BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards has received a letter from the Trump administration notifying the state that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has fully lifted the federal moratorium on the authorization of new vendors in the Louisiana Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
“I am thankful that the Trump administration recognizes the hard work that has gone into improving the way the state manages the WIC vendors who are integral in meeting the nutritional needs of the thousands of Louisiana woman and children who rely on this program,” said Gov. Edwards. “Dr. Rebekah Gee and her staff at the Louisiana Department of Health have done a remarkable job working diligently to ensure that the federal dollars we receive are used effectively and efficiently. It is important that we are responsible with our taxpayer dollars, and I’m confident that will continue as we work to make certain those who benefit from the WIC program receive the best service available.”
On May 2, 2014, FNS notified the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals – now the Louisiana Department of Health – that it would impose a federal moratorium on the authorization of new WIC vendors until Louisiana could ensure the effective use of federal funds by making necessary improvements to its vendor management system. Since taking office, Gov. Edwards’ administration and the FNS have been working collaboratively to take corrective actions.
Dr. Gee says her staff was very pleased to receive the letter commending them for their work to improve the WIC program and lift the moratorium.
“Since taking office, this administration, and especially our leadership in the Office of Public Health, has worked hand-in-hand with our federal partners to reform the WIC program,” said Gee. “Today, we can ensure that those who rely on this program for supplemental food benefits have the best possible experience, and that we are good stewards of these funds.”