July 2, 2014
Why Does it Matter if White Potatoes are in WIC?

See our new infographic about the WIC potato issue!


June 23, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy update.


June 16, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC policy updates.


June 11, 2014
White House Threatens to Veto Potatoes

WIC potato issue gets attention in the House.


June 2, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

The First Lady talks potatoes in WIC.


May 28, 2014
NWA Deeply Disappointed Potatoes Mandated in WIC

The scientific process of the WIC food package shouldn't be compromised.


May 27, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Latest on the Potato issue.


May 19, 2014
Monday Call-in: Don’t Let Congress Pick WIC Foods!

Don't let Congress pick WIC foods!

Categories: Nutrition

May 1, 2014
Strengthening Families’ Health With Nutritious Foods

See our Healthy Food WIC anniversary video!


April 28, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC budget info.


April 25, 2014
WIC: Let's Move! 5K Walk/Run

Register for the WIC: Let's Move! 5K Walk/Run!


April 24, 2014
Reaching Young Moms with Cooking Matters

Learn about Cooking Matters grocery store tours for WIC!

Categories: Nutrition Education

April 21, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Partner orgs - sign on our WIC funding letter!


April 14, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Weekly update on WIC budget news.


April 10, 2014
Heartbleed Website Security Issue

You can feel reassured about using our website.


April 8, 2014
Sign Our Letter to Protect the WIC Food Package!

Sign on to protect the integrity of the WIC Food Package.


April 7, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC funding updates.


March 31, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC funding news.


March 24, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC funding info.


March 12, 2014
Strengthening Families’ Healthy Eating Habits for 40 Years

Watch our latest video on WIC nutrition education!

Categories: Nutrition Education

March 10, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest WIC funding news.


March 5, 2014
President's Budget Released

Read what the President's budget means for WIC.


February 28, 2014
NWA’s Statement on the USDA Final WIC Rule

See our statement on the USDA Final WIC Rule.

Categories: Nutrition

February 24, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest legislative update on WIC.


February 3, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest legislative update on WIC.


January 23, 2014
Celebrating 40 Years of Strengthening Families

Watch our infographic videos created to celebrate WIC's 40th anniversary!


January 22, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read up on the latest WIC policy updates.


January 14, 2014
WIC FY 2014 Funding Update

The latest developments for WIC's funding & the potato issue.


January 13, 2014
Weekly WIC Policy Update

Read the latest legislative update on WIC.


January 2, 2014
Tell Congress Not to Circumvent the Science of the WIC Food Package

Tell Congress to stop meddling in the science of the WIC food package.


December 6, 2013
ACA Basics for the WIC Community

See Q&A from our recent Affordable Care Act webinar.


November 26, 2013
WIC Voices Ring Loud and Clear

Giving thanks to WIC participants willing to share their voices.


November 21, 2013
Tell Congress to Eliminate the Sequester and Fully Fund WIC!

Urge Congress to support a budget plan that puts the nation on a sustainable fiscal path without taking funding from WIC.


November 14, 2013
Our New Website – Designed with You in Mind

See how we created new website features to better meet your needs.

Categories: Special Topics

November 12, 2013
5 Ways You Can Use Journey Maps to Help Change Behavior

Learn what journey maps are and how they can identify opportunities for making improvements in your clients’ experiences.


October 29, 2013
Can Congress Really Be That Heartless?

Families using SNAP will face benefit decreases starting November 1.


October 17, 2013
Congress Temporarily Re-opens Government and Raises Debt Limit

Finally, the government is re-open (for now), but WIC isn't out of the woods yet.


October 11, 2013
What Congress Can Do to Keep WIC Doors Open for Mothers and Young Children

Funding ceased for WIC following the government shutdown.


October 7, 2013
WIC Programs Remain Open Despite Government Shutdown

WIC Programs should be able to stay open through at least October 31.


October 7, 2013
Legislative Update, Oct 7

Latest update on WIC and the government shutdown.


October 4, 2013
Call Your Rep Now and Urge them to: Oppose H J Res 75

Urge Congress to oppose H J Res 75, the “Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act."


August 2, 2013
FY 2014 Appropriations Update

WIC was underfunded last week in the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee’s passed FY2014 funding bill.


June 19, 2013
Potato Battle Heats Up as Some in Congress Don Lab Coats

White potatoes are not currently an allowed food in WIC and the potato industry has taken issue with this.

Categories: Nutrition