What if WIC stopped providing free formula?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
What if WIC stopped providing free formula?
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 12:30pm

The New WIC Food Packages - If you select the breastfeeding package, you will not receive any infant formula. Additionally, women who partially breastfeed or formula feed exclusively will receive 13 percent less formula than was afforded in previous years. This means parents who previously had most of their formula paid for by WIC may now have to purchase regular-formula on their own.

For more information on the new WIC Food Packages,visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 11-11-2011 - 5:40pm

What if needy mothers were given the same level of financial support, whether they chose to breastfeed or formula feed? And also tied to that would be some support in helping breastfeeding work, on the basis that it is more economical for the mother.

Then, a mother could either choose to breastfeed and save the money for other things like food, or choose to spend all of the money on formula and then some. Financially, then a mother who gets the benefit would be empowered to choose her own destiny.


Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sat, 11-12-2011 - 12:52pm

Found an interesting article - is the free formula from WIC actually costing a poor family more than it can afford?

Paying a Steep Price
But women can pay a steep price for that conviction, since their WIC vouchers are not sufficient to get them all the way through the month.

WIC has spending caps, explains Dr. Miriam Labbok, a health professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "So WIC recipients who use formula continuously instead of breastfeeding need to go out and buy formula on their own to supplement their monthly WIC subsidies," she says. "Vouchers for individual WIC formula supplies don't last a full month."

This means women who get formula from WIC can find themselves in a financial booby trap. It looks free at first, but each month they could be out of pocket around a hundred dollars once they hit their cap.

If a mother can't get on WIC's limited rolls--or if she leaves the program--she might end up spending $300 a month retail to feed her baby infant formula.

For a single mother at the poverty level, who scrapes by on just $14,700 per year, formula could suck up roughly a quarter of her monthly income.

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