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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

CA Anti-Poverty Groups Fight for Higher Food Benefits for Women, Children

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023   

Anti-hunger advocates are pressing Congress to fully fund WIC, the food benefit program for expectant mothers and children younger than 5. Conservatives in the House of Representatives have proposed a budget for WIC of $5.5 billion. The Senate proposal is $6.3.

Sarah Diaz, policy and media coordinator with the California WIC Association, explained the program would need a billion dollars more than that to be fully funded.

"We would love for the House to reconvene and try to work out a budget that fully funds WIC so that they're able to serve all eligible participants and one that accounts for the projected increase in WIC enrollment," she continued.

There is also the question of the Food and Vegetable benefit, which was raised to $25 to $49 per person per month during the pandemic in accordance with recommendations
from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The GOP proposal would drop it down sharply to $11 to $15 per person per month, which is slightly higher than pre-pandemic levels.

More than 930,000 mothers, infants and toddlers depend on WIC benefits in the Golden State. Diaz offered a report from the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities that found if the current GOP proposal passes - more than 100,000 Californians would wind up on a waiting list.

"In the '90s, there were waiting lists, and that had a major chilling effect. So people will choose not to go to WIC if they think they're taking somebody else's spot, even if they really need the program. And that means that we won't be serving everyone who needs it," she said.

Congress has to pass an appropriations bill or a continuing resolution by September 30th in order to avoid a government shutdown.


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