Saturday, June 30, 2012

WIC, Food Stamps, and Bureaucracy

When we had to switch to formula and were dead broke, WIC was a godsend.  Formula is EXPENSIVE.  And while I wasn't happy about using the prepared baby food, it was free.

But once over a year, the provisions given through WIC can be frustrating.

  • 8 1/2 gallons of whole milk
  • 16 oz of whole grains (twice)
  • 64 oz of juice (twice) 
  • 6 15 oz cans of beans or 1lb raw beans
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • $6 toward fruits and vegetables.
$6.  That's what our government considers to be the importance of fruits and vegetables in our children's diets.  This month I managed 7 bananas, 2lbs carrots, 1 bunch celery, and 3 apples.  Don't get me started on the beans that my son won't eat.  I will be making chili a lot.  Or juice that pediatricians DON'T recommend.  And forget about the limitations within the limitations: only certain brands, no organics, nothing fortified.

I get that those cost more money, but it's quite difficult.  Walmart didn't have ANY bread that qualified. Many places only have 1 loaf that counts.  Or rice, but again, nearly impossible to find.

Don't get me wrong; I am incredibly grateful for whatever help we can get, but it can be frustrating, that's all.

But while I'm on a rant.

We applied for medical assistance and food stamps.  The information we faxed got lost.  Apparently this is common.  The information we sent the first time wasn't okay.  It needed to be updated to 3 days later.  My case manager won't return phone calls.  The food stamp EBT card she was supposed to send me hasn't arrived yet.  Nor do I know how much I'm getting.  

*insert scream of frustration here*

The best part?  These are FEDERALLY funded programs administered by the STATES.  Which means that when I move...THEY. DON'T. FOLLOW.  I have to wait the time limits in Ohio, and reapply if we still need the assistance.  Because they are administered by the individual states despite being federally funded.  

*insert another scream of frustration here*

So essentially, yes, very grateful for assistance, but holy shit is it difficult.  Seriously.  Sigh.  And let me tell you, it already sucks needing it.  To have a case worker be a douche to you when you are in dire need is simply humiliating.  I cried over the phone to her.  She pretty much blew me off.

But oh, no.  This isn't the end of my red tape fun for the week.  

My settlement that was supposed to come through 4 months ago had what should have been a final hearing or whatever Wednesday.  I called Thursday.  Had to leave a message.  24 hours later, still no return call.  I called again.  This is what I got told (essentially):
"Your regular attorney was out of the office so she prepped another one to go instead.  The file is still on his desk.  He has to write her a memo about what happened and then give the file back to her.  Then she needs to review the file and THEN I will have information for you."

Not "I will be able to send you a check."  Oh, no.  Basically, what she's telling me is that when the lawyers get off their asses and do their job I stand a chance of finding out when the check that is going to allow me to move us and all our stuff to Ohio will show up.  Maybe.

Our bank accounts are empty.  Hubby is actually staying with friends.  His mom sent him enough money for some food, maybe a little gas.  He is applying for things like mad, but the best option in terms of a temp agency, well, they have a lot of red tape, too.  You have to fill out all the information online and then they call when it hits their system.  He has done this, with online confirmation, 3 times.  But it's not showing up.  And according to them, it's on his end, his computer.  He's used 3 different computers.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE just SOMETHING fall into place.  

Sorry.  Really needed to vent.  I'm so sorry.  Thank you for bearing with me through my bitch fest.   


Ohio doesn't have any residency requirements in terms of time.  So as long as state id and lease showing our monthly rent are in place, we can apply if need be.  Thank goodness!


  1. $6 per MONTH for fruits and veggies? At first I thought that was per week and I thought even THAT is low. Ugh. That really is just not enough, and 128 oz. of sugar (oh, I mean juice)? That is so frustrating Gen, I'm sorry!

  2. Wow that is crazy. Im sorry you have to go through this. Have you thought about couponing? Im sorry if you had and Im asking but if not, there are people that can get by getting lot of stuff for really cheap or even make money that can then be used towards other stuff


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