March 19, 2007 WIC Update

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SUBJECT 1: Federal Budget Update
SUBJECT 2: Revising the WIC 49 Nutrition Education Report Form

  1. Federal Budget Update: The President's 2008 budget for WIC proposes a $145 million cut in nutrition services funding, no funding for management information systems and limiting adjunctive eligibility to 250% of poverty. For Missouri WIC this would translate into a $2.167 million decrease in funding for nutrition services, a lack of available funding to obtain a new WIC data system and increased expense for local WIC providers to determine eligibility for children who had previously been adjunctively eligible for WIC services because they were on Medicaid.

    Phyllis Fuller and Lyn Konstant along with Jim Wheaton and Brenda Brewer attended the National WIC Association Leadership Conference in Washington, DC on March 4-6. They heard presentations from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and leaders from the Senate and the House of Representatives. An evaluation of the WIC program by OMB rated the program 'effective', the highest rating given to programs, although this high rating did not translate into increased funding being recommended by the President for the program.

    Congressional leaders praised the program and pledged to keep funding stable, although they acknowledged that there are many competing interests for limited federal discretionary funds. It is vital that local agencies talk with their Representative and share those personal stories of how WIC transforms lives. Participant testimonies are needed by your elected officials in the House and Senate. They can use these as they speak on the floor in favor of WIC, as they hear/provide testimony in budget hearings and when they lobby each other for program support.

    The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has already met once to discuss funding for WIC and other agriculture programs. Representative Jo Ann Emerson is on this committee. Money for discretionary programs is shrinking; you need to speak up and let your officials know how vital this program is to the participants in your area. Each budget subcommittee has a specific amount of money that it can allocate for programs; many programs are competing for these limited dollars. Giving WIC more money means cutting other programs. The House and Senate will recess from April 2-13. This is an excellent time to invite your Representative to visit your clinic. We cannot overemphasize how important it is that your officials hear from you. In the March 5 Weekly Update we provided copies of the fact sheets shared with the Senators and Representatives. If you need other information from the state office, please contact Lyn Konstant at, 537-751-6086.
  2. Revising the WIC 49 Nutrition Education Report Form: The State WIC Office will be revising/reprinting the WIC 49 Nutrition Education Report Form. If you would like this tool to be revised to make it more useful, please send suggestions or sample changes to Takako Tagami.