Skip to Content
Home | news | Press Releases

Press Releases

Dingell Hosts Roundtable to Highlight Impact and Importance of WIC Funding

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06) hosted a roundtable conversation with Food Gatherers, state and county officials, WIC recipients, and others to discuss the importance and impact of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Michigan and across the country. 
WIC, which has consistently received bipartisan support, faced a $1 billion funding shortfall in the FY24 appropriations cycle. While this shortfall was ultimately avoided and WIC received full funding, this threat to a program that has historically received full funding was deeply concerning. According to the USDA, cuts in WIC funding would present states with “untenable” decisions about how to manage the program, with “severe and harmful consequences”. The most recent shortfall would have left as many as 2 million fewer people able to participate in the program.
“Our conversation reaffirmed just how valuable WIC is to our families and community, providing access to nutritious food and health-related services for millions of women and children, including more than 300,000 in Michigan,” Dingell said. “Supporting access to food for pregnant women and babies should never be a partisan issue, but it is clear we must be vigilant to ensure full funding for WIC moving forward. I appreciate all the community partners who joined us and who are committed to supporting Michigan families, and I will continue to fight in Congress to protect resources so many women and children depend on at a time when it is most essential for their wellbeing and development.” 
Dingell was joined by Food Gatherers CEO Eileen Spring, Michigan WIC Director Christina Herring, Washtenaw County Health Department WIC Supervisor Gayathri Akella, Washtenaw County Director of Nursing Jane Nickert, Ann Arbor Farmers Market Manager Stefanie Stauffer, Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative Director Margy Long, MSU Center Regional Food Systems Strategy Design Specialist and Washtenaw County Food Policy Chair Keesa Johnson, Food Gatherers Director of Community Food Programs Markell Miller, Corner Health Medical Director Dr. Pat Wells, local WIC participant Nivean Farha, local WIC participant Alisha Spencer, Washtenaw County Health Officer Jimena Loveluck, and County Commissioner Katie Scott. 
WIC is the premier preventive public health nutrition program supporting low-income mothers and young children who have or are at risk for developing nutrition-related diseases and disorders. WIC benefits are not limited only to food; participants also benefit from nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support, and referrals to medical and social services.
Studies have repeatedly shown that WIC improves birth outcomes for high-risk mothers, reduces the likelihood of very low birthweight babies, infant mortality, and helps to get women into prenatal care earlier. Children enrolled in WIC are more likely to be immunized on time, consume key nutrients, and have higher cognitive development scores than their peers not participating in WIC. Study after study has shown that WIC works. Taxpayers receive a healthy return in costs of at least $2.48 avoided for every dollar of investment. These outcomes change lives and save taxpayer dollars.
See photos from the roundtable here. Watch a video of the roundtable here
Back to top