I have a lot of worries on my mind the last couple of days, but also a lot of frustration and anger, when it comes to the current state of American politics. I could give two hoots less about the national parks, or the fact that Joe office worker with a nice cushy government job might get a few days or weeks of staying at home and twiddling his thumbs. What has me angry, scared and ready to pull my hair out for their astounding sheer idiocy the most?
The government shutdown is shutting down the WIC program. Talk about hitting our most vulnerable citizens where it hurts the most.
For those of you unfamiliar with WIC let me summarize: Wic is a federally funded program that provides infant formula and basic nutritious foods to low income children age 5 and under, and expectant mothers. Unlike food stamps, only approved foods in set amounts can be purchased with WIC vouchers. Not all people who receive WIC get food stamps, as the income guidelines to qualify are very different. The help WIC provides can make a tremendous difference to struggling families. Unlike foods provided by food pantries, the foods WIC provides are perishable staple foods such as infant formula, baby food (fruits and veggies)cows milk, cheese, cereal, eggs, juice and a small amount of fresh vegetables every month.
The children WIC provides help to are too small to qualify for free school lunches, and do not have that option. Food pantries usually do not stock infant formula, because the WIC program is usually able to provide it. If the shutdown goes on, older children will be able to adapt much easier than infants, who depend on formula and are not old enough to be table fed exclusively. In the present situation infants will be the most vulnerable citizens of all, when there is absolutely no reason it should come to this.
It frustrates me how the news media is decrying the closure of the national parks more than this valuable and life changing program being stripped of its funding. Bears will crap in the woods whether a few tourists are there to watch them or not, and the memorials will be there when the crisis is over.
I hope that those of you who have the means to, would consider donating some infant formula to food banks and other charities that feed the hungry right here at home, where we need it the most at this time, until the idiocy in Washington resolves itself. Many families are presently hanging by the thread trying to stay above water, and provide for their children, and programs like WIC make all the difference. I should know, my family is one of them.
Kids are going hungry right here in this country…
Kids go to bed every night that way more than you think…
As a nation, we should be ashamed of that!