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A 6 page paper discussing the Women's, Infants, and Children's supplemental food program. Beginning with its history, it describes how the program works, who is eligible, and discusses the various problems the government has had paying for it. Bibliography lists seven sources.
6 pages (~225 words per page)
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most sacrosanct programs on Capitol Hill, preceded only by Social Security -- its position is a little too wobbly for comfort. When the WIC originally conceived in 1972, the need
for such a program scarcely seemed arguable. Recent studies had shown that many poor mothers had been poorly-nourished during pregnancy, and that their poor diet actually harmed their unborn children,
contributing to low birth weight and a high rate of infant mortality. Moreover, a lack of proper food after birth was harming infants, toddlers, and preschoolers as well, retarding their
physical and mental development. The goals of the WIC program, therefore, were to reduce the incidence of low birth weight due to nutritional deficiencies in pregnant women, and to provide
funds for the nutrition of the children after birth, as well as nursing mothers (McDonnell, 1996, pp. A-1). Currently WIC serves about one in three babies born in the
United States. It is not an entitlement program; the difference between WIC and entitlement programs such as Aid to Families With Dependent Children is subtle but distinct. Under an entitlement
program, anyone who is eligible for benefits receives them; under WIC, when the money is gone, its gone (Lashof, 1992, pp.6). For several decades, however, the program has had enough
bipartisan support to keep it viable. As of 1994, the federal WIC program served about 6.3 million people through a network of approximately 9,000 clinics nationwide, according to Bill Duhart,
writing in the Philadelphia Tribune. He adds that, "The money breaks down to $30 to $40 worth of food benefits per month, allocated from the federal government to the states,
and then from the state to communities. Most of the program operates on a vouchers system, with food checks redeemed at local stores for a limited, pre-established nutritionally complete diet