Bush administration seeks an end to food subsidy program

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The Bush administration has announced that it wants to end a subsidy that allows pregnant women, new mothers and low-income elders to buy produce at farmers' markets and fruit stands at reduced costs.

The funding for the subsidies to farmers to provide 2.7 million people with fruits and vegetables worth $12 million was not included in the Department of Agriculture budget for FY 2003.

According to several farmers involved in the program, the subsidy allowed many of them to stay afloat in hard times in addition to helping those most in need.

The subsidies started in 1989 as a pilot program that allowed participants in the Department's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program to buy healthier foods.