Standing at Foodlink, the regional food bank based in Rochester, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer on Monday revealed how the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which supports 21,000+ kids, moms, and babies in the Finger Lakes region alone, is in limbo and how without action many could see empty tables after the holiday season. Schumer explained that this program is especially vital for Rochester’s Foodlink as the operator of the nation’s first and only WIC-eligible mobile curbside grocery store, and if this program were to not receive additional funds by mid-January it could have many families struggling to keep food on the table after the holiday season.
“Every Finger Lakes family deserves access to nutritious and affordable food to put on their dinner tables. As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, it is more important, now than ever before, that Rochester and Foodlink can serve struggling families in our communities,” said Senator Schumer. “We must not leave the vital funding for this program off the dinner plate for the over 21,000 kids, babies and moms who need fresh and healthy food most. The recipe to successfully help families access the healthy food they deserve without the fear of funding running out is clear. Making this investment is the key ingredient needed, which is why I’m pushing to safeguard our Rochester families and the vital foodbanks like Foodlink that families here rely on to afford the nutritious food they need.”
Schumer explained that with funding for WIC set to run low in two months, he is pushing Congress to fund this program to ensure that Rochester kids and mothers continue to have the resources to purchase healthy foods at Foodlink’s mobile curbside grocery during and beyond the holiday season. Schumer said that without additional federal funding, states may start to cut enrollments by creating waitlists and halting outreach, which would be devastating for the Finger Lakes families who rely on WIC and food banks like Foodlink to put healthy, affordable, and fresh food on the table. A breakdown by county of the 21,000+ mothers, children and infants who use the WIC program in the Finger Lakes can be found below:
Foodlink is a Rochester-based nonprofit dedicated to ending hunger and building healthier communities by addressing both the symptoms and root causes of food insecurity. They serve as the hub of the emergency food system across a 10-county service area. As a regional food bank, Foodlink is responsible for the aggregation, storage and distribution of millions of pounds of purchased and donated food to nonprofit organizations that serve food-insecure individuals throughout a 10-county service area.