WIC Work | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It
Favorite

WIC Work 

Side Dishes: Food rules change October 1

When the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program was created in 1974, it was designed to battle the crisis of “underweight and malnourished kids,” says Donna Bister, Vermont’s WIC director.

But times have changed. Today, Bister notes, “That’s not the problem in this country anymore. The issues for most families — not just WIC families — are not enough fiber, too much fat, not enough fruits and vegetables.”

It was a long time coming, but last week the federal guidelines for WIC changed to address the needs of modern eaters with additional food items. For example, Vermonters will now receive whole-wheat bread from La Panciata bakery in Northfield in their home delivery boxes instead of white bread. “They changed their recipe for us,” Bister says.

People with celiac disease can opt for brown rice in place of the loaves, and lactose-intolerant participants can swap dairy products for soy milk and tofu. Women who are breastfeeding will get more food than ones who switch to formula, and babies will receive more baby food and less juice.

Another important change: Participants now receive debit cards that allow them to purchase fruits and vegetables at 81 participating grocery stores and co-ops. Good for fresh, frozen or canned produce with no additives, the cards are expected to bring $1 million into Vermont stores over the next year. On October 1 alone, when the cards first went online, participants spent $2105.97, Bister notes.

“People … have been asking for the opportunity to buy organic or local or both,” she says. “This gives them that choice.”

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation