WIC Federal Funding Secured, but the Work Continues

(March 18, 2024)

Thanks to lawmakers, WIC advocates, and champions, President Biden signed a spending package that included a $1 Billion funding increase to WIC on March 9. This increase ensures that current WIC members will continue to receive the full science-based food benefit (including the expanded fruit and vegetable benefit) and that WIC can serve projected caseloads for Federal Fiscal Year 2024.

With full funding for FY24 finally secured, Allies for Children and our partners at Thriving PA thank Congress for continuing its bipartisan support for WIC so the program can continue to modernize and reach eligible families. We also look forward to the Administration’s forthcoming rule updating the nutrition standards for the WIC food packages.

We were pleased to be part of a local discussion about increasing WIC funding in the article from WESA, “Allegheny County and PA health officials say they are working to reverse declines in WIC enrollment.” This article shared numerous barriers and opportunities to increase participation in WIC locally. We look forward to hearing more about the new WIC mobile unit and the two new clinics.

We were encouraged to hear County Executive Sara Innamorato support WIC at the Healthy Start Legislative Breakfast last week. During her remarks, Executive Innamorato said: “We will be working in the short term to invest in WIC and make sure we are reversing the declines in the program’s enrollment and increase the awareness and make sure that we’re removing any barriers for families to be able to access the program.” We also learned at the event from keynote speaker, Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) Deputy Director Dannai Wilson, that ACHD WIC is working to increase WIC-approved grocery stores, among other investments in health and nutrition.

As always, Thriving PA continues to advocate for reaching a larger share of eligible WIC participants and modernizing WIC at the state and local levels. As Allies for Children listens and talks to those in our communities, we look forward to finding ways to achieve the goals that can benefit our most vulnerable children in Allegheny County. Programs like WIC are foundational to this kind of work.

Cristina Codario, Allies for Children Policy Director