Wednesday Wow:Working with WIC

So, I have this overwhelming speaking engagement coming up…..the invite went like this:

Hi Kelle,

I wanted to make sure you will be able to be with us this Thursday, November 29 for the Quarterly WIC Regional Breastfeeding Loving Support continuing education meeting.  I tried calling the 704-705-5952 number to speak with you.  The recorded message said you were not accepting calls.

We are looking forward to hearing you speak about your experiences as a supermom, breastfeeding WIC participant, and community activist.  I hope you will share your story about your experience at the library; and what happened as a result of that experience (your thoughts, feelings, actions, media coverage etc)

Your audience will be WIC Peer Counselors and their managers – mostly also breastfeeding (or former breastfeeding) supermoms.  We do have a few that do not have children of their own. This group comes together from 7 counties (including Mecklenburg), 4 times a year……………blah, blah, blah!

 Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service of the (USDA) for healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five.The eligibility requirement is a family income below 185% of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines. If a person participates in other benefit programs, or has family members who participate in the Food Stamp Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, they automatically meet the eligibility requirements. This program is unrelated to the USDA’s Food Stamp Program. Currently, WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.

Really? I have a lot to share actually. I have even collected other breastfeeding moms and WIC participants to share their opening.  So, Ok, I can do this! They may not like everything that I may say, but, it will be the truth. Now before I share my pointers for Thursday, let me tell you about WIC.

WIC stands for Women Infant and Children. 

What foods does WIC provide?

WIC items can be used in healthy meals.

WIC provides infant formula, infant
and adult cereal and juice, eggs, milk,
cheese, peanut butter, and dried beans
or peas. Some WIC participants also
receive canned tuna and carrots.

Note: They are like a paycheck in that, if you lose it, it won’t be replaced. So you have to be mindful  and secure it.

If you are breastfeeding, there is an enhanced package available.

Now, my responses, the reduced fat edition…….

1.  My experiences as a supermom have been great! I love it. I understand that with great rewards come great responsibility. Being recognized for what I doing on a regular awakened me to a whole new level of wellness. If I shared with more moms like me, I can possibly help ensure that my children will have happy and healthy friends to play with. Less stressed out moms, and keep my Johnson and Wales degrees updated.  I done just that. Since 2007, I’ve began a thriving stay at home mom community  secured awesome opportunities to support motherhood and the seven branches of wellness and most of all I’ve been able to watch my children learn how to eat for life.

2. As a breastfeeding WIC participant,I think its a wonderful program in theory and anyone who qualifies for it, but doesn’t apply is nutty! I get  free food and free medical/nutritional services (weight checks, iron level checks). Sure, it could be better.  The very worst part about WIC is the  wait time for appointments. Heaven forbids if you missed it. Your child may be 2 1/2 when you call to reschedule, but will be three by the time you get into the office (it’s a joke, but it does seems that long).

Not all stores carry enough of the items listed on the vouchers. Cashiers could benefit from better transactions procedures, even the selections could be healthier. I love the juice, rice, the entire breastfeeding package,wheat wraps* dry beans and a few others.

A great idea would be to teach moms how to best use the instruments. All moms don’t know how to cook beans or how to create some of their most  favorite meals with the items listed on their vouchers or count the offered ozs of different food,i.e.  jar baby food, packaged fish. There are numerous ways to use that stuff! Pizza, quiche, soups, smoothies, casserole, etc., And I said show. I can read it in print, but let me see how easy it is for us to make.

Another idea would be to teach moms how to shop with their fruits and vegetable vouchers. One lady that in line in front of me selected one canned fruit. She did not know that she could get fresh fruits/veggies!

Need to apply? Click here!

Trust me, more people are on it than you think!

My best advice to any mom when using these instruments is this. Take your shopping guide that was provided by WIC and use it to make your selections. Also bring a calculator if your buying baby food and a upbeat outlook , just in case your cashier or the inventory is lackluster. The extra time getting prepared pays off in confidence and a over all better shopping experience.

Where is WIC available?
WIC is available in all 50 States, 34
Indian Tribal Organizations,
American Samoa, the District of
Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, and the Northern
Mariana Islands.

3. Being a  community activist  has to be one of the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I love serving, but my husband insists I charge!  LOL. I get some of the most pressing issues in my voice mail  on my phone , at my front door! You wouldn’t imagine. But here’s why I do what I do. I have 8 kids  that I homeschool. I know that they watch everything I do, everything that I say. If I see someone in need and refuse to help, I’m wrong. If I am asked for my opinion on why lil Jeans skin looks prickly, and don’t be honest and say that she needs to drink more water- I’m wrong. If I don’t help my fellow mom with resources, intellectual gifts, Guidance, or time, I’m teaching my 3 daughters and 5 sons that no one else matter but them.  The money will come. I am by no means a fool. As we speak I’m in the mist of going 501(c)3.  My moms group offers cooking with kids classes, job training for stay at home moms, pre school prep for the little ones, volunteering opportunities as well as other mom empowering services. We even have a growing identity as product testers. Since blogging over 2 years now, I’ve been able to connect better with various brands, both small and large that want to get in the face of my moms. So as you see being Kelle works for me.  I’m not your typical stay at home mom and I try to help other moms stand out too!

Which brings me to question #4.  I’m asked to share my story about that library experience at Beatties Ford Road Library.

(Ok, click here to read the story) honestly I think the volunteer  considered where she was and went on a ego trip. Taking the entire staff down with her. Ignorance  can appear like a beast on steroids and red#40.  I still can’t believe it happened. And here’s why. Beatties Ford Road has an  98% African American residential status. The supervisor Iris, had the nerves to approach me while Noah was finishing his lunch. For her, it was ignorance and a lack of respect. I’m not a flashy dresser, so I guess I appeared to be a pushover to her. She asked me show her where I had rights to feed my lil one in public. Long story short. One would expect an older woman, in a higher educated status, with more life experience to have some wisdom on something that African American moms have been doing forever. Come on! Sweet baby Jesus was breast fed! (back to the subject at hand.) I understand that society still frowns upon it, and some people would look down on that situation however it’s the law & I knew that she was wrong. I had to speak up for myself.

I thought the apology given by their spokes person was for the birds, and still do. I am in the process of securing an attorney. In can be tricky finding someone to take the case as I’ve found. Every right is not enforceable.

So I must be careful not to share too much to cripple my case. Just know that I’m not doing this for me. Since the experience, the out pour of support has been unbelievable. Moms were talking about sit ins and call ins….and just about anything else you can imagine.  Then I had some that said “You’re my hero, I would’ve never had the courage to do that”, ” it happened to me and I didn’t know what to do beside go home  and cry,” “I never had anyone to support me nursing at home or in public.”

It was great to see that there are many other moms like me as passionate about being able to feed our babies peacefully when & wherever  it’s needed.

When this case is resolved, I plan to create cards to ensure oenursing in public. I would also sponsor  moms for doulas and  new moms classes. After all everything from jets to kitchen blenders – and even sporks come with a instruction manual. Children, despite all their complexity, do not.” Moving forward, I would support the 501(c)3 with sales of nursing cover ups and lactation cookies. 

Till next time, QC Supermom