National WIC Association

March 1, 2021

Amid Bipartisan Calls for WIC Investments, COVID Relief Must Do Right for our Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Natalie Moran
Email: nmoran@nwica.org  

Following the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a group of ten Senate Republicans has put forth a $618 billion proposal to provide more targeted relief. Both of these plans include an investment of $3 billion in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

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

"For almost a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our communities and families – especially families raising young children. The unprecedented disruption to our daily lives is coupled with a burgeoning hunger crisis, with nearly one in six adults reporting difficulty in feeding their children. As families continue to struggle with the all-encompassing grip of this pandemic, comprehensive and long-term relief is needed to provide families with certainty and support until both the public health and economic crises are resolved.

"That the group of ten Senate Republicans recognizes the value of President Biden and Vice President Harris’s proposed $3 billion in WIC investments is a positive sign. They know that WIC is a proven program, with demonstrated health outcomes that lead to healthier pregnancies, healthier babies, and healthier children. As the White House initially outlined, WIC’s effective support can have a larger impact if more families are connected with services and if WIC is strategically leveraged to address systemic public health inequities, including maternal and infant mortality, chronic disease prevention, and access to nutritious foods. 

"WIC investment is crucial to building a better program that can more effectively deliver positive health outcomes and help resolve health and racial disparities. This strong investment can ensure that WIC families have enhanced nutritious food benefits during the pandemic, expand national outreach efforts, and drive innovation to modernize WIC’s service delivery.

"Despite the broad bipartisan support for these WIC investments, any legislation needs to tackle the whole breadth of issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge the group of ten Republicans to embrace the core economic provisions of the American Rescue Plan that would help cut child poverty in half – including enhancements to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, rental assistance, and aid for the state and local governments that have delivered critical services during the pandemic. We are encouraged that President Biden is fostering bipartisan dialogue and seeking common ground. At the same time, we urge all parties to recognize the scope of relief needed by America’s families and communities."

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