2022: building the bridge to a modern wic
As the United States enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, WIC providers know that the program must continue to adapt to serve a new generation of WIC families. Effective pandemic-related measures – including the WIC benefit bump and remote WIC services – are contingent on emergency waivers and short-term extensions. WIC providers, stakeholders, and advocates must raise their voice and roll up their sleeves to build a bridge from pandemic-related flexibilities to more modern and accessible WIC services. In 2022, WIC reforms can be accomplished through:
- Appropriations: The annual process to fund federal programs, including WIC. Increased investment can sustain the WIC benefit bump and expand the overall value of the WIC benefit, driving healthier outcomes by enhancing access to nutritious foods.
- Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Legislation to consider reforms in WIC and other child nutrition programs, including school meals. Child Nutrition Reauthorization can incorporate lessons learned while operating WIC during COVID-19, while also addressing long-delayed reforms to expand, sustain, and streamline access to WIC’s effective nutrition support.
- USDA Rulemaking: USDA is expected to revise WIC regulations, starting in fall 2022 with a review of the WIC food packages. This action could permanently expand the value of the WIC benefit to provide greater access to healthy foods in the years ahead. USDA will also evaluate vendor regulations as part of a broader effort to scale up online shopping options for WIC families.
take action to strengthen wic
With potential reforms on the table, now is the time to engage with the National WIC Association and help usher in the next generation of WIC services. In 2021, the National WIC Association convened the WIC Action Network to keep grassroots supporters informed and strengthen public education efforts about WIC services during COVID-19. Connect with the WIC Action Network to hear about the current policy landscape and plug in with opportunities to raise your own WIC voice. Learn more about current WIC priorities with the following resources:
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