Is WIC Worth It? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm trying to decide if I should sign DD back up for WIC or not. She's 3 fwiw. We quit WIC a while back because I got tired of being treated like a idiot by the workers, who were telling me to ignore DD's pedi's orders.

We'd get about $30 worth of food, but a big chunk of that is milk that DD can't drink {she doesn't tolerate the WIC brand of milk so we normally buy organic that she does tolerate in small amounts}. The cheese is the cheap stuff most of the time and very waxy. We are only allowed pinto beans or lentils, neither of which we eat. We used to be able to get Lima beans which we eat fairly often, but then they changed what was allowed again. The cereal we don't eat much of either.

The office is tiny and there is no room for kids to do anything except sit and watch TV - normally they have a Disney movie on. The office is a block away, and an appointment normally takes around 3 hours every 3 months.

The fresh veggies would be nice, and juice and eggs we definately can use. The Whole grains the only thing DD can eat is the tortillas, so I'm not really sure we'd use that at all.

I'm just not sure it's worth the time and trouble of taking 3 hours off work and arguing with them over DD non-vax status.

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#2 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 03:28 AM
 
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We just for the first time signed up for WIC and I can't believe how much milk they want you to take! OMG, it is gross. We don't do cow milk, but I have used it to make ricotta cheese. I can freeze the cheese and we do eat that in lasagna, pasta, pastry, etc.

I think I'm going to switch my milk to soy--not that that is much better, but at least it is shelf stable and I can cook with it in a pinch.

Do you have a local healthfood store that carries milk from a local dairy? Even if it isn't "organic" it can still be good milk. Same with the cheese. Organic milk is largely ultra pasteurized in a lot of places, so it is not all that much better then the other stuff. If it is from a good dairy, then it will be okay, even if it isn't labeled 'organic.'

Wow, 3 hour visits? That sounds like a long wait.
I don't know if I would sit through that, or maybe once but then skip it.

For us it is worth it, because we get split peas (we do eat lentils and pintos, but get them from a local farm, not the stuff in the store) and use everything else. We have a good local healthfood store that takes wic, so we can good cheese, bulk brown rice, local eggs, and stuff, and it helps with our produce, too.

Can you use it at a different store in your area? That might help with the quality of food. Plus you have to do your part to keep those dairy farmer's subsidized! Think of it as you providing welfare for the dairy industry.

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#3 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 03:38 AM
 
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Ultimately, I think only you can answer that question. Three hour appointments would send me over the edge with a 3-year old......by myself, I'd bring a good book.

Our WIC office was much quicker with appointments and not nearly as pushy about their "agenda". When DH & I were both UNemployed, it was totally and completely worth it all and we were mighty grateful. When we were UNDERemployed, it was not worth it to us.

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#4 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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My appointments are also 3 hours long..I hate them.Nothing for the kids to do and the office isn't exactly the cleanest..I won't let my little girl play on the floor.

The only reason I keep getting it is because we do use the fruit,veggies,brown rice,eggs and beans..The juice I drink and the milk/cheese my parents trade to me for DD's Rice milk.


I sure wish a health food store around here would take WIC...I didn't know that they even allowed that..
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#5 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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Sicne you are a workign mom, you have to weigh the monetary amount of what tou would get versus what you would lose by taking time off from work.
And use the monetary value of what you would actually USE, not everything they give you.
I think that for a lot of working moms, the time involved doesn't balance out financially. Even working minimum wage, if you are spending 3 hours every quarter plus 1 hour per month to pick up checks(many states make non vaxxers icku monthly) to get your benfits, you are losing as much money as you are getting back in return. For SAHMs, it is easier for it to make finanacial sense, but for any family, if you have lots of allergies or issues with the food they give you, it doesn't make financial sense either.
That being said, i know LOTS of families for whom the WIC food is a lifesaver, and a crucial part of their food budget.
The fresh fruit and veggies and bread/tortillas are good fo many families, and the juice and milk and eggs and eggs if you eat those things. *shrug*
I'm wondering about your options...do they prescribe what brand of cheese you have to buy? Here, it's any cheese, in the correct size, any dry beans, etc.

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#6 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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You'll have to decide if you'll use the foods or not. If you won't, then it won't be worth it. For us, it is totally worth it. We have a very minimal grocery budget (and make a few dollars too much to qualify for FS), so the help with the food is a godsend for us. We use the cheese in all sorts of things, my kids do drink milk (ds drinks Lactaid which is extra pricey), all of us eat Rice Chex (our favorite cereal!) and so on... It is a HUGE help for us. I am excited about the new foods that are being added this month. I go in to get more checks next week and am excited to see what it includes.

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#7 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 04:01 PM
 
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Wow thats crazy. We love Wic. However we eat a little differently then you too. We save so much money just on the milk. We go through a ton of milk and drink lactose free which they provide. Also we get PB and dried beans (two kids) baby food, cereal (we dont use some of that bc we go organcic) juice (again dont usually use) cereal, cheese, eggs and now that its changing, brown rice, tortillas and I think about 15 for produce. Oh and carrots and tuna (or salmon with the changes) we find it very worth it. However I am not a working mom and our appts are just now changing from 10 min appts to one hour which I find long. I could Never do 3 hours...why so long?
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#8 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 04:53 PM
 
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You seem pretty anti, to be honest. If you're so negative about it don't go for it and make things work another way.

I think any bit helps out and if you need it, you should go for it. I understand that these appointments can take time, but isn't it worth it because they are helping you? And is it 3 hrs every single time or just on occasion?

If I needed it, I'd make it work. I'd also find different stores that accept WIC and I'd maybe try to find childcare or bring a slew of toys for the visit.

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#9 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 05:48 PM
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It's worth it if it's the difference between having enough food or going hungry. You can drink the milk and spend the money you'd otherwise spend on beverages for yourself for whatever she can drink. You can find a way to prepare pintos and lentils. "Waxy" cheese that is "the cheap stuff" (but free to the recipient) is better than no cheese at all and a hungry tummy. Can need really be so great if one can be so choosey and three hours to save money is too great of an inconvenience?

If you don't want pintos and lentils and the cheese and milk and everything else you can have, then don't bother. Someone else will gladly take it. If you can afford to squeeze organic milk and whatever else into your budget, then continue doing that. WIC isn't worth it for your family if it's foods you won't eat.
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#10 of 10 Old 10-05-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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It saves us about $100 a month, even without the cheese, milk and eggs. With the new food package I like it a whole lot more.. fresh veggies/fruit, canned beans, and corn tortillas are nice (I make lentil or bean tacos with my WIC food). My clinic is awesome, though.. I use to be their BF peer counselor, so that might make a difference with us. We don't vax and they don't give me any crap about it.

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