Claim Regarding High WIC Administrative Costs Is False

Source: Zoë Neuberger, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 14, 2011

The 2012 agriculture appropriations bill that the House Appropriations Committee approved on May 31 — and the full House is scheduled to take up June 14 — includes large cuts in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that would force the program to turn away 200,000 to 350,000 eligible low-income women and children next year. [1] One of the Committee’s justifications for this cut is its claim that over 40 percent of WIC expenditures go for program administration. The claim is flatly false: USDA data show that only 9 percent of federal WIC funds are spent on administrative costs. The Committee’s claim rests on errors in basic arithmetic and the mislabeling of core WIC services for nutrition education and breastfeeding support as though they were administrative costs, which they are not.
See also:
Ill-Informed Claim Does Not Justify WIC Cuts

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