Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a proposed rule to revise food package within the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The last review of WIC food packages occurred in 2009.
The National Grocers Association (NGA), the national trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, issued the following statement from NGA Vice President of Government Relations Stephanie Johnson:
“WIC is an indispensable nutrition safety net for families in need. America’s independent community grocers have been strong partners with federal and state government agencies in implementing the WIC program for decades. We believe there are opportunities to modernize the WIC food packages and streamline the shopping experience to benefit retailers and most importantly WIC participants.
“It is critical that the WIC program works for both retailers and families. An updated food package that includes foods that families want to eat will lead to improved consumption of the nutrients needed by moms, babies, and young children and support retailers’ participation in the program. NGA is pleased to see the inclusion of a permanent increase for fruit and vegetables, as well as pack size flexibility for certain foods. We appreciate the USDA’s work on this proposed rule and look forward to further analyzing it as we work with our members to provide comments on the needed improvements to the WIC food package.”
NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale community grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. The independent grocery sector is accountable for about 1.2 percent of the nation’s overall economy and is responsible for generating more than $250 billion in sales, 1.1 million jobs, $39 billion in wages and $36 billion in taxes. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers. For more information about NGA, visit www.nationalgrocers.org.