Contact: Meredith Jorss, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee took up the fiscal year 2024 Agriculture spending bill, which sets funding levels for critical programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). This bill funds WIC at a level $185 million below FY23 levels and makes additional cuts to the program by cutting back a 2021 bump in benefits for participants to purchase more fruits and vegetables. The following is a statement from Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President of Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign.
“Targeting WIC benefits is just plain wrong and goes against long-standing bipartisan commitments to the program and simple common sense. The research is clear – WIC reduces food insecurity and improves nutrition, ensuring healthier children and families.
“These cuts to WIC spending will impact 5 million participants by slashing their fruit and vegetable benefits. This will bring a child’s benefit from $35 per month down to just $11 a month for fruits and vegetables starting October 1, making it that much harder to access the nutritious food our nation’s youngest kids need to grow up healthy and strong.
“Imagine a family trying to stretch these dollars, especially when, just this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index showed a continued increase in the cost of food, with grocery prices clocking in at 5.8% more expensive in May than just a year ago.
“In addition to the impact of these cuts, the lack of increased funding for WIC will severely hinder the program’s ability to support caseloads, forcing participants onto long waiting lists for assistance and putting them at risk of hunger.
“We urge Congress to honor its bipartisan commitment to WIC and the millions of moms and kids who benefit from the nutrition it provides.”