NEW YORK – New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing to update one of the largest federally funded nutrition programs.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Gillibrand urges the agency to review and increase the value of the WIC food packages.
Since 1974 when the program started, Gillibrand’s Office says it has earned a reputation as one of the most successful federally funded nutrition programs in the country.
However, she says that food packages have not been revised since 2014 and it is time for an update.
Almost a quarter million New Yorkers are WIC recipients, and half of infants born in the state before the pandemic were part of the program.
“Giving families healthier options in WIC food packages has demonstrated positive health outcomes. That’s why we are asking the Department of Agriculture to now take the necessary steps of reviewing and updating the WIC food packages to reflect a modern healthy diet,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We need to permanently raise the value of the food packages so families can afford to buy not just more food, but healthier food.”
WIC provides food, health screenings, breastfeeding consultations and counselors, resources for handling substance use disorder, and referrals to other support programs.