Maintain support for women and children who need food aid

  • Rosemary Hunter, M.D., is a pediatrician in Nashville.

Imagine needing to load women and children into a boat to escape a bleak fate such as a remote island or sinking ship. Now imagine that instead of seeing how many could fit safely in the boat, folks attempted to poke holes in the boat or remove safety equipment. This is where we find ourselves in our current funding of the U.S. social safety net including the Supplemental Program for Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

WIC has been a successful program since its inception in the 1970s and has garnered bipartisan support for decades.

It is funded by the federal government and administered by the states. It supplies supplemental foods for low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants and children under 5 years old at nutritional risk. It provides support with regular visits with a nutritionist to give guidance on ways to support healthy nutrition and crucial breastfeeding support for mothers.