National WIC Association

June 15, 2021

NWA Releases Report Urging USDA to Increase WIC Benefit Permanently

Today, the National WIC Association (NWA) released a report on WIC’s food package, entitled WIC Food Package: Impacts and Recommendations to Advance Nutrition Security, on the WIC Hub, a centralized collection of resources covering a wide range of WIC-related topics. USDA has signaled it intends to revise the food packages in fiscal year 2022. NWA’s report calls for a doubling of the value of the WIC food package, including a permanent increase in fruits and vegetables. It is a unified resource for WIC providers, administrators, and researchers showcasing WIC’s food package landscape, scientific nutrition recommendations, and NWA’s food package policy priorities. We invite you to share this report with your networks. 

 

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

 

“The WIC food package is the carrot that brings moms, their babies, and young children to WIC. There, they find nutrition professionals who deliver invaluable nutrition supports and connect them to crucial health care and social services. Together, these supports save America and American taxpayers valuable healthcare dollars to the tune of $2.48 for every dollar invested in WIC. Where else can you get that kind of a return? But the carrot is no longer enough. To make the juice worth the squeeze, families need a whole basket of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and other healthy foods. Now is the time to make meaningful investments in the best hook to get more moms and their families into WIC – doubling the value of the WIC food package.

 

“President Biden’s fiscal year 2022 federal budget doubles down on the Administration’s ongoing commitment to building nutrition security, starting with the nutrition needs of the pregnant and postpartum women, babies, and young children served by WIC. The American Rescue Plan Act’s temporary expansion of the value of the WIC food benefit has brought historic investment in access to healthy foods for WIC families this summer, and NWA wholeheartedly supports the White House’s proposed extension of this increase through fiscal year 2022. Still, the bumped-up fruit and vegetable benefit needs to continue long after the shadow of COVID-19 is gone. Enhancing WIC access and benefits are the most straightforward steps to building stronger nutrition security for millions of families.

 

“With increased investment, NWA is confident that doubling WIC’s food benefit will bring more families closer to the nutrient recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – a critical step to further reduce rates of childhood obesity, bring down healthcare costs, and set up our children for future life success. This report and its recommendations point policymakers toward real solutions to expanding the value of the food package, ensuring that WIC families get real value for their efforts and that America gets the full bang for investing in WIC families.”