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Statement on the 2024 Appropriations Bill

Congress upholds 30-year commitment to fully fund WIC to improve the health and developmental outcomes of women, infants and children

The Greater Chicago Food Depository applauds Congress for passing a fiscal year 2024 appropriations package that includes funding for key nutrition programs at a time when families are still struggling to afford higher grocery prices and other living costs.

The budget bill fully funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides crucial nutrition, breastfeeding support and other services to millions of newborn babies, toddlers, preschoolers and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers across the U.S. every year. An additional $1.03 billion was needed this year to allow the program to keep pace with rising participation and food prices and to ensure that no eligible participant is turned away due to lack of funding.

The Food Depository is grateful for the hundreds of advocates and food access partners that raised their voices in advocacy alongside us to protect this vital program. We will continue to advocate for full funding for WIC for fiscal year 2025.

The Food Depository also commends Congress for rejecting a last-minute proposal to test restrictions on how families use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP recipients deserve to shop with the same dignity and choice as non-SNAP participants and the freedom to make their own decisions about what is best for their family. The Food Depository urges Congress to maintain recent updates to the Thrifty Food Plan and pass the Closing the Meal Gap Act to ensure SNAP benefits are adequate to support healthy food choices.

While the appropriations package fully funds WIC and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for seniors, it disappointingly includes cuts to the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program and reduces administrative funding for emergency food providers such as the Food Depository and our partners. We are currently assessing the impact of these cuts on our work and will advocate for funding to be restored in fiscal year 2025, as well as continuing to urge for the overall strengthening of the emergency food system and safety net in the upcoming Farm Bill to ensure all families have the food they need to thrive.

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