WASHINGTON, D.C. - On February 21, 2023, National WIC Association (NWA) submitted public comment on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package rule. In its 32-page comment, NWA asserted that to abide by a science-based process is to prioritize the most essential nutrients for maternal health as well as child growth and development.
The following quote is attributed to Dr. Jamlia Taylor, NWA President & CEO:
“For decades, NWA has championed a science-based approach for updating the WIC food packages. This process has repeatedly demonstrated increased improvements in maternal and child health outcomes for WIC participants, most notably by fueling a 9% decrease in obesity rates among WIC-enrolled toddlers. Adhering to independent, evidence-based recommendations is critical to strengthening the improved health outcomes associated with WIC participation. Simply put, the data doesn’t lie.
“As a supplemental program, Congress has intended for WIC to work in tandem with other resources - including SNAP and other household resources - to meet the full grocery needs of a family. Because of this structural limitation, WIC must maximize the nutrients delivered in WIC foods and provide a healthy balance across all food groups. This approach ensures that children not only get a healthy start, but build lifelong taste preferences for nutritious foods. WIC’s proven health impacts also yield better pregnancy-related outcomes among the most vulnerable pregnant and postpartum women.
“There’s no greater evidence of this than the recent fruit and vegetable benefit increase that brought the WIC food package closer to scientific dietary recommendations - increasing access to a greater variety of healthy foods for nearly 5 million women and children. We look to policymakers across all levels of government to honor the scientific process and commit the needed resources to implement updated food packages that will expand access to nutritious foods and build healthier futures for the next generation.
The National WIC Association (NWA) is the nonprofit 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 6.3 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.