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As federal budget discussions continue, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics urges Congress to fully fund the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Congress can continue to honor the decades-long history of bipartisan support for enough funding to ensure every eligible family member can access WIC, a program that improves health and saves health care costs.

Unless Congress authorizes full funding for WIC before March 1 to provide for higher numbers of people participating and increased food costs, there is strong potential for people being turned away from the program for the first time since the late 1990s. The program experienced a 12% increase in child participation since 2020 and is expected to serve 6.5 million participants in fiscal year 2024. Inadequate WIC funding could lead to children as young as 1, who are at nutritional risk, being denied access to WIC’s nutritious foods and services.

Studies show that WIC is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective nutrition intervention programs. Registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered, work in the WIC program, a key federal nutrition program that provides nutrient-dense supplemental food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health and social services. WIC is a lifeline for participants across the country, reducing food and nutrition insecurity, improving dietary intake, addressing obesity and improving other health outcomes.

One of the Academy’s top advocacy priorities is advocating for federal programs, including WIC, that increase access to nutritious, safe, culturally relevant and affordable foods that improve health and well-being. The Academy supports full funding for WIC to allow all eligible women and children to participate in the program and receive important health and nutrition benefits.

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