Thursday, March 19, 2009

Farm spending attributable to WIC

USDA's report on WIC this week estimates that the program leads to about $4.6 billion in annual food spending. Of this, perhaps 26% is "additional" spending that would not have occurred in the absence of the program.

Even in the recently redesigned food package, the leading product categories are still milk and infant formula, followed by cereals, fruits and vegetables, and cheese.

Because farm sector support is a key part of the trustworthy advocacy coalition behind the WIC program, the computations of farm-level impact are interesting. USDA estimates that $1.3 billion in annual demand for farm products can be attributed to WIC.

The full program name is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.


Chantal said...

WIC was created to help women and their children, not to limit their choices, not to be told what should and should not be bought with the money allocated to them. Almost all states have chosen to forbid the purchase of organic foods within WIC. This is taking away a woman’s right to choose. It is forbidding her to buy what she may feel is best for her (and plenty of WIC recipients have complained about this). This is completely unacceptable.

Also, it often forbids the purchase of milk/dairy alternatives when most women who benefit from WIC are from ethnic groups known to have extremely high levels of lactose intolerance (and does not respect alternative diets like veganism). To me, WIC has once again come off as one of those government programs more interested in serving the dairy lobby and cheap mega-farms than anyone else...

Scott n Heidi said...

They can still choose what to buy with their money, just not what to buy with the governemtn money. I think there should be limits. Also, limits should be placed on what you can buy with foodstamps. I work at a grocery store, and way too many people come in and load up on fozen foods, pop, candy, and other garbage with their food stamps. They should use it to buy healthy foods, then maybe health care costs could go down.