Legislators are making sure Iowa code lets mothers and children have eggs available at grocery stores.
The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program has been getting food and nutrition tips to women and their babies since 1974. But WIC dollars are limited in what they can buy. For example, they can only purchase conventionally produced eggs.
Iowa Senator Dan Zumbach from Delaware County is the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he says conventional eggs are the most affordable. He points to Senate File 2242, a bipartisan bill headed to the Governor's desk, that he claims will give mothers more choice.
For stores participating in WIC federal food programs, SF 2242 says, "If a grocery store carries an inventory of specialty eggs for retail sale it must also carry an inventory of conventional eggs for sale."
That makes it so mothers are guaranteed to be able to buy eggs with their WIC dollars.
In the exceptions part of the bill, it notes if a grocery store does not stock eggs it does not have to start.
Zumbach says WIC dollars may only be used for conventional eggs because there is no scientific evidence that they are more or less healthier than specialty eggs.
"Historically, we've been trying to protect your tax dollars by allowing the WIC moms to buy these low cost, high quality eggs. And we've been doing that by rule, but we though that we need to cover all the basis on this." Zumbach says, "And so, this way, the producer, the consumer, the grocer, and the consumer with the WIC dollars all have those choices to make."
In the most recent WIC impact report from the program, Iowa has nearly 71,000 mothers and children participate in the program monthly, for about $54 a person. In a year, that costs about $46 million, but the Federal Government picks up about $35 million.