Helping Families Stay Healthy

June 5, 2024

Nutrition is an important factor in keeping us healthy, and legislation passed this session is designed to improve access to healthy food choices for families in need.

The health and well-being of our community’s families and children is at the heart of a priority bill (HB 5003) of House Democrats that was approved unanimously by both the House and Senate.

HB 5003

This comprehensive legislation ensures mothers and children who are eligible for federal benefits, such as WIC, are enrolled in these important assistance programs with ease and confidence.

Unfortunately, WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children) enrollment in Connecticut is currently among the lowest enrollment rates in the country at 46%. Not maximizing participation in programs such as WIC results in worse outcomes for the health and nutrition of young children.

Specifically, this bill:

  • Helps Connecticut agencies more easily enroll children and parents who qualify into federal nutrition assistance programs
  • Promotes outreach and information to help increase enrollment in federal programs that Connecticut residents currently underutilize
  • Encourages Connecticut farmers to participate in these programs at farmers' markets

Children who participate in assistance programs such as WIC are less likely to develop nutrition-related chronic diseases, are at a lower risk of cavities/tooth decay and have improved mental health.

Support was strong for the bill at a public hearing before the Public Health Committee, including from Connecticut Children's Hospital and the American Heart Association.

Governor Lamont signed this important legislation into law on May 30.