Due to the stratification in the American social system and constant existence of the poor, the government has set up certain welfare programs to help out the lower working class and poor. Among these programs, WIC was developed. WIC is a supplemental nutrition program that provides nutritious food, nutrition counseling, and referrals to health and other social services to participants at no charge. It is a federally funded program for which congress authorizes a specific amount of funding each year for operations. The Food and Nutrition Service provides these funds to WIC state agencies in which they distribute special WIC foods, nutrition counseling and education, and administrative costs. (Caan 1997) WIC provides services nationwide through all fifty states, thirty three Indian Tribal Organizations, District of Colombia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These eighty-eight WIC state agencies administer the program through 2,200 local agencies and 9,000 clinic sites. More than 7.5 million people get WIC benefits each month. Of all eligible women, infants, and children, the program is estimated to serve about 93%. (Caan 1997) Research has shown that the WIC program has been playing an important role in improving birth outcomes and containing health care costs. Studies have found that WIC has a positive effect on children's diets and diet related outcomes such as higher mean intake of iron, vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6, without an increase in food energy intake, positive effects on the intakes of ten nutrients without an adverse effect on fat or cholesterol, and more effective that other cash income or food stamps at improving preschoolers' intake of key nutrients. (Caan, 1997) WIC is a wonderful program that is improving not only its programs each year, but helping improve the lives of low income mothers and children every day. WIC provides a great supply of nutritious food counseling for people in society who need it the most. Although WIC is very beneficial to society, it also has a few latent functions that are not as easily recognized or may not be beneficial to the people or program. Regardless, WIC is a program that hopefully will continue to be properly funded and help families for many years to come. It is decidedly so that the WIC program’s benefits outweigh its deficiencies. References:
Caan, B.(1997). Benefits associated with WIC supplemental feeding during the inter-pregnancy interval. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 40(15), 579-585.