National WIC Association: “This common-sense investment - extended repeatedly in fiscal year 2022 through bipartisan action - builds on WIC’s public health success to grow a healthier next generation.”
WASHINGTON D.C. - This afternoon, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee voted to report the fiscal year 2023 Agriculture and FDA spending bill for full committee review. The bill, which includes $6 billion in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children (WIC), is scheduled for a full committee markup later this month. The subcommittee approved a yearlong extension of enhanced WIC fruit and vegetable benefits and full funding of WIC’s Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program.
Brian Dittmeier, Senior Director of Public Policy at the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in response:
“Since April 2021, more than 4.8 million women and children participating in WIC have received enhanced vegetable and fruit benefits that align with science-based recommendations. This targeted support has been a proven success: ensuring that WIC participants have sustained access to nutritious foods vital for early childhood development and bolstering local economies. This common-sense investment - extended repeatedly in fiscal year 2022 through bipartisan action - builds on WIC’s public health success to grow a healthier next generation.
“The WIC bump has already proven to improve dietary quality, with measured increases in fruit and vegetable consumption among young children and a greater variety of produce purchased by WIC families. Consistent access to more fruits and vegetables will shape shopping behaviors and child taste preferences in the long-term, helping to bring down long-term healthcare costs by mitigating the risk of chronic diet-related conditions and fostering nutrition security for low-income families. We thank appropriators - especially Chairs DeLauro and Bishop - for recognizing the effectiveness of early nutrition interventions, like this WIC bump, to strengthen domestic producers and support healthier outcomes.
“Although WIC’s quantity-based benefit generally insulates families from rising food costs, the cash-value benefit for fruits and vegetables is not protected from inflationary effects. This WIC bump is both a public health success and a necessary adjustment that ensures families have the purchasing power to provide their children with essential nutrients necessary for early development. As low-income families continue to navigate current economic challenges, it is essential that Congress provide families with certainty and advance this legislation before the September 30 deadline.”
For additional comment or to schedule an interview, please contact Tim Ward at email@example.com or 304-654-6397.
The National WIC Association (NWA) is the non-profit membership organization for State and local providers of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). NWA is the go-to voice of and for WIC staff at more than 12,000 WIC locations across the country who work to support more than 6.2 million mothers and young children. For over three decades, NWA has worked to build broad, bipartisan consensus for WIC’s programmatic goals and public health mission. NWA provides member-driven advocacy; education, guidance, and support to WIC staff; and drive innovation to strengthen WIC as we work toward a nation of healthier women, children, and their families. Learn more at www.nwica.org.