Harrisburg — June 15, 2022 — Today, SB967, which would establish a Women, Infants, and Children advisory board in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, passed the senate by a vote of 49-1.
The Pennsylvania Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for WIC has improved the nutrition and health of families in Pennsylvania since 1974 by providing access to healthy foods, nutrition services, breastfeeding support, health care, and social service referrals. The program is fully funded by the federal government.
However, participation in WIC has been steadily declining in Pennsylvania. The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Judy Schwank, would create a board that would work to grow participation and make sure more Pennsylvanians can take advantage of the program.
The board would be comprised of regional WIC agencies, agency partners, advocates, grocers, health care providers, and other participants. The board would be tasked with advising the Pennsylvania Department of Health on the program to increase enrollment.
“I greatly appreciate that my colleagues in the senate also see the value a WIC advisory board would bring to the commonwealth,” Schwank said. “This is a program that can be of benefit to so many Pennsylvanians without costing the commonwealth a dime. However, diminished participation over the years really places WIC at risk of losing funding and rolling back some of the vitally important services it offers to low-income individuals. We can’t let that happen.”
The bill will now be sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for its concurrence.