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Prevention Institute

Strategic Alliance Action Alert: January 8, 2014

Act today to protect WIC from industry influence

California’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program reaches well over half of California’s infants. It’s a vital program that has markedly improved birth outcomes and participants’ nutrition and health. A cornerstone of WIC, the "prescription food package," has successfully increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. We’re forwarding this message from our partners at the California WIC Association, and encourage you to take action today to preserve the integrity of the WIC food package.

Industry lobbyists are trying to force white potatoes into the WIC food packages via the pending Agriculture Appropriations bill. If they are successful, WIC's 40-year history of basing food package design on careful and independent scientific review would be broken, opening the door to other Big Food lobbyists pushing to get their products included. The integrity of the WIC food package - and the program's high degree of effectiveness - could erode significantly over time.
Tell Congress: Don't Politicize the WIC Food Package!
Contact your members of Congress no later than TODAY, Wednesday, January 8.

Use this handy National WIC Association link to connect with your Congressional representatives quickly. Ask them to contact House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and Senate Appropriations Committee members and urge them to leave the science of the WIC food package to the Institute of Medicine and stop any language that would lead to the inclusion of specific foods.
Please note: Contacts are particularly urgent for these California members of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee:

Ken Calvert (R-Riverside)
David Valadao (R-Hanford)
Barbara Lee (D-Oakland)
Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-LA)
Adam Schiff (D-Burbank)

For background on why blocking this move by industry matters, read Bob Greenstein's blog:
"Congress must not break 40-year commitment to let WIC provide most nutritious food."

New Study Reveals Hidden Health Cost of Cutting Food Stamps

Prevention Institute’s Rob Waters reports on a new study that shows that millions of Americans whose food budgets run out before the end of the month face serious health risks. 

Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters

A new joint report by PolicyLink and The Food Trust reveals that accessing healthy foods remains a challenge for many families living in low-income areas and communities of color and that neighborhood food retail is associated with better health outcomes and stimulates economic activity.

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