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