Because if you do, you are going to be in for a long wait in the check-out line. This week was behind a tall, chatty, athletic young woman with a cute baby girl buying groceries. Her items were primarily baby foods. Just then the manager of the store passed by and motioned me over to lane two and I am glad she did because as soon as I got there to upload my cart, the young mother mentioned her WIC card to the cashier.
Oh, good thing I got out of her lane! If you have ever been in a check-out line behind a woman with one of those assistance cards it is going to take a good 10 minutes to get out of there. Everything that is bought with a WIC card has to meet an itemized government nutritional guide. The cashier has to make sure every item meets those requirements. That takes time.
WIC stands for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. WIC is a Federal assistance program for mothers meeting the Federal poverty requirements or found to be 185% below the poverty level. If a person is in other benefit programs or has a family member that is, they automatically meet eligibility requirements. The cut off age is 5 years for children receiving this type of assistance. As stated on Wikipedia, “Currently, WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.”
I hate to add that this young woman did not appear to meet the Federal poverty requirements. She was dressed nicely as was her baby. She is white. She was a talker in a happy sing-song way. She seemed intelligent and gave off an appearance of being upper middle class. Later I saw her getting into her car and driving away. It was a recent model automobile in very good condition.
I am not trying to imply this young mother is cheating the system over the truly needy. If anything she is the face of contemporary poverty in 21st century America. If 53% of babies born are receiving WIC, America is in trouble. Some people I know are resentful of these people. I am not. The money is after all going to the needs of a child, an American child. Better for the money to stay here than to enrich those that hates us. And is not the first one I have encountered. Not long ago I was behind a rather portly young mother with baby and it was taking so long I called over to a young man that works there and asked him to open a lane for me. He did. I got checked out, loaded my groceries in the pickup, put up the cart, walked a few stores down to get my lunch at the Chinese take-out. And when I emerged from there with my Hunan chicken in hand, the mother was just loading her car up.
So as I said, don’t get stuck behind the WIC card momma at the check-out line. Unless of course you like reading the tabloids.