Children should have better access to WIC and SNAP

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No one should go hungry in the United States, especially children. Programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provide assistance to low-income families.  While our main concern for these programs is a budget cut, we also have to fight for the income portion of eligibility to be revised as well as increasing the age limit from 5 to 21 for children and services should begin when the child is in the womb.

 

According to the USDA website in order to qualify for WIC, applicants must meet all of the following requirements:

§  Categorical

§  Residential

§  Income

§  Nutrition Risk

 

This petition focuses on the following two qualifications that must be re-visited and changed to better Serve Children of the United States:

Under Categorical one must fall under the following requirements:

Women         

§  Pregnant (during pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of an infant or the end of the pregnancy

§  Postpartum (up to six months after the birth of the infant or the end of the pregnancy)

§  Breastfeeding (up to the infant's first birthday)

Infants  (up to the infant's first birthday)

Children (up to the child's fifth birthday)

Children should not stop qualifying until their fifth birthday, rather all children until the age of 21 should receive assistance. This will help with children being able to access fresh fruits and vegetables during a prime time of their development. Furthermore, this will assist with fighting childhood obesity.

 

Income Requirement:

Once again referring to the USDA website, in order to be eligible for WIC, applicants must have income at or below an income level or standard set by the State agency or be determined automatically income-eligible based on participation in certain programs.

Income Standard. The State agency's income standard must be between 100 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines (issued each year by the Department of Health and Human Services), but cannot be more than 185 percent of the Federal poverty income guidelines.

These income guidelines for WIC are also very similar to the income guidelines for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Putting things into perspective in order to qualify for WIC, one must be below the federal poverty level. A better re-assessment if for congress to keep this on a state to state basis, meaning that the cost of living in New York can not be compared to the Cost of living in Oklahoma or Minnesota. Furthermore, although there is a great need for low-income families, mid-income families should also be able to participate and be eligible for programs such as WIC.



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