Will WIC Turn Away Eligible Low-Income Women and Children Next Year?
 For a more detailed discussion of health outcomes associated with WIC participation, see Mary Kay Fox, William Hamilton, and Biing-Hwan Lin, Effects of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs on Nutrition and Health, Volume 3, Literature Review, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2004, www.ers.usda.gov/publications/FANRR19-3.
 At the time the House bill was passed, we estimated that 300,000 to 450,000 eligible low-income women and young children would be turned away. Since that time, our estimates of food costs and participation in fiscal year 2011 have increased, which means that less funding from fiscal year 2011 will remain available in fiscal year 2012. The average federal per-participant cost of providing WIC foods in June 2011 (the latest month for which these data are available) was 7.8 percent higher than in June 2010. In addition, participation has increased, likely partly in response to the bad economy, which means that the number of participants who can be served in fiscal year 2012 is compared to a higher starting point and the reduction necessitated by the funding cut is larger.
 Rep. Kingston also referred to USDA authority to transfer funds between accounts. This authority was used in fiscal year 2008, when there was a dairy price spike and WIC faced an unanticipated funding shortfall, to transfer $150 million from the SNAP contingency fund to WIC. That was a very different situation, however, because the WIC shortfall was unexpected and occurred late in the fiscal year, due to the unforeseen dairy price increase. Relying on a transfer when enacting the WIC appropriation before the fiscal year has even started — and when a WIC funding shortfall is evident — would be an unsound budgeting practice and an unreliable approach to serving all eligible WIC applicants. There is no guarantee that funds will be available for transfer. Moreover, state WIC programs must ensure that they do not spend more than the federal WIC funds they receive. If states cannot count on the funds provided through the appropriation process being sufficient, they will need to take steps at the start of the fiscal year to reduce their caseloads.
 State WIC programs continue to revise cost and participation data for a few months after the close of each month as they reconcile reimbursements for the food vouchers used by participants and submitted to the state by WIC-authorized vendors.