We applied for WIC today, and got vouchers for the boys. For information's sake, let's break this down!
Voucher #1&2: $6 worth of produce. ($12 total)
Yes: whole, pre-cut, shredded, packaged; yams and sweet potatoes; bagged greens; organics ok
No: salad bar, deli or party trays; dressing or dip; nuts, dried fruit, croutons; canned or jarred; herbs or spices; other potatoes (white, red, gold, russet).
So far so good. These vouchers basically cover the banana habit in this house.
Voucher #3: 1 lb. cheese. 2 gallons whole milk. (Adin)
Voucher #4: 1 lb. cheese. 2 gallons low-fat milk. (Asher)
Voucher #5: 1 gallon whole milk. 1 quart whole milk. (Adin)
Voucher #6: 1 gallon low-fat milk. 1 quart low-fat milk. (Asher)
Yes: cheese: any brand mild/medium cheddar, colby, colby-jack, cheddar-jack, monterey jack, mozzarella. Milk: any brand, pasteurized, vitamins added; fat-free, low-fat, reduced fat; skim deluxe, ultra, supreme; *whole; *acidophilus milk; *lactose-free; *Meyenberg goat milk (evaporated, fresh, powdered); *soy (8th continent plain or Pacific Ultra plain/vanilla)
No: cheese: sharp, extra sharp or white cheddar; sliced, deli, string or shredded; organic, soy, goat or raw; cheese foods or spreads; smoked or flavored; fresh mozzarella. Milk: rice milk, buttermilk, flavored or raw; organic; added Omega-3 or Vitamin E
Here's where my brain went: What?! No organic? Excuse me? Ok, it's pricier. Um, and? I don't know about you, but that is a lot of milk to drink. Couldn't you offer a lower volume of good milk, instead of a higher volume of bleached pus and vitamin-deficient gluk? Just a thought. No added Omega 3 or vitamin E? Which the majority of these kids are deficient in? No raw? The best possible choice for milk drinkers? Whaaaaa? Now, the starred milks are available, but only if they are specifically listed in the voucher. Also, they have to be in that size. The store only sells quart sizes? Well, too bad. You have to buy it in gallon sizes or no voucher! (This was fun. Yeah.)
As far as the cheese, come on, no organic, no goat, no raw? I get that those are pricier, but they are also the best way to get nutrition from these products. How does filling kids with nutrient-deficient foods save money, even in the short run?
Also, why is Asher in low-fat milk? He's 3! He's little! He does not need low-fat anything. Weird. Ok, moving on.
Vouchers #7& 8: 1 dozen eggs, 36 oz. cereal(12oz. or larger sizes); 2 juices (64 oz. plastic bottle or 11.5-12oz. frozen); 32 oz. 100% whole wheat bread, corn tortillas or brown rice; 18 oz peanut butter (16-18 oz size) or 16 oz dried beans/peas. Ok these will be fun.
Eggs: yes: white, large, chicken eggs. No: brown; specialty (naturally nested, eggland's best, cage free, higher Omega-3/Vitamin E); organic. Again, no organic? What's wrong with brown? And what's with the war on vitamins?
Juice: This time we got pictures of the allowed juices. Let's just say, no organics were involved in the creation of these choices. Again. At least they are all 100% juice! Nice job!
Carbs: Bread: Yes: 100% whole wheat. No: light; organic. I'm sensing a theme.
Tortillas: yes: soft only; yellow or white corn; bulk is ok. No: fried or chips; flour; organic.
Brown rice: yes: jasmine/basmati ok; any brand; bulk ok. No: white, wild, instant; added seasonings: sugar, fat or oil; organic. Except for the organic part, I'd say this one is spot-on.
Cereal: Yes: General Mills cheerios, chex, kix; crispy rice (malt-o-meal/store brand); Post banana nut crunch, honey bunches of oats, grape nuts; Kellogg's corn flakes, frosted mini wheats, rice krispies, all-bran complete; Quaker oatmeal squares, life, instant grits; cream of wheat; store brand oatmeal. No: Anything else. (The store brand was too big, so we tried to get Quaker oats. Nope.)
Peanut butter: Yes: any brand, any style; bulk/grind your own ok. No: low-fat/reduced-fat; jelly/honey/Omega-3 added; honey roasted; spread; organic.
peas/beans/lentils: Yes: any brand/type, dry; bulk ok. No: added seasonings; organic. My voucher did not say lentils, so I bet it would have caused issues at the register had I tried.
We did not get the following, but hnere are the guidelines:
Infant foods: fruits and veggies:
Yes: mixed fruits & veggies ok; 4 oz. jars. No: 'dinners' or desserts; toddler food; added cereal or yogurt; meat or noodles; sugars or starches; added DHA; organic.
Meat: Yes: meat may contain broth or gravy. 2.5 oz. No: 'dinners' or 'casseroles'; fruit, vegetables or noodles; toddler food; added DHA; organic.
Cereal: Yes: 8 oz. or larger. No: added formula, milk, yogurt or fruit; added DHA; jars, cans, single serving packets; organic.
So, these vouchers give a really good array of foods, my only issue, really, is the anti-organics and anti-vitamins stipulations. Which are nuts. Also the sheer volume of milk they expect my kids to consume. Do people really drink that much milk? When I was little I drank milk, but I would be given a glass or so a day, so I guess I can see it. I just haven't had milk in so long that I can't even picture drinking that much myself. Anyhow, it's an interesting system, and it does a lot of good to a lot of people, so we are very thankful for it. :)
* I took my vouchers back to get them changed to goat's milk. They are now:
Voucher #3: 1 lb. cheese. 7 quarts whole goat milk. (Adin)
Voucher #4: 1 lb. cheese. 7 quarts low-fat milk. (Asher)
Voucher #5: 6 quarts whole goat milk. (Adin)
Voucher #6: 6 quarts low-fat goat milk. (Asher)
That is a lot of cheese and yogurt! Maybe even some butter! I think I'll ask in June if I can switch Asher's to whole as well, we'll see!