In the hopes of making it easier for women to obtain nutritional assistance for them and their children, Assembly Democrats Linda Carter, Sterley Stanley and Herb Conaway sponsor a resolution urging the federal government to modernize access to an existing program offering nutritional support. The measure passed the full Assembly Monday, 71-0-1.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federal nutrition program that provides nutritious foods, education on nutrition and breastfeeding, and improved access to health care and social services. Low and moderate-income women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or recently had a baby, as well as children with nutrition-related health problems, are all eligible for the program.
The resolution (AR-243) urges the federal government to modernize the program and allow for more flexible methods of enrollment and benefits issuance.
Assembly sponsors Carter (D-Middlesex, Somerset, Union), Stanley (D-Middlesex) and Conaway (D-Burlington) issued the following joint statement upon the resolution’s passage:
“This helpful program is an asset to mothers who are struggling to put food on the table for themselves and their children, yet enrollment has been declining over the past decade. Although we don’t know for sure, one factor contributing to this decline may be the in-person requirements for various aspects of the program.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture wisely issued waivers that allowed for remote certification and benefits distribution during the pandemic, and we believe that flexibility should be allowed to continue. New mothers don’t always have the time to regularly visit an office, since they’re often busy working and caring for their children.
“We respectfully urge the federal government to modernize this important program to help more mothers and children obtain the nutritional support they need.”
The resolution will now be transmitted to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Agriculture.