The Oklahoma legislature is poised to deal a major blow to non-profits and faith-based organizations who help administer the WIC program. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is a federally-funded, state-administered nutrition service for low-income women, infants and children under five. WIC subsidizes nutritious foods, infant formula, education on healthy eating and breastfeeding, and screening and referrals for other health and welfare services.
On average in 2010, Oklahoma WIC clinics provided 133,002 low-income mothers $37.18 dollars in food and formula each month. WIC clinics are operated by health departments, tribal governments, faith-based organizations, community health centers and non-profits. For instance, the clinic in Variety Health Center in south Oklahoma City serves an average of 8,066 low-income women and children each month. The Edmond Ministerial Alliance’s Hope Center Health Clinic serves 1,611 average monthly participants.
Rep. Jason Murphey amended SB 709, a senior nutrition bill, to prohibit non-profits and faith-based organizations in Tulsa and Oklahoma county from administering WIC benefits to thousands of women and children across the state. Section 2 of SB 709 creates new law that stipulates: [Read more...]