1,000 Days commends the Senate Committee on Appropriations for prioritizing families in need both domestically and globally in their FY24 Agriculture Appropriations bill. In contrast to the House version, the Senate’s proposed bill-based funding on levels agreed to in the debt ceiling deal reached earlier this month is a superior starting point. Of note, the Senate’s bill funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) at $6.3 billion, maintaining current food package benefits and participation levels. The bill also acknowledges the importance of global nutrition programs through funding for international food assistance programs. It provides $1.8 billion in funding for Food for Peace, Title II programs and $248.3 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs, maintaining enacted levels from FY2023. These programs can improve nutrition within the 1,000-day window through evidence-based nutrition interventions. At a time when stunting is impacting 148 million children under 5 globally and wasting is threatening the lives of 45 million children, it is critical that investments meet the moment to reverse the trend of increasing rates of malnutrition. With malnutrition costing the world $3.5 trillion in lost productivity and healthcare costs annually, Congress has the ability to change the trajectory of malnutrition which impacts current and future generations.
How well, or how poorly, mothers and children are nourished and cared for during the 1,000-day window has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn and thrive. The Senate’s bill invests in federal programs that can significantly improve nutritional outcomes during this vital period of development for children. As the appropriations process moves forward, we urge Congress to base final funding decisions on the Senate proposal, helping families both domestically and internationally to have access to nutritious foods and services.