For one to qualify for the services offered by the WIC program, there are some specific guidelines that are followed. The people who are targeted by the program are mostly women who are in the low income bracket. However the emphasis is placed on women who are pregnant or have given birth. This is to both the breastfeeding mothers and those who do not breastfeed but the duration of the provision of supplements is different. Children from infancy up to five years are also included in the program.
The program is supposed to ensure that these groups of people are provided with the nutrition that they require but cannot afford. Apart from food, they are also provided with information pertaining to nutrition and health. They are taken through various tests and are either provided with information on their health status and how to improve or maintain it and if there is need they are referred to other places where they can get important health related services (http://www. fns. usda. gov/wic/aboutwic). Bearing all these information in mind, one has to ask if all the targeted goals of WIC have been achieved.
The program is allocated specific amounts of money by Congress and this is not adjusted to levels of inflation. This then means that there are times when the amount allocated is not enough for all the people who are eligible and hence the presence of a waiting list that includes all the people who are qualified to be in the program but cannot be offered the services now but maybe included at a later date. It was also noted that the stores that were WIC compliant would charge 16% more than ordinary stores making it more expensive for the government (http://www. medicalnewstoday. om).
In the 2005 fiscal year, the government spent $ 15 billion dollars on the WIC program. It was therefore decided that with effect from January 1 2006 the cost containment rule would take effect. This would reduce the amount spent on an individual and hence allow more people to access the funds than before. This seems to have worked and there are more people now who are benefiting than would have been possible without the enforcement of the rule. In 2006, the government changed the dietary contents of the WIC to include whole-grain, fruits and vegetables.
This was in connection to the dietary measures that the government now recommended for one to have a healthy diet. However, the funding was not increased instead the money used for other food-stuffs was reduced to cater for the new supplements. The foods affected by these change are the staple foods which include eggs, milk, cheese and also juice. To purchase these foods the government would use $35 every month but this would be decreased to cater for the new foods introduced to the diet.
All the people who are subscribed to the program benefit by getting nutritious food at a lower cost with help from the government. It has led to improved health of the people living in America regardless of whether one is a citizen or an immigrant. The WIC is working but there are some flaws in its operation. This is especially in the funding it receives from the government. The level of inflation changes every year and so does the number of needy people. This has to be put into consideration when allocating the funding so as all those who are eligible get a chance to enjoy the benefits of the program.