Simpson’s Potato Language Included in House Appropriations Bill
Language allows fresh potatoes in WIC
Washington–Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson’s language to include fresh potatoes in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program passed the House Appropriations Committee today. The language was included in the Fiscal Year 2015 House Agriculture Appropriations bill which passed 31-18. Simpson is a member of the committee and voted in favor of the bill.
Congressman Simpson’s language allows states to include fresh, white potatoes in the WIC nutrition program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Congressman Simpson successfully thwarted an attempt to strike his provision from the bill.
“Fresh potatoes have been excluded from the WIC program despite their widely known nutritional value,” said Simpson. “This bill corrects the exclusion of fresh potatoes and allows WIC participants to make wholesome food choices for their young families.”
Potatoes are currently excluded from the WIC program despite being nutrient dense, affordable, low in calories, and free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. A medium-sized potato contains more potassium than a banana and is a good source of dietary fiber—both of which are “nutrients of concern,” meaning those nutrients most lacking in Americans’ diets, according to USDA’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The bill now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.