Interesting article in the New Yorker about the changes made to WIC and their trickle-down (positive) effects.
1) A dip (albeit a very small one so far) in early childhood obesity, and
2) A rise in stocking more nutritious foods in stores that previously didn’t have them available. (That is, the foods newly purchasable with WIC checks.)
I frequently talk about how, if you want to eat healthy, we’re fortunate enough to live in a time where you probably can. The less time and money you have, the greater the obstacles, but even if you’re buying from little more than a glorified gas station, there’s frozen vegetables, fruit cups, cheese and yogurt, etc. It sounds lame, but the first step to eating healthy is believing you can. And eating healthy is not an all-or-nothing, where if you don’t have mostly salads, or if you ate an extra cookie, you’ve undone everything. Sometimes, eating healthy is just choosing water instead of soda a few more times a week. Grabbing a snack pack of almonds instead of a snack pack of potato chips.
That said, yes, there are places where your local store has more things with expiration dates 6+ months from now than fresh foods. More white breads and anything resembling the original grains. Not ideal. Not how you’d like to have to do all your food shopping.
But if it’s true that less diverse food environments and tiny grocery corner stores are expanding their fresh and nutritious options to capitalize on WIC dollars, I’m all for it. This article suggests that some of these types of stores have started carrying the more nutritious items as a result for the demand for it, and to be able to make money. I’m heartened to see this working – government assistance of healthy food for those who need it, and stores able to provide that food while still making money as businesses need to do – even if there are still a lot of things to be worked out.