President Bush’s proposed budget for 2008 would cut half a million people from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which provides, among other things, food vouchers for low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and children.
Bush has proposed $5.4 billion in funding to serve about 8.3 million people. However, the caseload has increased to 8.5 million. Also, prices for products like milk and cheese, which account for about 40% of WIC food costs, have increased. Because of that, the proposed spending level will cut about 500,000 people from the WIC program, reports USA Today.
WIC was created in 1974 and provides vouchers for nutritious foods, counseling on healthy eating, and health care referrals to low-income pregnant women and new mothers, infants, and children under age five who are at nutritional risk. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, WIC has been acclaimed for its effectiveness in reducing the incidence of low-weight births, reducing child anemia, and improving nutrition and health outcomes.