Jan 11, 2024
IFPA: Keep WIC with produce in SNAP funds
The International Fresh Produce Association (IFPA) launched its largest-ever ad campaign in support of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The launch coincided with the WIC National Day of Action, Jan. 10.
The WIC program, which provides supplemental benefits to mothers, infants, and children battling food insecurity, is at risk of funding being slashed as part of the arguments on federal spending.
The jingle-style ad, sung from the perspective of animated fruits and vegetables, leverages audio and visuals to bring awareness to the urgent funding crisis facing the WIC program, calling on Members of Congress to fund the WIC program, including critical fresh fruit and vegetable benefits that are in jeopardy.
“Fully funding the WIC Program is an urgent necessity for families nationwide,” IFPA CEO Cathy Burns said in a news release. “Our creative approach will convey this message to break through the noise on Capitol Hill, bringing attention to the mothers and children who rely on the WIC program for nutritious fruits and vegetables.
“The proposed cuts would have a devastating impact on millions of families, farmers, and retailers, and IFPA will continue to fight for women, infants, and children,” Burns said in the release.
The WIC Program is already facing a $1 billion shortfall. Without full funding, the WIC program will need to place eligible applicants on a waitlist, turning away families needing supplemental assistance. Meanwhile, the program faces additional concerns as the current House version of the agricultural appropriations bill would cut fruit and vegetable benefits by 70% for women and 56% for children. These cuts would have significant consequences for nutrition, likely decreasing produce intake among the nation’s most vulnerable populations at a time when nearly half of American children already don’t eat a daily vegetable.
The produce industry would lose an estimated $1.2 billion in revenue each year from the reduction of fruits and vegetables that would typically be available to WIC participants under the current funding structure.
“The health and nutrition of mothers and children nationwide is at stake,” Mollie Van Lieu, IFPA vice president of nutrition and health, said in the release. “New and innovative approaches are needed to stress the urgency of this moment to Congress, and IFPA is proud to continue leading the charge.”
The 30-second animated ad campaign will run across digital channels through the ongoing funding negotiations.