FMNP THREATENED BY WIC FUNDING FREEZE!
There will be no federal funding for the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program
(FMNP) in fiscal year 1999 if a bill approved by the House Appropriations
Committe on July 16 becomes law!
The House bill provides $12 million for the FMNP next year, but only if the
funds are not needed to maintain caseload in the Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC Program). Because the
bill freezes overall funding for WIC at the fiscal year 1998 level, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that all available funds will be
needed to maintain WIC caseload, leaving no money for the FMNP.
In contrast, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation on June
11 that, while also freezing overall funding for WIC, provides up to $15
million for the FMNP without any connection WIC caseload. Both the House and
Senate Committees chose not to decouple FMNP funding from the WIC
appropriation despite strong appeals by USDA and FMNP that this be done to
provide long overdue fiscal security for the FMNP and eliminate any friction
between the two interpendent programs for appropriated funds.
A House-Senate Conference Committee is expected to meet shortly after the July
4 recess to reconcile any differences between the two appropriations bills.
To assure the survival of the FMNP in your state and the U.S. as a whole,
please call or fax the House and Senate Appropriations Committee member(s)
from your state immediately and ask them to urge the Conference Committee
members to retain Senate Language in any final appropriations bill for fiscal
year 1999. Let them know the importance of FMNP as a valuable asset to WIC
participants and family farmers in your state. If there is no member of
Congress on these committees from your state, please contact those members in bold.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE--North East
James Walsh (NY) 225-3701/225-4042
Rodney Felinghuysen (NJ) 225-5034/225-3186
Michael Forbes (NY) 225-3826/225-3143
John Murtha (PA) 225-2065/225-5709
Thomas Foflietta (PA) 225-4731/225-0088
Nita Lowey (NY) 225-6506/225-0546
Jose Serrano (NY) 225-4361/225-6001
Rosa DeLauro (CT) 225-3661/225-4890
John Olver (MA) 225-5335/226-1224
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE--North East
Arlen Specter (PA) 224-4254/224-1893
Judd Specter (NH) 224-3324/224-4952
Patrick Leaby (VT) 224-4242/224-3595
Frank Lautenberg (NJ) 224-4744/224-9707
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