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Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Alaska Congressman Don Young introduced the INFANT Act – legislation to remove an unnecessary rule that limits the number of foods eligible to purchase under the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program. Current WIC policy prohibits certain food combinations from being purchased under the program. The INFANT Act eliminates these unnecessary guidelines and allows mothers and children receiving WIC assistance to purchase healthier and more nutritious foods.
“As a former elementary school teacher, I know first-hand how important good nutrition is to a child’s ability to grow and reach their full potential,” said Congressman Young. “Countless families depend on the WIC program to keep their infant children nourished and healthy, and it is simply unacceptable that current guidelines prevent WIC recipients from purchasing wholesome meats and produce for their children. I am proud to introduce the INFANT Act to help eliminate the bureaucratic rules that prevent parents from accessing certain combinations of healthy food. Alaska is home to countless farmers and producers whose products could benefit the health of Alaska’s children, and the mothers in our state who rely on WIC to feed their little ones should be afforded the option of purchasing healthy, locally-sourced foods. I encourage my friends on both sides of the aisle to support my legislation for the sake of Alaska’s children – and children across our nation.”
“Reforming guidelines to allow for more nutritious food combinations will positively impact over 3 million infants and toddlers currently participating in WIC Food supplement programs,” said medical professional Zoi Maroudas, President and Founder of Bambino’s Baby Food in Anchorage. “Childhood obesity and food allergy rates are at an all-time high, and a perfect balanced diet sourced from clean, nutrient rich ingredients is the key to overcoming these epidemics. A child’s first meals set the foundation for life long eating habits, and they are incredibly important to infant development and immune system support. When a child is offered a pureed mixture of protein, vegetables and grain, the flavor is balanced, and the nutrition is complete. Foods with greater nutritional value are the cornerstone to targeting childhood obesity and key to fostering a healthier nation. I am grateful to Congressman Young for introducing the INFANT Act, and taking proper childhood nutrition seriously.”
In the 116th Congress, Congressman Young has continued his push to fight childhood hunger. He recently introduced the Summer Meals Act to help expand access to summer meal programs. He has also introduced the Wild Game Donation Act to help tackle food insecurity by strengthening Alaska’s food banks. Additionally, he is the lead Republican sponsor of the Military Hunger Prevention Act, legislation to help fight hunger among America’s military families.