Eating for Health

Published on January 24th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe


URGENT: Take Action for Healthier Kids!

WIC Child

There’s a petition making the rounds right now that needs a little love and could have a big impact on children’s health.

WIC – the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children – helps millions of families who live at or below the poverty line round out their food budgets. I know that some folks think benefits like these are a drain on society, but WIC actually saves us money in the long term, because healthier moms and kids mean healthier adults. And the more healthier adults we have out there, the lower healthcare costs are for everyone.

Here’s the gist of the petition:

The current WIC program is one of the most cost-effective government programs. A study of birth outcomes showed benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from $1.77 to $3.13 in Medicaid costs saved for each $1 spent on WIC. Yet the program leaves much to be desired. Severe restrictions are placed on what kind of food can be bough with WIC. Organic foods are completely excluded and the choices for vegans and vegetarians are slim. This program serves a very vulnerable portion of our population – pregnant and breastfeeding women, their infants and young children. Shouldn’t we offer them the best, most nutritious foods available? Foods that are grown and processed without the use of pesticides and herbicides should be included if we want the best outcomes for our kids.

I was shocked to learn that WIC excludes organic foods! While there may be some controversy about the nutrient values in organic vs. conventional produce, there is no question that the pesticide residues on conventional fruits and veggies are bad for our bodies, especially for children and nursing infants.

Time is running out to collect the 25,000 signatures needed to get an official response from the White House! If you have some time, please sign the petition and share it with your friends and family!

Image Credit: Mom Feeding Child photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

6 Responses to URGENT: Take Action for Healthier Kids!

  1. Maria Tadic says:

    WIC is a great program – I’ve worked with many people within the WIC program. They definitely try to include as many foods as possible and exclude things that aren’t the healthiest too. But many times organic foods are much more expensive than conventional foods. That might mean less food overall for these families. Just something to remember.

    • That’s a good point, Maria, and definitely something to consider. I just wish that families using WIC had that option. Sometimes organic produce costs the same as conventional, so it would be great if they could decide for themselves!

  2. Lynn says:

    Some WIC participants are given vouchers that they can use at farmers’ markets. While not all of the produce offered at these places is organic, some of it is. So at least some WIC participants are able to receive organic produce. I wish more states made this option available.

  3. That’s a good point…WIC is a great program

  4. That’s a good point, Maria, and definitely something to consider. I just wish that families using WIC had that option.

  5. WIC is a great program – I’ve worked with many people within the WIC program

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