WASHINGTON – The National WIC Association Friday, alongside SNEB and other nutrition-minded organizations, called on Congress to fully fund WIC’s Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program.
It’s been flat-funded at $60 million for nearly a decade despite being authorized for up to $90 million under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The House voted to fix that by fully-funding the program at $90 million, but the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last month to pull funding back to $80 million.
SNEB’s Board of Directors voted to sign on to a letter in June calling on Congress to authorize full funding, and Friday SNEB lent its credibility to a second letter calling on the Senate to revise its budget and adopt the House’s full funding of the program.
“The Peer Counselor Program is a proven success, with research demonstrating that peer support improves breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity among WIC mothers,” Friday’s letter stated. “The program also creates jobs in communities across the country and empowers low-income women to pursue careers in lactation consulting or healthcare.”
Overall, WIC is currently slated to get $6 billion in funding next year, $75 million less than this year.
Read the full letter by clicking here.