Later today, the House of Representatives is poised to vote on a continuing resolution that would extend federal funding levels through February 18, 2022.
Today, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Marshall (R-KS) introduced the More Options to Develop and Enhance Remote Nutrition in WIC Act (MODERN WIC Act). Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, WIC providers have been able to waive in-person application requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, the House passed the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act in a 220-213 vote after months of negotiations and revisions.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement:
“Today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House brings the nation one step closer to reaffirming our collective commitment to American families. The bill comprehensively seeks to end childhood poverty, tackle systemic disparities in healthcare and childcare, and expand access to child nutrition programs. WIC families raising young children will benefit from the bill’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the bill’s thoughtful inclusion of paid family and medical leave. Taken together, the Build Back Better Act reinvests in American families and provides a stronger foundation for families with young children as the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After months of negotiation, we can no longer delay these critical investments. We urge swift action in the Senate to advance the House-passed legislation. Congress must also advance parallel processes to finalize the fiscal year 2022 appropriations and secure further investments that support American families, including an extension of the WIC benefit bump. It is time to deliver for American families.”
Read more about what's in the Build Back Better Act and how this legislation will impact WIC families: Everything You Need to Know About Build Back Better Act.
The Rev. Douglas A. Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association for over 31 years, today announced his retirement, effective January 7, 2022.
A new nationwide poll released by the National WIC Association (NWA) and Alliance to End Hunger reveals strong, bipartisan support for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) among likely 2022 voters. Conducted by ALG Research/McLaughlin & Associates in September 2021, the study confirmed voters would support increasing funding to WIC and further reforms to expand access, which currently serves about 6.2 million mothers, babies, and young children nationwide.
Earlier today, the White House unveiled a framework for the Build Back Better Act. The framework would include a one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit, investments in child nutrition and maternal health equity, and housing affordability.
This afternoon, both chambers of Congress approved the continuing resolution. The continuing resolution includes a provision to extend the American Rescue Plan Act's temporary increase of WIC's Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruit and vegetable purchases that was set to expire today.
This morning, the House released the bill text for the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act. This continuing resolution includes a provision to extend the American Rescue Plan Act's temporary increase of WIC's Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruit and vegetable purchases that was set to expire on September 30. The Continuing Resolution would extend the benefit increase until December 2021 and reset benefit levels according to independent scientific recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).
On Sunday, a broad coalition of approximately 250 frontline WIC providers, medical professionals, farmers, retail grocers, and WIC partners urged Congress to include in the forthcoming continuing resolution an extension of WIC’s benefit increase through September 2022. This letter follows an earlier letter from nearly 100 national organizations and a bipartisan group of Representatives.
Earlier today, the House Education & Labor Committee released child nutrition provisions to be included in the Build Back Better Act, including:
Today, the National WIC Association (NWA), the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School (CHLPI), Vouchers 4 Veggies – EatSF, and 95 of the nation’s leading food and nutrition security, health policy, retail and agriculture, and child health organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging an extension of the short-term increase to WIC benefits for healthy foods that expires on September 30. After four months of increased access to vegetables and fruits, over 4.7 million WIC participants will see a benefits cliff on September 30.
Today, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) delivered their re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, used to determine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. From this, the average SNAP benefit, separate from additional pandemic relief funds, will increase by $36.24 per person per month or $1.19 per day for Fiscal Year 2022, starting October 1, 2021. This increase in benefits marks the first time the plan's purchasing power has changed since its introduction in 1975.
Yesterday, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 by a vote of 25-5. The bill would allocate $6.278 billion in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a $278 million increase over FY 2021 levels. Due to rescissions of unspent funds, this amounts to a $1.013 billion increase in WIC funding over FY 2021 levels.
Today, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the leading organization in obstetric care, recommended that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant people are at an increased risk for death and complications from COVID-19. Yet, only about 22% of pregnant individuals have received one or more doses of the vaccine.
Today, the House Committee on Education and Labor, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services held a hearing on child nutrition to inform legislative activity intended to enhance access to healthy foods for infants and children through Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Child nutrition programs – including WIC – have not been fully reauthorized since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Earlier today, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee unveiled its fiscal year 2022 bill, funding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at $6 billion. The bill extends the American Rescue Plan Act’s temporary increase in WIC’s fruit and vegetable benefit until September 2022.
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
On June 1, the National WIC Association renewed its call to pass a Child Nutrition Reauthorization in 2021 by launching a multiplatform social media campaign to engage WIC participants, clinic staff, and grassroots supporters. WIC and the other child nutrition programs have not been reauthorized since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010.
The White House budget proposed $6 billion in spending for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), inclusive of two new funding streams to meet expected needs: $200 million to support benefits should cost or participation increase and $100 million to support WIC technology systems.
Last night, President Biden laid out the details of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, a 'human infrastructure plan' aimed toward children, students, and families during his first joint-session address to Congress to mark his 100th day in office. Before the event, the White House called the ambitious plan a "once-in-a-generation investment in our nation's future."
Today, the Senate Agriculture Committee advanced the nomination of Tom Vilsack to serve as President Biden’s Agriculture Secretary. Vilsack had previously served as President Obama’s Agriculture Secretary from 2009-2017.
As Congress considers additional legislation to provide relief during COVID-19, President Biden and Vice President Harris have proposed $3 billion in multi-year investments to strengthen the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This is a strong commitment to reinvest in WIC’s quality nutrition services to improve health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children under age five.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris released a comprehensive COVID-19 relief proposal. In the proposal, Biden and Harris call for a $3 billion investment in WIC to expand access to nutritious foods for new and expectant parents, infants, and young children during the pandemic.
NWA applauds the work of USDA and HHS for issuing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 with the inclusion, for the first time, of the unique life stages of infancy through 24 months, pregnancy, and lactation. As WIC providers, we recognize the importance of tailored life-stage nutrition guidance to shape lifelong positive nutrition habits to yield positive health outcomes. For WIC families and WIC staff, the DGAs are critical tools in support of positive birth, maternal, and child health outcomes.
On Sunday evening, Congressional leaders announced an end-of-year spending deal that includes about $900 billion in additional COVID-related aid. The announcement promises a six-month increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and creates a USDA task force on online purchasing in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The announcement notably does not include a bipartisan proposal to increase WIC benefits for fruits and vegetables.
News reports confirm that President-Elect Joe Biden will select former Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to reprise his role as USDA chief. NWA has outlined a number of important steps that Secretary Vilsack can take, when confirmed, to enhance access to WIC services, strengthen the food package, and improve health outcomes for WIC families.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a bipartisan group of legislators unveiled a $908 billion framework for the Bipartisan Emergency COVID Relief Act of 2020, a new attempt to provide meaningful economic relief for those impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the urging of the National WIC Association, the bipartisan framework includes a short-term increase to the Cash Value Benefit, which would authorize higher WIC benefit levels for fruit and vegetable purchases.
This morning, the Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled a series of spending bills for fiscal year 2021, including the Agriculture Appropriations bill that funds WIC. This signals that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will prioritize passing the full appropriations bills before the continuing resolution expires on December 11, resolving the appropriations process before a presidential transition occurs in January. Action on the appropriations package before December 11 – or another continuing resolution – is necessary to avert a government shutdown.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in response to the results of last week’s presidential election:
“The National WIC Association offers our sincere congratulations to President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. In the midst of a global pandemic, Biden and Harris have demonstrated unwavering focus on access to healthcare, on controlling the COVID virus, tackling the climate crisis, and a steadfast commitment to rebuilding an economy for all Americans. In his acceptance speech, Biden noted that America can be defined in one word: possibilities. We look forward to partnering with the Administration to unleash a world of possibilities for America’s children.
Less than one day after President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar announced that the national public health emergency declaration for COVID-19 will be extended. By law, the HHS Secretary must renew the declaration every ninety days for urgent flexibilities to remain active. The renewal takes effect on October 23 and can be further renewed before January 21, 2021.
With only six hours to spare, the Senate approved a continuing resolution last evening by a vote of 84-10. The President signed the continuing resolution later in the evening, averting a last-minute government shutdown by extending federal funding through December 11.
The House approved the bipartisan agreement last week shortly after it was reached by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. After months of pressing for additional investments in child nutrition, Speaker Pelosi secured an additional $8 billion in child nutrition programs in the legislation. Crucially, the continuing resolution includes an extension of USDA waiver authority for WIC and other child nutrition programs through September 30, 2021.
After four months of stalled negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) unveiled a $2.2 trillion compromise proposal for COVID-19 relief last evening. The proposal reduces aid and investments from the original $3.4 trillion included in the HEROES Act that passed the House in May, only to be ignored by the Senate and Administration. Nonetheless, it invests over $1 trillion more than Senate proposals released in late July.
Earlier this evening, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan agreement to extend government funding through December 11, 2020. The continuing resolution includes an additional $8 billion in nutrition aid by extending the Pandemic-EBT Program, as well as critical provisions that extend U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver authority for WIC and other child nutrition programs through September 2021. Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in response.
This morning, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension of WIC flexibilities until thirty days after the end of the nationally-declared public health emergency. Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in response.
This afternoon, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2694, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, in a bipartisan vote of 329-73. Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, offers the following statement in response:
“It is time for federal law to reflect the realities of working women. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a common-sense and long overdue measure that will ensure no woman will have to choose between the health of her pregnancy and her livelihood. Today’s vote demonstrates broad bipartisan support to take the necessary steps to assure healthy pregnancies."
The National WIC Association (NWA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) jointly call on USDA to act immediately to extend the waivers for the remainder of the COVID-19 emergency. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting increased risks of severe illness and adverse pregnancy outcomes for pregnant persons who contract COVID-19, it is imperative that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) empower states with all the available flexibilities to ensure the safety of pregnant persons, new parents, and their babies and young children.
In response to the EPA's announcement that it is finalizing its proposal to weaken methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards, NWA joined the American Lung Association and 16 other public health and environmental organizations to issue a statement calling on the EPA to keep standards fully in place to limit air pollution and protect public health.
This morning, the New York Times reported that: “[a]t one point during one of the negotiations, Mr. Mnuchin had inquired what WIC, a nutritional program specifically for women, infants and children, was, according to a person familiar with the talks.”
Over 60 national organizations and over 350 local service-provider agencies from all 50 states are calling on Congress to extend U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver authority for WIC in the next COVID-response package.
After two months of delay and with continued unreasonably high levels of unemployment and rising COVID-19 infections across the country, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and a number of Senate Republicans have unveiled a series of proposals that – taken together – are wholly inadequate to address the needs of infants and young children. With one-in-six families with children struggling to afford food, it is unconscionable to advance another relief package without robust nutrition assistance.
Congress, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, vested the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with the authority to approve waivers that permit providers of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to adapt services to ensure the safety of WIC moms, young children, and clinic staff throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency. Rather than responding boldly and utilizing the full extent of that authority, USDA approved time-limited waivers that end on May 31, 2020.
Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Kim Schrier (D-WA), and Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR) introduced the Wise Investment in our Children Act (WIC Act) in the House of Representatives. 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.
On Tuesday afternoon, House Democrats introduced a fifth legislative package that would address the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act addresses a wide breadth of issues, including: additional aid for state and local governments, funding for testing and treatment, direct cash assistance for families, and a 15% increase in the maximum benefit levels for SNAP recipients.
On May 5, 2020, Reps. Kim Schrier (D-WA) and Ron Wright (R-TX) introduced the WIC Benefit Flexibility During COVID-19 Act. This bill would temporarily increase the value of WIC’s Cash Value Benefit (CVB) – a monthly benefit for WIC families to purchase fruits and vegetables – to provide additional healthy options for WIC shoppers
The COVID-19 fund will advance every WIC agency's ability to respond to their community, so food and nutrition do not have to be worries during these challenging times.
On April 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule that significantly weakens the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – federal regulations that governs mercury and other air pollution produced by power plants. The MATS standards are an important step toward reducing mercury emissions, which have a disproportionate impact on fetal development and health. Even small amounts of mercury exposure can have significant health impacts on the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. Fetal exposure to mercury can lead to brain damage and hearing/vision issues. NWA joined the American Lung Association and other major health groups in opposing this change and calling for appropriate regulation of power plant emissions.
Today, the Senate passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which the House passed early Saturday morning. Rev. Greenaway: “This legislation ensures that WIC stands ready to deliver throughout the public health emergency.”
Two studies released today demonstrate why WIC participation is so critical for young children. “The takeaway here is simple – WIC works,” said Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA).
On January 30, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services announced new guidance that would allow states to apply for waivers of Medicaid funding rules, essentially permitting block grants for adults covered through the Medicaid expansion authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
On January 17, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced two proposed rules, one of which will further alter the nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program.
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Today, Congress reached a deal that would include 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal government workers in the National Defense Authorization Act. The United States is currently the only developed country in the world that does not guarantee paid leave for new parents.
The National WIC Association (NWA) recently released an official statement formalizing the organization’s commitment to health equity. NWA defines health equity as the ability of all individuals and families to achieve optimal health, irrespective of their identity, race, ability, or class.
This week, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that WIC participation is associated with lower preterm birth and infant mortality. Specifically, the study found that babies born to WIC participants are 33% less likely to die in the first year of life.
On December 4, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), restricting state waivers of the three-month time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). USDA estimates that the final rule will leave nearly 700,000 individuals without access to SNAP.
Last Thursday, Representatives David Trone (D-MD), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced the bipartisan bill Supporting Healthy Outcomes for Mothers and Infants Act of 2019 to support mothers and their infants who are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
On November 22, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new study demonstrating statistically significant decreases in obesity prevalence among young children (aged 2-4) participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in 41 out of 56 WIC state or territorial agencies.
The National WIC Association (NWA) has launched The WIC Hub—an innovative online tool—to streamline information for WIC staff, researchers, and advocates. The Hub is a centralized, regularly updated collection of resources covering a wide range of WIC-related topics.
Rev. Greenaway: “It is no wonder so many communities fear this Administration, when it has leveraged federal assistance to shut immigrants and their families out from the American dream.”
On July 31, 2019, 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.
The National WIC Association strongly opposes Secretary Perdue’s crusade against independent research at USDA. Nutrition assistance programs rely on the independent research conducted by the Economic Research Service (ERS) to inform program administration and ensure efficient stewardship of federal resources. USDA’s plans undermine the very concept of good government.
NWA is excited to share this new study from a research collaboration between the University of California in Los Angeles, PHFE WIC and the County of Los Angeles. This important study demonstrates how WIC participation positively impacts health outcomes and costs-savings.
One of the WIC clinics in Houston recently hosted their representative to the US House of Representatives. Here's what they did, and you can do it too!
As the partial shutdown of the federal government approaches the three-week mark, the National WIC Association (NWA) is expressing growing concern over funding and the government’s ability to keep the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program fully operational over the coming weeks if the shutdown continues.
NWA is urging action to end the government shutdown. Its President & CEO condemns the manufactured uncertainty and misplaced priorities that threaten the nutrition and health of America’s children.
The National WIC Association (NWA) is strongly supporting the introduction of the Agricultural Research Integrity Act of 2018 (H.R. 7330) today in the House of Representatives. The bill would halt the Department of Agriculture’s proposal to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside the Washington, D.C., area, and to realign ERS under the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).
Today the Senate passed, 87-13, H.R. 2, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which is expected to pass the House later this week. NWA, through its president and CEO, issued a statement about its passage.
Today the Senate passed, 87-13, H.R. 2, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, which is expected to pass the House later this week. NWA, through its president and CEO, issued a statement about its passage.
NWA is speaking out against a proposed regulation that would expand the public charge test for people applying for legal residency or entry to the United States with the submission today of its official organizational comments. In October, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed the regulation, which would penalize immigrants who access a wide range of public assistance programs, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
NWA joined 15 other health and medical organizations and more than two dozen medical professionals and health scientists in a statement issued today voicing concern about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) intent to weaken public health protections from coal power pollution. The EPA recently proposed the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, which would weaken limits on air pollution that can come from coal-burning power plants.
Yesterday evening, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its long-rumored proposed regulation related to the public charge test. The proposed rule significantly expands the public charge test to punish immigrants for accessing a wide range of federal programs, including SNAP and Medicaid. However, WIC is not listed in the proposed rule. The proposed regulation is therefore narrower than the leaked drafts that were published in news outlets this past spring. While NWA staff continue to analyze the proposed rule, here are some key insights:
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unveiled a proposed regulation yesterday evening that would greatly expand the public charge test for those applying for legal residency or entry to the United States. The proposed regulation would penalize immigrants who access a wide range of public assistance programs, including Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This news release reports on the September 14 event organized by NWA at which US Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) announced that they plan to reintroduce the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President and CEO of the National WIC Association (NWA), issued the following statement in response to the administration’s recent actions:
“The National WIC Association stands with our public health and breastfeeding support partners in strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s actions. The administration is once again placing the interests of large corporations over the interests babies, mothers, and the public’s health. Instead of bullying other nations at the behest of corporate infant formula lobbyists, the administration should focus on supporting breastfeeding mothers and their babies by promoting secure safe, hygienic, and private spaces for mothers to breastfeed."
NWA statement on partisan House farm bill that undermines SNAP: “After an outpouring of concern about the treatment of families on the border, it is outrageous that the House now moves forward with a bill that will take food out of the mouths of children.”
WASHINGTON – On June 21, 2018, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a proposal to reform and reorganize federal agencies. One of OMB’s proposals is to move the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) non-commodity nutrition assistance programs – including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – into a renamed Department of Health and Public Welfare.
NWA issues statement on family separation policy and new executive order: “This shameful episode is just one chapter in a broader assault on the dignity and humanity of immigrant families and their children . . . When our neighbors fear heading to WIC clinics, schools, or shopping in a grocery store, can we truly say that we are the land of the free?”
WASHINGTON – On April 12, 2018, Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, unveiled a farm bill that includes reforms of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill’s provisions narrow SNAP eligibility, bolster existing work requirements, redirect SNAP funds from food assistance to job training programs, and impose new restrictions on reissuance of electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards. Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) has indicated that the SNAP provisions will prevent Democratic support and publicly cast doubt on whether House Republicans can muster enough votes to pass a partisan farm bill.
Rev. Greenaway: “An administration that once pledged to fight for the ‘forgotten man’ continues to punish the Americans most in need.”
Earlier this afternoon, President Trump signed the FY 2018 omnibus bill passed by Congress into law. After passage in the House yesterday afternoon, the bill was passed in the Senate in the wee hours of Friday morning
National WIC Association Congratulates Baby-Friendly USA Milestone of 500 Baby-Friendly Designated Facilities in the United States
Nearly 1 in 4 Births in the US Now Occur in Baby-Friendly Facilities
WASHINGTON – On February 8, 2018, media published a leaked draft of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that suggests the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will expand the definition of public charge to punish immigrants who are using nutrition assistance and public health programs that they are legally permitted to use. Programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have never before been considered in immigration decisions. The leaked draft is unprecedented and deeply concerning.
NWA Secures $14 Million for WIC Disaster Relief in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
This morning, Congress passed legislation that appropriated $90 billion in disaster relief for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This legislation includes NWA’s requested $14 million in infrastructure funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. These grants will assist our WIC state agencies with much-needed repairs to building infrastructure and technology systems that were damaged as a result of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Our thoughts remain with the communities damaged by natural disasters and NWA hopes that these funds will deliver quick relief to WIC clinics, staff, and participants in the affected regions.
On Friday, the US Senate rejected a continuing resolution passed by the US House of Representatives that would have kept the government funded through February 16. The House bill had passed by a vote of 230-197, with only six Democrats voting in favor. In the Senate, the vote was 50-49 (with 60 votes needed for passage). Five Democrats joined most of the Republican caucus to support what would have been the fourth continuing resolution of this fiscal year. Four Republicans joined most of the Democratic caucus in rejecting the short-term fix and opting to continue negotiations on a wide range of issues, including the status of nearly two million immigrants. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who is battling brain cancer, did not vote.
“Funding the government is the paramount responsibility of Congress, and Congress has abdicated this responsibility. We cannot accept using children as political pawns. The National WIC Association condemns this failure to reach a spending agreement and urges Congress and the Administration to act immediately to fund vital federal programs like WIC.”
Last night, Congress passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through January 19, 2018. This temporarily averts a government shutdown and ensures that WIC will continue to be funded at FY 2017 levels, less a small cut to comply with sequestration requirements. The Senate voted for the measure 66-32, and the House approved the bill by a vote of 231-188. Numerous Democrats opposed the legislation because several important priorities were not addressed, whereas several Republicans voted against the bill because it left non-defense discretionary spending at current levels while neglecting to fully appropriate defense spending.
NWA applauds the inclusion of $14 million to supplement WIC infrastructure funding in disaster relief legislation for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and other members of the US Senate.
A significant advocacy success for NWA is the Senate Committee’s decision to fund WIC breastfeeding peer counseling at $80 million compared to $60 million in the House Bill. The breastfeeding peer counseling program has been funded at a level of $60 million for the last several years, so the $20 million increase is a notable improvement and victory for NWA. The full authorized amount for breastfeeding peer counselors is $90 million.
House Republicans released their FY 2018 budget resolution earlier today. This plan, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black (R-TN), would pave the way for ambitious tax reform legislation alongside a package of drastic spending cuts.
Senate Republicans released a discussion draft of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this morning. Although the draft differs from the House-passed healthcare bill in a number of ways, it does take many of its key provisions from the House Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was passed in May.
The Senate voted yesterday evening to confirm former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture. The vote was 87 to 11 with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) voting against the nomination. Perdue is the first agriculture secretary nominee in 31 years to receive even a single no vote from the floor. He is expected to be sworn in later today.
This morning, President Trump released his FY 2018 Budget Blueprint. The budget blueprint, also known as the “skinny budget”, includes top-level funding requests and some basic economic projections, though far less information and detail than the previous five administrations. The Trump administration’s full budget is expected to be released in mid-May.
On Monday night, Republican leaders from two House committees—the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR), and the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX)—released long-awaited draft bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Both committees are marking up their respective bills today.
For information about the bills, please see:
Following Wednesday’s immigration-focused Executive Orders signed by President Donald Trump, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement underscoring the Academy’s continued support for immigrant children and their families.
For Immediate Release
January 5, 2017
Contact: Hannah Shultz
WASHINGTON – The National WIC Association (NWA) is thrilled that key recommendations from the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released today in their Review of WIC Food Packages: Improving Balance and Choice: Final Report reflect recommendations made by NWA, available here. We are delighted that the NASEM recommendations provide WIC families with options and flexibility to meet their dietary and nutrient needs, opportunities for increased consumption and choice in whole grains and fruits and vegetables, decreased certain foods that were found to be offered in too large a quantity or were burdensome to WIC families, and encourage continued and improved support for breastfeeding moms.
The House released their continuing resolution (CR) yesterday evening to fund the government past this Friday. It runs through April 28th at the same funding levels of FY 2016 – $1.07 trillion – which keeps the budget below the federal government’s strict spending caps. This means WIC will continue to operate at an annual funding level of $6.32 billion until the end of the CR.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) said yesterday afternoon that efforts to complete the bill to reauthorize child nutrition programs have come to an end.
The House approved a 10-week continuing resolution (CR) late last night which will fund the government at 2016 funding levels until early December.
For Immediate Release
September 10, 2016
Contact: Hannah Shultz
Denver, CO: This morning, National WIC Association (NWA) Board of Directors Chair, Donna Bister, announced during NWA’s 2016 Nutrition Education & Breastfeeding Promotion Conference the Association is ending its relationships with infant formula manufacturers, putting into effect a resolution passed in May 2015 and reaffirmed in May 2016 by voting members of the Association.
Effective immediately, NWA will no longer invite infant formula manufacturers to be members, exhibitors at conferences, advertisers or sponsors of events and activities.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN), introduced an extraordinarily bad child nutrition reauthorization bill, the ironically titled Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), yesterday afternoon.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Community Health (CDC/DCH) has funded 47 new community organizations, including 15 local WIC agencies, to improve healthy eating, increase opportunities for physical activity, promote tobacco-free/smoke free environments, and/or improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and disease management at the community level. These awards, which are part of CDC's Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) National Organizations program, have been provided to chapters or affiliates of the American Heart Association, American Planning Association, and National WIC Association to use sound, evidence-based strategies that reduce the risks of costly chronic disease and promote healthier lifestyles. The 47 new chapters/affiliates can be viewed here. With this second round of funding, there are now 97 unique communities that have been supported since April 2015.
Dr. Kathryn Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services today announced that USDA “will temporarily allow Michigan to use WIC funds to conduct lead testing for WIC participants,” affecting potentially 3,800 participants.
The National WIC Association applauds Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Stabenow (D-MI) for their leadership and teamwork with Members of both parties on the Committee to create a strong, bi-partisan Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization bill. Scheduled for mark-up tomorrow morning, the bill, if passed, would set policies to strengthen the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other child nutrition programs for 5 years.
Today, the US Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The Guidelines are based on the Scientific Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Guidelines translate much of the Committee’s Scientific Report into “succinct, food-based guidance that can be relied upon to help Americans choose foods that provide a healthy and enjoyable diet.
A two-year bipartisan budget agreement was reached late Monday night by leaders of the House and Senate, as well as the White House. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she hopes to bring this to a vote in the House this week. If passed, this agreement would avert a government shutdown, at least for the next two years.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is recognizing state and local agencies of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (more commonly known as WIC) that excel in offering education and support for breastfeeding mothers. As part of World Breastfeeding Week activities, Vilsack has also proclaimed this week, Aug. 1-7, as National WIC Breastfeeding Week, “in appreciation of breastfeeding mothers and of all the dedicated volunteers, professionals, communities, and organizations who support their efforts.”
17 June 2015 – The House Agriculture, Rural Development, Food & Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair, Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Ranking, will markup their version of the FY2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill, including funding for the WIC Program tomorrow 18 June.
Please read about an exciting marker bill dropped today by Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA) which would extend eligibility for children to participate in WIC until their 6th birthdays.
Read Reverend Douglas Greenaway's letter to the editor in response to last week's Wall Street Journal article about WIC, infant formula rebates, and program eligibility.
The National WIC Association (NWA) is pleased to share that the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted its recommendations to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for the 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
This statement was released today by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National WIC Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest, First Focus and March of Dimes in response to the release of the Institute of Medicine’s report, Review of WIC Food Packages: An Evaluation of White Potatoes in the Cash Value Voucher.
Learn more about this exciting initiative.
WIC potato issue gets attention in the House.
The scientific process of the WIC food package shouldn't be compromised.
See our statement on the USDA Final WIC Rule.
The latest developments for WIC's funding & the potato issue.
Finally, the government is re-open (for now), but WIC isn't out of the woods yet.
WIC Programs should be able to stay open through at least October 31.
WIC was underfunded last week in the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee’s passed FY2014 funding bill.
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The Packer is a newspaper and website covering the fresh produce industry.
The Counter investigates the forces shaping how and what America eats.
The Counter is a digital news and commentary site about the American food system.
The FERN produces in-depth and investigative journalism in the areas of food, agriculture, and environmental health.