Senator Reacts to Reported Overcharges For WIC Grocery Products
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) – the chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services – says he will likely respond to recent news reports that small grocery stores in California (and other parts of the country) are allegedly overcharging for the foods offered for sale through the Women/Infants/Children (WIC) program, which is available to low-income mothers and their children. The exorbitant prices charged at some of these stores results in the WIC program spending more than it should on food.
WIC is funded with federal taxpayer dollars, though the program is often administered at the respective local levels by local social service programs. The California WIC Association (CWA) is reportedly supporting a continued moratorium on all new WIC vendor authorizations, except in cases where participant access would be compromised, until such time that this problem is dealt with sufficiently.
Senator DeSaulnier calls the alleged overcharging ‘completely unacceptable’ abuse of taxpayer funds and he says he and his committee staff are pursuing the issue and will possibly hold hearings to bring further information out into public.
More on the issue can be found from this news release from the California WIC Association, dated 2/24/2012.