The National WIC Association is thrilled to support the Wise Investment in Our Children (WIC) Act. This common-sense legislation will expand WIC eligibility for infants, children and new mothers, ensuring our services can continue reaching families at every stage of development.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Kim Schrier (D-WA) reintroduced the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act — a bill that would expand eligibility age for children and new mothers and extend infant certification periods within the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
Presently, children enrolled in the program age out at their fifth birthday, while postpartum participants are only eligible for services for six months (or up to one year if breastfeeding). This bill would expand that eligibility to ensure children can remain on the program until age six or the beginning of kindergarten, filling a critical gap between the end of WIC eligibility and access to school meals. Postpartum and breastfeeding mothers’ eligibility would be expanded to two years. Additionally, infants would only be required to certify enrollment after two years, instead of one.
The following statement is attributed to Dr. Jamila Taylor, President & CEO of the National WIC Association:
"Every child and mother deserves access to healthy foods and nutrition education, especially at pivotal moments of intervention. With a commitment to prioritize and promote health equity, the National WIC Association is thrilled to support the Wise Investment in Our Children (WIC) Act. This common-sense legislation will expand WIC eligibility for infants, children and new mothers, ensuring our services can continue reaching families at every stage of development.
"For nearly 50 years, WIC has been improving maternal and child health outcomes. This critical legislation would build on that legacy and lead to healthier diets and improved physical and cognitive health for the moms and children who need us most. By expanding eligibility and certification timelines, WIC can continue investing in and empowering the futures of our families.
"The data clearly demonstrates that when WIC is working side-by-side with families, good things happen. Now, imagine the impact if WIC providers were given even more time to fuel healthy starts. If passed, the WIC Act will turn that idea into reality and ease the burden of care on families already facing hardship.
"We applaud Senators Casey and Collins and Representatives DeLauro, González-Colón, Sánchez, Fitzpatrick and Schrier for their commitment to maternal and child health. We urge Congress to support the WIC Act, a policy that will not only bridge the service delivery gap but also create healthier communities nationwide. It’s time to invest in families. It’s time to pass the WIC Act."