WIC Advisory Board Bill sponsored by Schwank and Cepeda-Freytiz signed into law

A bill sponsored by Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) and Rep. Cepeda-Freytiz (D-Berks) to create a permanent advisory board for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was signed into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro on June 10, becoming Act No. 22 of 2024.

SB 721 received unanimous support in the Senate and passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 119-83. It seeks to address declining enrollment and optimize WIC, which is fully funded at the federal level. Schwank said the bill came out of discussions with health care officials and WIC providers in Berks County.

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“It became clear to me that WIC was a resource that people in our community weren’t aware of and weren’t taking full advantage of,” said Schwank.

“What this board allows us to do is market it better and constantly evolve to meet the needs of all Pennsylvanians. Ensuring that infants and children get a healthy start in life is one of the most impactful things we can do as state legislators, so I’m very proud we were able to work together to enshrine this board into law.”

Cepeda-Freytiz, who sponsored a companion bill in the House of Representatives, said she believes the advisory board will make a positive impact on Berks County residents.

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“There is a tremendous need for nutrition and health services in Reading and Berks County,” said Cepeda-Freytiz. “Despite these needs, enrollment has dropped, placing continued federal funding at risk. This decline highlights why it’s important to update our approach. By passing SB 721 and establishing a WIC Advisory Board, we can optimize the program and better support our most vulnerable families.”

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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