skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

25,000 Colorado families could lose access to food and health assistance

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 11, 2024   

Congress is running out of time to fully fund a program that provides food and health support for breastfeeding moms, and kids up to age five.

Greta Allen, policy director with the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, said if Congress does not address a $1 billion shortfall for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children - known as WIC - over two million families will lose critical support, including 25,000 new or expecting parents and kids in Colorado.

"WIC serves almost half of all infants born in the United States," said Allen. "The program provides nutritious foods, referrals to health care, information on healthy eating, and really is a lifeline for low-income new families."

Current funding for WIC is set to expire on January 19 unless Congress acts.

House Republicans have proposed cutting WIC benefits in a U.S. Department of Agriculture spending bill to try to reign in what they see as runaway government spending.

The move comes after Congress, under threat of defaulting on the nation's loans, negotiated new work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients - SNAP, the program formerly known as food stamps.

WIC helps families buy infant formula, baby food, fruits, vegetables, and other approved, nutritious foods.

Allen noted that every dollar invested in WIC creates significant savings in healthcare costs by preventing low birth weights and improving child health outcomes.

She added that access to healthy food as an infant improves a child's ability to succeed in school and become a financially independent adult.

"WIC is actually celebrating its 50th anniversary as a program, and this is the first time in its history that we are not seeing bipartisan support," said Allen. "It's just unacceptable that this investment is in question, because we are talking about women, infants and children."

Nearly 92,000 Colorado families participated in WIC last year, and Allen said more than $35 million WIC dollars were reinvested back into Colorado communities.

She added if Congress doesn't fully fund the program, some families will be affected more than others.

"It will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic families," said Allen. "This is because we know that families of color are more likely to qualify for assistance, due to the ongoing and systemic economic hardships and barriers that they experience."


Disclosure: Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021