Thanks to everyone who replied. I do understand the difference in the 
WIC food program, WIC Project Fresh, and the Food Stamp Bridge Program. 
I was surprised to see a plastic Bridge Card with WIC stamped on it as I 
had not heard that WIC was plastic too. And then when the customer, who 
was confused about whether she had a Bridge Card, a WIC card, or both, 
told me about the "no organic" rule for the WIC food program I decided 
to look into it.

Thanks also to all who sent the link below to the document 
that clearly says "NO ORGANIC" under every allowed food item. Kix, 
Frosted Mini-Wheats, and other corn syrup sweetened cereals are allowed, 
while organic cereals are not. White eggs only. No organic, cage-free, 
free-range Omega 3 or Low Chloresterol eggs allowed. No "organic" tuna? 
There is no such thing anyway. Breastmilk is preferred, but no organic 
baby formula allowed.

The link again:

I took a trip to the nearest Meijers store with this list. Here are just 
a few of the "price differences":

Allowed: Frosted Mini-Wheats (first three ingredients Whole Grain Wheat, 
Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup)   Price: $3.63/18oz
Not Allowed: Meijer Organic Raisin Brain (all organic, no corn syrup) 
Price: 17 oz. $2.99

Allowed: Jif Peanut Butter 18 oz $2.18
Not Allowed: Meijer Organic Peanut Butter 18 oz $2.59

Allowed: Fresh Conventional Carrots 1#  $1.30
Not Allowed: Fresh Organic Carrots  1#  $.99

Allowed: Conventional White Eggs $1.69
Not allowed: Conventional Brown Eggs $1.89

Allowed: V8 Tomato Juice 46 oz $2.79
Not allowed: Organic Tomato Juice 46 oz. $2.99

In my opinion the price difference is not enough to stop a low-income 
mom from being able to purchase what she thinks is a healthier option, 
which is what I thought this program was supposed to be about. It almost 
seems punitive on the face of it; these are after all the most at-risk 
children in our population and we want to restrict their access to foods 
free of chemicals in their formative years?

Whatever the reason is, I don't think it's defensible and I certainly 
hope enough of us will write to the director and ask that it be changed, 
as Michigan is allowed by law to determine which organic items these WIC 
eligible moms will be allowed to buy.

Diana Jancek
Market Manager
Sweetwater Local Foods Market

Please write to:
Alethia Carr, Director, WIC Division
MI Dept of Community Health
2150 Apollo Drive, P.O. Box 30195
Lansing, MI 48909
phone: (517) 335-8951
fax: (517) 335-9444
Toll-free number: 1-800-942-1636
Email: [log in to unmask]

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