Little ones donned their wings. They were ready to join their parents as they pushed for more access to healthy foods for American families.
Fern Ingber, President at the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation believes the two go hand in hand.
“Oral health and systemic health are inextricably linked because the mouth is the gateway to the body,” Ingber said.
She said the number one chronic childhood disease is tooth decay and that tooth decay can be caused by malnutrition. Kids like Amelia Crocco-Arango from North Carolina said they’re getting free breakfast in school, but the food is anything but healthy.
“A packet of unhealthy food and it’s why our class is so low and everything,” Crocco-Arango said.
The child nutrition and WIC reauthorization provide funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods where they live. They say the programs support millions of children, including children of veterans.
“To make ends meet, to really just make our basic resources much of the time,” Sarah Howard said. Howard is a veteran and a mother.
Howard added that WIC, which is the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, helped her when she was part of a newly enlisted military family and couldn’t find work. Now she’s walking the halls of Congress so other military families can get the support she did.
“It’s a huge help in their lives,” Howard added.
The tooth fairies and their Moms shared a petition with Congress. It has over 20,000 signatures on it. They asked Senators and Representatives pass the reauthorization bill.
While the original Sept. 30th deadline has come and gone, members of Congress are currently working to reauthorize the bill before the new December 11th budget deadline.