ISSAQUAH, WA – Congresswomen Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) have introduced two bills that will provide children and families with better access to healthy, nutritious food during the pandemic.

“These two bills will provide children and families with more flexibility to access healthy food and food benefits during this difficult time,” said Rep. Schrier. “As a pediatrician, I am especially concerned about children’s nutrition when they are not receiving school meals. We know one benefit of early exposure to healthy fruits and vegetables is they lead to healthy choices later in life.”

“It’s imperative we continue to prioritize the health and well-being of moms and children across our country, especially during the COVID crisis that’s hit working families particularly hard. I’m pleased to help introduce these solutions that will provide easier access to critical nutrition services for women and children in Southwest Washington,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler.

The WIC Waiver Extension Act would allow USDA to extend through FY 21 the WIC waivers passed in the second COVID package, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA waived the requirement for individuals to be physically present in order to be certified or recertified to receive WIC benefits and gave flexibility for USDA to waive WIC administrative requirements.

The second bill, the Fruits and Vegetables for Children During the Pandemic Act provides Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) recipients with a $35/month increase in food benefits for fruits and vegetables. P-EBT is a temporary program for children who typically receive most of their nutrition and meals at school but are unable to attend due to the pandemic.