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Mon Oct 5, 2015, 05:42 AM

For the children


For the children
October 05,2015

Changes to the way families get their food through the Women, Infants and Children program in Vermont are in most ways a welcome upgrade. Instead of costly delivery, the program is coming in line with every other state in the nation by moving to what is essentially a charge card, the eWIC card. All 50 states except Mississippi and Vermont were already there, before Vermont began the move to the card system this summer in Rutland County.


The WIC program was piloted in 1972 over concern about malnutrition among mothers and children in poverty across the country. The first WIC recipient was in Kentucky in 1974, and by later that year programs were running in 45 states. The program has undergone few changes since that time — most recently an update to the food guidelines for grantees. It is the federal government’s third-largest nutrition assistance program by cost at about $4 billion annually. That’s roughly equivalent to half the cost of the Navy’s latest Zumwalt-class destroyer, or, depending on how you calculate the price tag, between 22 and 47 of the new F-35 fighters.

The comparison is apt because, like budgets for defense systems, the WIC budget is not an entitlement — it is renewed at the discretion of Congress.
The eWIC cards are in place in part to deter fraud; there is still some work to be done on making their use simpler for participants. The other potential benefit of this card is that the data from the card might help track the impact of the WIC program.

The cost per recipient of the food provided has been declining over the last 20 years; studies have shown that WIC participation saves us money as a whole by reducing participants’ reliance on other services like Medicaid. While these studies are somewhat limited due to ethical concerns, “the sheer weight of the research suggests that WIC does have a positive impact on birthweight as well as a number of other birth outcomes and significantly lowers birth-related Medicaid costs.”

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unhappycamper Oct 2015 OP
orpupilofnature57 Oct 2015 #1

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Oct 5, 2015, 06:01 AM

1. Thank you for putting WIC figures up against MIC .


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