The Women, Infants and Children program has been in the news recently due to people gaming the system. The biggest scams perpetrated in the WIC program have to do with fraud.
In Cleveland, Ohio, a man was sentenced to federal prison for stealing millions of dollars worth of WIC money by fraudulently redeeming food stamp coupons and WIC vouchers [source: Byrne]. In Philadelphia, several people were arrested for creating fake WIC vouchers and stealing more than $375,000 of taxpayers' money [source: Odom]. And in New Jersey, a man was sentenced to prison after printing more than $1 million of WIC vouchers and selling them [source: Rispolo].
On the brighter side, the program recently had its first overhaul in 30 years, and now allows the purchase of not just milk and peanut butter, but also fruits, vegetables and whole-grain foods. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the new additions are not limited to fruits and veggies, but will also add soy beverages and tofu. In order to allow for the additions and not break the program budget, the amount of things like juice and cheese have been lowered, although the amount allowed is still in line with guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Supplements come in the form vouchers with a cash value of around $6 for each child and $10 for a breastfeeding mother [source: Koch].
See the links below to feed your hunger for more information on the WIC program and other replated topics.
More Great Links
- Byrne, Brian. "Strongsville resident sentenced following IRS investigation for theft and fraud." Aug. 25, 2010. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.cleveland.com/sunstarcourier/index.ssf/2010/08/strongsville_resident_sentence_1.html
- Concannon, Kevin. "Statement of Kevin Concannon Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services." U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nov. 29, 2011. (Dec. 25, 2011) http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/speeches/CT030410.html
- Koch, Wendy. "WIC program adds healthier mix of foods." Oct. 14, 2009. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2009-10-13-WIC_N.htm
- Odom, Vernon. "Six charged in WIC fraud scheme." Oct. 15, 2009. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=7066386
- Oliveria, Victor; Racine, Elizabeth; Olmsted, Jennifer and Ghelfi, Linda M. "The WIC Program: Background, Trends, and Issues." October 2002. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/FANRR27/
- Rispolo. Michael. Former Newark employee sentenced in $1M scam of WIC program. The Star-Ledger. Feb. 23, 2009. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/former_newark_employee_gets_8.html
- U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Oversight of the Recovery Act WIC Contingency Funds Audit." April 2010. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/27703-1-CH(RA).pdf
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service."Benefits and Services: Breastfeeding Promotion and Support in WIC." (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/Breastfeeding/breastfeedingmainpage.htm
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service. "How to Apply: WIC Income Eligibility Guidelines 2011-2012." Nov. 30, 2011. (Dec. 25, 2011) http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/howtoapply/incomeguidelines.htm
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service. "WIC Program Coverage: How Many Eligible Individuals Participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): 1994-2003?" Aug. 23, 2010. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/published/wic/FILES/WICEligibles.pdf
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service. "Woman, Infants and Children." Oct. 5, 2010. (Dec. 18, 2011) http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/