The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week the extension of flexibilities to ensure that participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) continue to receive critical nutrition and health support throughout the national public health emergency.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ACOG and our partners sent several letters to USDA and Congress urging them to grant states long-term flexibilities in the WIC program, including:
- Letter urging USDA to take immediate action to extend approved waivers for state WIC agencies for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency
- Letter to the Senate urging swift action to provide additional regulatory flexibilities within the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- Letter to the House and Senate urging that any final legislative package that responds to the public health and economic crises include an extension of USDA waiver authority for WIC services.
These flexibilities allow states to modify the delivery of critical program services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including by implementing remote services and adopting curbside models to minimize risk of exposure to COVID-19. Subsequently, the House of Representatives passed a provision this week, which if enacted, would further support USDA in enhancing WIC flexibilities.
We are pleased that USDA and Congress have responded to our advocacy by recognizing the critical need to safeguard and enhance WIC and help ensure families are supported amid the COVID-19 pandemic.