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Underfunding WIC?

September 19, 2011

For each of the last 15 years, Presidents and Congresses of both parties have given the WIC nutrition program enough funding to serve all eligible low-income pregnant women, infants, and young children who apply. Leaders of the current Congress have reiterated this commitment rhetorically. But there are mounting questions as to whether they will live up to it, as our new report explains.

Ill-Informed Claim Does Not Justify WIC Cuts

June 14, 2011

The House is scheduled to vote today on a measure to slash funding for the WIC nutrition program, which (as we have shown) would force the program to turn away at least 200,000 to 350,000 eligible low-income women and children next year. The Appropriations Committee approved this unprecedented cut last month, in part based on the claim that more than 40 percent of WIC costs go to program administration. But this claim is flatly false, as our new paper shows.

Using School Lunch Subsidies for Low-Income Students as Intended

June 13, 2011

The Agriculture Department posted a regulation on its website today to make sure that federal subsidies to help pay for school meals for low-income children don’t instead subsidize junk food or meals for better-off children. It also will generate a much-needed infusion of non-federal revenue to build on new federal investments to improve the quality of school meals.

House GOP Cuts Would Force WIC to Turn Away 325,000-475,000 Women and Young Children

May 23, 2011

The Center just issued a report on House Republicans’ proposed cuts in the WIC nutrition program. Here’s the main story:

Making School Meals More Accessible

April 22, 2011

States and school districts have a unique opportunity to improve the content and design of their applications for free or reduced-price school meals to make it easier for eligible low-income parents to enroll their children. Every school district in the country will have to revise its application for the 2011-2012 school year to reflect recent legislation reauthorizing the federal school meals programs. By going beyond the required changes, state and districts can make their applications more user-friendly and more likely to elicit accurate information.

New Law Will Help Make Thousands of Schools Hunger Free

December 13, 2010

The child nutrition bill that President Obama signed this morning includes an important new option that will allow thousands of schools in high-poverty areas to focus on feeding children rather than processing paperwork. This is a terrific opportunity for states to serve more low-income children through the school meals program.

Fixing WIC’s Costly Blind Spot

July 13, 2010

Tomorrow a House committee will consider a bill to renew the WIC program, which provides carefully selected foods and nutrition services to 9 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women and young children. As I explained in this paper (and this blog post and this podcast), the program spends about $90 million extra each year on higher-priced infant formula with ingredients that supposedly boost children’s health and development — but it has no idea whether these ingredients actually work. Congress now has a chance to address the issue.

Are New Ingredients Adding More Than Cost to WIC Foods?

June 9, 2010

Update 7/13/10: New post on the topic here.

The federal WIC program, which provides foods and nutrition services to 9 million low-income pregnant and postpartum women and young children, spends about $90 million extra each year on higher-priced infant formula with ingredients that supposedly boost children’s health and development. But it has no idea whether these ingredients work, and no way to find out.

Making Schools Hunger Free

April 21, 2010

In about 10,000 schools around the country, at least four-fifths of the children are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Wouldn’t it make sense to allow those schools to serve free meals to all of their students without having to use scarce resources to weed out the few children who don’t qualify?

The Senate Agriculture Committee incorporated that improvement, part of the Hunger Free Schools Act, into the bill it passed last month to renew the federal child nutrition programs.

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