August 25th, 2011 by Hasham
Increasing WIC Participation
Yes, even in the face of WIC being under the threat of budget cuts, WIC still desires to increase participation.
I find it interesting that when we first moved to where we live now, I needed to go to the health clinic to get a pregnancy test confirmed so I could get on Medicaid. And even though I told them I didn’t want to sign up for WIC at the moment, they told me they needed to sign me up because it was part of the process of signing up for Medicaid. It was a number that was important to their office. They wanted to show that everyone they signed up for Medicaid they also signed up for WIC if they weren’t already in the program. I told them I thought we were doing okay as far as eating healthy food. They said that was great, but that this would make it even easier, and they really wanted to sign me up. They did tell me I didn’t have to stay on it if I didn’t want to, but they really wanted me to register for it regardless.Their plan worked. If I had to register for WIC and drive 20 minutes to the appointments, then I figured they may as well sign my other 2 children as well in order to make the WIC appointments worth it. I ended up deciding that the food vouchers were a significant help to our grocery bill, and we all stayed on WIC until I was one year post partum. At that point my oldest was no longer qualified, I was going to stop getting the breastfeeding mom’s package. So the incentive was small enough that it wasn’t worth the hassle. Anyone on WIC knows those vouchers can be a pain to check out with, and WIC appointments can often be a time consuming (as well as demeaning) activity.
WIC successfully increased its participation by catching me when I was signing up for Medicaid. But I ended up being an early drop out, just as many others drop out of the program before they become ineligible.
But I see my dropping out of the program as a good thing. It’s one less person this program is needing to support, especially in the face of budget cuts. Less people feeling they need to particpate should be a good thing. WIC sees it as a failure. They truly believe that me being on the WIC program is saving health care dollars and when we drop WIC, our healthy eating habits are also likely to drop and we could end up costing the state more money.
What do you think? Should WIC try to increase participation in the program? Should they encourage people who are on the fence about signing up for WIC to sign up? Or should they say, “Hey, we’re facing a 10% budget cut. If you don’t think you need us, don’t sign up! We’ll just end up spending less money!”
WIC (Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children)
Join WIC, the Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children up to age five. WIC gives checks to buy up to $100 worth of healthy food each month when two in your family are enrolled. (Each person on WIC gets checks to buy up to $50 worth of healthy foods.) Use WIC checks to buy milk, eggs, peanut butter, dried beans, cheese, bread, tortillas, brown rice, breakfast cereal, fruits and vegetables, baby food and more. You can get infant formula for babies who are not breastfed. WIC also gives breastfeeding help, health referrals, and tips to help your family eat well and stay healthy.
Español: Inscríbase en WIC, el Programa de Nutrición para Mujeres, Bebés y Niños. WIC le da cheques para comprar alimentos saludables- la mayoría de familias inscritas en WIC reciben hasta $100! WIC también ofrece consejos de cómo amamantar, referencias de salud, y otros consejos para ayudar a que su familia coma bien y se mantenga saludable. Ingrese el nombre de su ciudad, su código postal o su domicilio completo en la caja verde que sigue para encontrar su clínica de WIC local.
Locate your local WIC office. There are several WIC providing offices throughout the Connecticut area. Visit the state’s WIC site and find the closest WIC office near your ZIP code.
Meet basic eligibility requirements. To apply for WIC assistance you must be pregnant, a breastfeeding mother or a non-breastfeeding mother of an infant up to 6 months, an infant up to 1 year of age, or a child up to 5 years of age.
Meet the eligibility requirements. All WIC programs require individuals to provide proof of income. Your total number of family members in your family, including yourself is listed on a chart with the corresponding income amount that qualifies. WIC programs will not accept individuals who make more than the requirements. You must also reside within the state of Connecticut to be eligible.
Prepare for the interview. When applying for WIC set up an appointment at your local WIC office. Provide proof of income, proof of residency and your proof of identity. If you are enrolling children into the program they need to come with you to the appointment. Bring your child’s birth certificate and social security card as proof of identification.
Conduct an interview. After your income, residency and proof of identity have been established, you will have to interview with a representative to determine your needs. Breastfeeding mothers will be given allowances for foods to help boost their health, while bottle-feeding mothers will be given coupons to purchase formula. For your older children their specific health needs will be determined upon interview as well and the coupons issued accordingly. WIC facilities take weight and height measurements of children to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition.
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- Posted in Early Pregnancy Planning