Murkowski-Led update to WIC Food Package brings healthy Alaskan Salmon to America’s children and mothers

Washington, D.C. (KINY) – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) applauded the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for including Alaska salmon into more Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages. Murkowski has advocated for expanded inclusion of healthy, nutritious Alaskan salmon in WIC food packages since 2014, when the process to update WIC food packages began.

“It is great news for America’s mothers and their children who rely on WIC that the USDA is including low-mercury seafood like Alaska salmon in more WIC food packages. Alaska’s wild salmon is among the healthiest and most nutritious food in the world and I’m grateful for Alaska’s fishermen and the seafood industry who help provide it to consumers. I’ve long worked on this issue because Alaskan seafood should be accessible to America’s children and mothers in our food programs. Today’s announcement is good news and I am proud to have championed this effort that both supports Alaska’s seafood industry and the health of America’s kids and moms,” Senator Lisa Murkowski said.

WIC provides supplemental nutrition based on the individual needs of mothers and their young children. By law, USDA must “conduct a comprehensive scientific review of the WIC food packages at least every ten years and update them, as needed, to reflect nutrition science, public health concerns, and cultural eating patterns.” USDA has relied on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine to make scientific recommendations. FNS then considered those recommendations and released a proposed rule for public comment.  Following public comment, the final rule was released. 

Senator Murkowski has long advocated for the inclusion of low-mercury fish—like Alaska salmon—to be included in more WIC food packages. She specifically advocated for children ages 1 – 4, and pregnant and partially breastfeeding mothers to have expanded access to Alaska salmon food products.

Senator’s Murkowski advocacy led to the following regulatory changes:

Food PackagesOld Regulations2022 Proposed Regulation2024 Final Regulation
Children Ages 1 to 4No Fish5 oz. for 2-4-year olds;6 oz. for 1-4-year olds
Women Pregnant and Partially BreastfeedingNo Fish10 oz for Pregnant;   15 oz for Partially Breastfeeding;10 oz. for Pregnant;    15 oz for Partially Breastfeeding
Post-PartumNo Fish10 ounces per month10 oz.