The following is a statement from Georgia Machell, Interim President & CEO of the National WIC Association, in response to Congress passing a Continuing Resolution that funds the government through early March:
“One hundred forty days since the Biden Administration requested additional funding for WIC to meet rising caseloads and higher program costs, Congress has once again adopted a continuing resolution that keeps the government open temporarily but does not provide the additional funding WIC needs to sustain its growth. If Congress continues to play with fire, millions of women and children are going to get burned.
In a time when maternal mortality, hunger, and poverty are all rising, it makes little sense that Congress has failed to provide state and local WIC agencies with the resources to meaningfully address those conditions. Some states have already begun to consider asking USDA for emergency funds, and more will be pushed into that boat if Congress continues to drag its feet. But emergency funds can only last so long. Each day that Congress doesn’t provide long-term funding brings us one day closer to WIC being forced to turn people away.
As WIC marks its 50th anniversary this month, we must remember the simple premise that has made the program so effective for so long: everyone who needs WIC should be able to get it. Only Congress can make that a reality, and only if it finally summons the political will to act.”