#5 story of 2009: Congress increases WIC produce, school meal program funds

01/04/2010 12:29:08 PM
Dan Galbraith

“Making farmers market produce available to WIC recipients is good for New York’s families and New York’s farmers,” said Gov. David Paterson, in a news release.

“There are not enough healthy food options in many urban and rural communities throughout the state, and that lack of affordable, nutritious food is hurting the health of New Yorkers.”

Food markets

The effort went along with New York’s Healthy Food/Healthy Communities initiative, which aims to expand access to fresh, nutritious food in underserved communities.

The initiative created $10 million in revolving loans to fund construction of food markets in underserved communities.

In March, Sesame Workshop formed a partnership with WIC, as Cookie Monster, Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters became employed to help get the word out about fresh fruits and vegetables being a new WIC option.

Also in March, revealing an interest in boosting the federal feeding programs and food safety oversight, the White House fiscal 2010 budget proposed a $1 billion per year increase for child nutrition programs and a similar increase for food safety oversight efforts.

The White House said the budget supports a strong child nutrition and Women, Infants and Children reauthorization package that will help keep President Obama’s promise to end childhood hunger by 2015.

The White House said the budget provides an increase of $1 billion annually to improve access to, and nutritional value of, school meals.

Another provision supports 9.8 million participants in the WIC nutrition assistance program, up from about 8.7 million in fiscal 2008.

In January, two states started issuing WIC produce vouchers to more than 500,000 WIC participants in New York and Delaware.


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