Letter: Open Letter to Marc Molinaro

Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter sent to Marcus Molinaro and all the other Republicans in Congress:

I am writing to express my deep disgust in the Republican proposal to cut Food Stamp and W.I.C. Funding. The desire to starve children to protect your party’s tax cuts for the very rich instead are absolutely appalling. It is obvious that your party has no heart. Your lack of any concern regarding the funding and future of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is appalling!

The WIC program has been a vital lifeline for millions of families with low incomes across the country for over four decades. It provides essential nutrition support and educational resources to those pregnant, new mothers, and young children. WIC plays a critical role in ensuring that these vulnerable families have access to nutritious food, leading to healthier outcomes and a better chance at a successful future.

The repercussions from the pandemic, including increased food prices, have resulted in increased demand for WIC services. Already, between January and March of 2023, WIC participation has exceeded USDA projections for all of FY2024.

It is imperative that Congress takes immediate action to ensure continued access to essential nutrition aid to babies, toddlers, and pregnant and postpartum parents, and those who are nursing. This is especially important when these young children are at such critical stages in their cognitive development.

The funding level included in the House Committee on Appropriations bill for the Department of Agriculture is inadequate. Its $800 million cut from current funding levels would be achieved by drastic reductions in the science-based fresh fruits and vegetables monthly allotments (from $25 to $11 for one to four year-olds, and from $49 to $15 for breastfeeding mothers).

The level is so low that in addition to taking nutritious food away from families, it would not provide enough to support the projected number of participants, leading to waiting lists.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has proposed an increase of $615 million, intended to preserve current benefit levels and serve the projected number of participants. This level may not be adequate, based on current estimates. I urge you to ensure that the final funding for WIC keeps pace with growing needs and reject any cuts in monthly fresh fruit and vegetable benefits.

I urge you to prioritize the protection and expansion of the WIC program, recognizing the immense value it holds for the most vulnerable among us. Please communicate your support for WIC to congressional leadership in addition to the Appropriations Committees.

Please show some compassion!


William O’Connell

Owego, N.Y.

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