Don’t Deprive Low-Income Kids of Milk and Dairy

Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of U.S. Department of Agriculture

Goal: Do not cut percentage of dairy available to low-income women and children.

Women and children make up a significant margin of the 90 percent of Americans who do not get enough dairy intake to satisfy daily requirements. Low-income families in particular suffer, which is why the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC) is such an important offering. By some estimates, nearly half of all infants in the country rely on this program for milk. Now proposed cuts could take away from the very citizens who need this sustenance the most.

The Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees WIC, has floated the possibility of slashing the milk low-income women and children can get under the program by as much as 25 percent. This proposed change would have a particularly negative impact on pregnant women and children under two years of age. The cut would not meet the recommended dairy servings for these children most vulnerable to developing bone problems later in life.

Sign the petition below to urge the USDA to draft a final rule that does not put the health of low-income families at risk.


Dear Secretary Vilsack,

The USDA’s proposed changes to WIC dairy benefits are being cast as a move that puts the program in line with dietary recommendations. For the nearly half of infants and very young children who need reliable dairy intake most, however (and who are almost solely dependent on milk for these benefits), the reforms would not even meet recommended daily dairy intake. Dairy is crucial in early years to prevent health issues such as brittle bones later in life.

Statistics indicate that almost all milk vouchers are redeemed, and dairy accounts for three-fifths of the top redemptions. This part of WIC is obviously a necessity for millions of low-income families. Please honor the requests of pediatricians, lawmakers, and the most affected of all—families—to keep this important service going strong.

Other proposed changes signal a commitment by the USDA to high nutritional standards. Do not nullify this commitment by restricting the most vulnerable Americans’ access to a vital food group.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Samer Daboul

One Comment

  1. Jenna Miles says:

    Breast milk from cows is not needed to maintain health.

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