A hand reaches for an apple in a bin. A government shutdown would risk children's access to nourishing food like fruits and vegetables.

Within days of a preventable government shutdown—currently set to begin this weekend—families and caregivers who count on the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) will begin being denied access to the nourishing meals their children need to thrive. Everyone is impacted during a government shutdown, but this decision will have particularly dire consequences for women and children who rely on programs like WIC for meals.

More than six million American children depend on WIC for support in accessing fruits and vegetables, protein, whole grains, and other nutrition support. Established in 1974, WIC has long provided reliable support for women and children facing challenges in accessing nutritious food, helping to level the playing field and ensure more children can grow and thrive

WIC supports healthier pregnancies, better trajectories in school, and improved health outcomes. The simple function it fulfills—making sure every child starts life from a place of wellbeing—is a tenet of the America we hope to be, and the future we aspire to create. Denying our children basics like milk and bread is an act of injustice. 

Amid the uncertainty and confusion that too often engulf the federal government, some things remain clear: political posturing must not interfere with children’s right to eat.