Larsen Visits NAS Whidbey WIC Office

Jan 21, 2016 Issues: 114th Congress Accomplishments, Supporting our Naval Bases

OAK HARBOR—Today, Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, toured the WIC office at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and met with staff to talk about the critical services offered to military families and applaud the U.S. Navy’s decision to keep the office open. The Navy previously had planned to close the base’s WIC office, which is run by Community Action of Skagit County, but reversed its decision following Larsen’s work in partnership with Senator Patty Murray to urge the Department of Defense to keep the office open.

The WIC (formally known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) office has been offered a five-year lease from the Navy, without excessive building lease fees. WIC offers supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for pregnant women, infants, and children up to age five.

“I want military families to count on support in the communities in which they live. That is why I worked with other local leaders to keep open the WIC office on NASWI. In touring the WIC office today, I learned more about the hundreds of families who visit the office each month and the other services families can access in the same building. Streamlining these resources means families can focus on their futures by getting the services they need quickly and easily. I am grateful to the office staff and to the base for helping young military families give their children a healthy start,” Larsen said.

"Serving Navy families on the base has been a priority for us for many years, and we are grateful for Congressman Larsen’s efforts to make sure young military families continue to have access to WIC services,” said Bill Henkel, Executive Director for Community Action of Skagit County. “Today we were pleased to share first-hand the way that WIC provides young children a strong, healthy start here on Whidbey. We also appreciate our strong relationship with NAS Whidbey Island and look forward to continuing to provide accessible support and services to our military’s families.”

Larsen worked with Senator Murray to push the Navy to keep the WIC office open. Larsen and Murray wrote multiple letters to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter urging him to avoid closing the NAS Whidbey Island WIC office.