The budget legislation passed by House Republicans in the wee hours of February 19 (no Democrats voted for it) would slash $747 million — about 10 percent — from the 2011 budget for the Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children. It’s commonly known as “WIC.”
Created in 1974, WIC provides very modest but crucial food assistance to low-income moms and little kids who are at “nutrition risk.” To qualify, recipients must be poor — very poor. Some 68 percent of WIC beneficiaries live at, or below, the poverty line. That’s about $22,000 for a family of four.
Cutting funding to WIC during the worst economy in 80 years is an unacceptably lopsided and wrong-headed approach to food and agriculture policy. The House Republicans’ budget inflicts serious damage to a food program for poor kids and pregnant women, but it cut not one penny from the farm subsidies that go to big agribusinesses and wealthy landowners — at a time when they are enjoying record-high crop prices and incomes. By cutting just a fraction of these subsidies we could have held WIC harmless.
Because the budget process is ongoing, this isn’t the last time your representative will vote on funding for food programs. Join EWG Action Fund in calling on members of Congress to do the right thing on future votes.
Use the form here to tell your representative that you want a fair, equitable food system that begins to help the country heal its dietary and environmental woes.