Larsen Amendment To Allow WIC Offices On Military Bases Included In Defense Policy Bill

Apr 27, 2016 Issues: Supporting our Naval Bases

In response to near closure of WIC office at NASWI, Larsen worked to include language in the defense policy bill to allow WIC offices to operate on bases when serving military families.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Nutrition services for military families with young children would be allowed to operate on military bases because of an amendment to the defense policy bill led by Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02. Larsen worked successfully to include language in the House version of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that clears the way for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) offices to serve families on base.

Larsen pushed for this legislative fix after the Navy had moved to close the WIC office at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI). Larsen worked with Senator Patty Murray to push the Navy to keep the WIC office open. While this outcome is positive for NASWI, Larsen wanted to put in place a permanent and nationwide fix to ensure military families have ease of access to nutrition services. Currently there is no policy that explicitly prohibits or allows WIC offices to operate on military bases.

“I want military families to be able to count on support from their communities. That is why I worked with other local leaders to keep open the WIC office on NASWI, and why I worked today on a permanent and nationwide solution so military families across the country can get the services they need quickly and easily.

“As a member of the Armed Services Committee, I will continue to fight for military families. Those who sacrifice for our country should not have to worry about whether they can afford their next meal,” Larsen said.

In January, Larsen toured the WIC office at NASWI, which is run by Community Action of Skagit County. In touring the WIC office, he learned more about the hundreds of families who visit the office each month and the other services families can access in the same building.