WIC and Nice Things

By Shannon Gosney
In Blogging Randomness
September 20, 2009

Yesterday, I was reading an article written by a fellow blogger. In her post, she asked her readers how much was too much to spend on clothing. She said she had just purchased 3 shirts from Banana Republic for $130 for a blogging event in New York. Personally, I have a very difficult time buying a shirt for $20 or more and I rarely set foot in stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch or Banana Republic because they have the reputation for high priced clothes.

While reading the comments to her post, I was astonished by the drama and lack of respect by some of her readers. A week ago, this blogger had written a post on some of the changes being made to a program called WIC. One of her readers assumed this meant that she was on WIC, when in fact she wasn’t. Then the drama started!

While reading through the comments, I found one that caught my attention and it read, “Just because someone is on WIC doesn’t mean they are broke and shouldn’t buy nice things.” I thought to myself, I wonder if people even know what WIC is. Plus, just because somebody doesn’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean they can’t have nice things. This was a topic I was interested in.

So, I did a little research on WIC and learned a little bit more about the program. WIC is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for “Women, Infants, and Children.” WIC provides coupons for nutritious foods such as milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, juice, formula, etc to moms and children who qualify for it. The program also provides Nutrition and Health Education, Breastfeeding Education and Support, and Referrals to Health and Human Services. It is designed to help the following individuals: Pregnant Women (through pregnancy and up to 6 months post partum), Breastfeeding Women (up to the infant’s 1st birthday), Non-breastfeeding Postpartum Women (up to 6 months post partum), Infants (up to 1st birthday), and Children (up to their 5th birthday).

WIC is an important program for those who need it and is considered a blessing in the lives of many who use it. Sometimes individuals receive assistance from WIC because they can’t afford to purchase high-priced, healthy items like milk, cheese, and formula on a regular basis. In order to receive WIC, applicants must financially qualify and make a certain amount of money per year or less. If the individual makes over that, she doesn’t qualify…period. It doesn’t mean she is broke, it just means she needs assistance in keeping herself and her children healthy with nutritious foods and education, temporarily.

I also wanted to talk a little more about the comment made about being broke and not having nice things. Just because you don’t have a lot of money to spend, it doesn’t mean you can’t have nice things. I know plenty of people who buy items made by Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, and more that are normally high price items. They don’t usually purchase these items directly from the store. They may find them at an Outlet Store, a thrift store, a garage sale, or even eBay. Sometimes they receive these items as birthday gifts or Christmas gifts. You can have nice things without having to spend a ton of money.

BTW: I am writing this article on WIC, but do not receive WIC benefits.

About Has 4151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of RedheadMom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

2 Responses to “WIC and Nice Things”

  1. I actually do receive WIC and have for many years while pregnant and now for my children. It is a nice program, and actually the income qualifications just went up. So you may be surprised on how much income you can actually make and still qualify. I also agree that just because you are poor you can’t have nice things. To each his own anyway and how is it our business on how others spend their money.

  2. I received WIC when I was pregnant and after my first child was born until he was a year old as I was out of work. Then again, when I was pregnant and after my second was born, again because I was out of work. My then husband did work, but we were below the income guidlines.
    They provided us with cereal, cheese, milk, peanut butter, and the most important FORMULA, which was extremely expensive.
    I also used cupons when I was on WIC to save the state money, thus extending the program for as long as possible.
    When I went back to work, I no longer qualified, and went off the program. It was a godsend. I was inundated with some products, such as too much milk and cereal, so I traded these items with other moms I knew for items that I could use, thus we all benefitted.
    I think NO ONE should criticize ANYONE for what they have or do not have because they really do not know their circumstances. The Hubs and I live on a fixed income now (Social Security) and we are able to have some nice clothing (Tommy Bahama and Disney) from some great sales at outlets and the terrific liquidation sale the our town has twice a year.

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