Rev. Greenaway: “Like the program itself, the WIC Act is an investment in growing a healthier generation of babies and young children.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Natalie Mulloy
WASHINGTON – Recently, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Wise Investment in our Children Act (WIC Act). The bill permits state agencies administering the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to: (1) extend child eligibility to age six or the beginning of kindergarten; (2) extend infant certification periods to two years; and (3) extend postpartum women’s eligibility to two years.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response:
“The National WIC Association strongly supports the bipartisan WIC Act to strengthen nutrition assistance for women and young children. These straightforward reforms are an important step in streamlining WIC services and enhancing the program’s public health impact. Like the program itself, the WIC Act is an investment in growing a healthier generation of babies and young children.
Introduced by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Wise Investment in our Children Act (WIC Act) will empower states to take common-sense steps to improve service delivery and address critical nutrition gaps. The bill permits states to expand nutrition assistance for postpartum women, resolve a nutrition gap for children who age off WIC before they are eligible for school meals, and relieve families of burdensome paperwork requirements as their children are transitioning to solid foods.
We applaud the bill’s sponsors for championing program reforms that expand access to WIC’s quality nutrition services. WIC ensures that children get a healthy start to life, and the WIC Act is a necessary step toward improving positive pregnancy and birth outcomes, reducing childhood hunger, and streamlining clinic services. Each provision enhances access to vital nutrition support and education at crucial periods of growth and development, the hallmark of WIC services.
Should this bill be enacted, NWA estimates that approximately 600,000 children and nearly one million women could receive extended nutrition support. The WIC Act’s streamlining effort also could reduce the administrative burden on over 1.65 million infants served by WIC, ensuring that WIC staff is able to devote additional time to support the infant’s nutritional needs during a critical time of development.
The WIC Act – broadly endorsed by public health and anti-hunger organizations – is a powerful next step in strengthening WIC’s reach and impact on maternal and child health. We look forward to working with Senators Casey and Collins to advance this legislation in Congress.”
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