Letter: Make WIC work better for moms

Published: 5/6/2021 8:00:19 AM

The anthropologist Margaret Mead allegedly said that the first sign of civilization of humans was an ancient femur, a bone in the leg, which had been fractured and healed because in order to survive a broken femur the wounded would have needed others to correctly bind the injury and protect the fallen while he or she rested for at least six weeks.

While the attribution of this has been contested, and the word “civilization” is vague and mired by its racist use in defense of colonialism, I think Mead’s analysis makes an insightful point. A society’s success is not just about advancement in processes and technologies for bettering and prolonging human life, but in the care it extends to those most vulnerable.

In the U.S., many of our most vulnerable depend on WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. While WIC is essential to those who use it, only about half of those eligible for it benefit because it requires in-person visits to sign-up locations, doesn’t allow for online shopping or delivery, and ends before many children start kindergarten and become eligible for school meal programs. For this program to best help those who need it, it is essential that Congress improve WIC by removing these limitations through Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR).

Melissa Proulx



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