Archive for Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kids enjoy range of activities at ‘Kickin’ It With Wic’

The WIC program helps new moms and children in Lawrence with food and getting acclimated to parenting. The program has seen an increase in enrollment in the tough economic times.

September 17, 2009


Kids hang with Big Jay through WIC program

Kids got to meet Big Jay at the WIC sponsored event. The program helps new mothers and young children in the Lawrence community. Enlarge video

The parking lot of Lawrence’s Community Health Facility building was abuzz late Thursday afternoon with activity.

Toddlers were giving Big Jay high-fives, climbing through cardboard boxes and jumping rope.

About 120 children participated in “Kickin’ It With WIC,” an annual event that aims to teach families budget-friendly ways to stay physically active.

“We are really trying to show parents that there are a lot of easy activities that they can do with their kids to really encourage physical activity for younger children,” Trish Unruh, WIC nutritionist, said.

There also were informational booths on topics that ranged from seat belt and fire safety to dental health.

The event was sponsored by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department’s WIC program and the Douglas County Community Health Improvement Project. It was for families who are enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — commonly known as WIC.

WIC serves pregnant and postpartum women, and children up to 5 years of age, who meet income guidelines. It provides nutrition counseling and vouchers to purchase healthy foods. It serves about 1,550 people in Douglas County.

Allison Ouellette, Lawrence, has been enrolled in the program since she was pregnant with her oldest daughter, Gwendolyn, 2. She also has a daughter Jocelyn, 18 months. She said the program not only helps her family financially, but also provides a wealth of resources.

“WIC has always provided us with a lot of information on health and play activities, so I was really excited about them having this event,” Ouellette said, as Gwendolyn watched rubber yellow ducks float in the water fountain.

Ouellette said she was glad that “Kickin’ It With WIC” offered activity ideas for a wide range of ages. Games ranged from hop scotch to throwing a ball in a cut-up milk jug to sidewalk chalk. She said she was looking for something that her two girls could do together.

“It’s been great,” she said, of the event. “Who can beat coloring on the ground?”


Practicality 8 years, 7 months ago

Oh Sinvergenza! Where are you on this one?

ralphralph 8 years, 7 months ago

Celebrate your dependence on public assistance!

GardenMomma 8 years, 7 months ago

Ah, but unlike SRS and food stamps, you are only eligible for WIC until your children are five years old. After they turn five, their benefits are discontinued. Also unlike food stamps the food you can purchase is limited, usually to the cheapest brand.

hawk_chalk 8 years, 7 months ago

Wow, why am I not surprised by the poor attitudes. This program legitimately helps families and educates them about eating healthy and providing the right nutrition for their child(ren). As with any system nothing is perfect and as such maybe you should be calling for reform to change their guidelines to decrease the income level of those that qualify instead of getting in a cheap shot on people you know nothing about. As long as the elected officials of Kansas feel the W.I.C. program serves the best interest of the tax paying citizens I will sleep well at night knowing my contribution is going to those in need.

imastinker 8 years, 7 months ago

It's better than some other public assistance programs.

RogueThrill 8 years, 7 months ago

Hey cheeseburger. Next time you should just call them whores so us bleeding heart liberals don't have to connect the dots.

I find it mildly amusing that if you folks were in the same position you would just let your kids starve.

RogueThrill 8 years, 7 months ago

And don't give me any of this "it wouldn't happen to me" crap. I can't imagine that any of these women went looking for a situation that put themselves on the dole.

sinverguenza 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm charmed you thought of me Practicality!

In all seriousness, I think this kind of thing is good. Would have been nice if it was open to the public who helped pay for it though, despite the fact that I don't have any little "sin"s to participate.

There's nothing wrong with public assistance. I swear the instant I'm eligible and need it because I can't find work/enough work - I'll take it. Those two criteria probably won't ever present themselves though.

What a lovely day to go play. Too bad most are at work.

Boosh 8 years, 7 months ago

I saw the headline and thought there was some sort of Wiccan Festival going on. Oh well...

Christina Hoffman 8 years, 7 months ago

"Kickin' it with wic" ha ha ha i just find this so funny everytime i hear it. Do kids really say "Kickin' it" ? I just keep imagining my teenage babysitter saying "I was kickin' it with my best friends last Friday" and i just keep laughing. Come on seriously "kickin' it" funny.
On another note the program really is great, its nice to see people getting the help and getting educated about nutrition and health.

Katara 8 years, 7 months ago

be3 (Anonymous) says… Here's a thought if you can't afford to have children, maybe you shouldn't. The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's a thought. Sometimes crap happens and even though you thought you had it all planned out & nothing bad would ever happen to you, it does. People lose their jobs. Spouses die. People become disabled by illness or accident.

The stupidity of some people never ceases to amaze me.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm glad there are programs like WIC to help the wee ones get the calcium their bodies need.

domino 8 years, 7 months ago

cheeseburger - WOW! Who peed in your Post Toasties this morning? WIC is one of the better government programs, in my opinion. It is based on income which, I believe, does not include other government assistance - I may be wrong on that. It is only available until the child is 5 years old. I do not believe the article said this mother was single or married, working or not, but you seemed to make an assumption on both of those. The program pays for very specific, nutritionally sound products - no cashing in the change and then using it to buy smokes & beer. As some of the other posters said, things happen. I know a young lady who both her and her husband were employed, just purchased their first home (not new, big, fancy or expensive) They were expecting their first child when her husband was injured in an auto accident and lost his job because he couldn't go back to it within a certain period of time. Within a month she was laid off from her job. She went on WIC and also on HealthWave Insurance for a period of time until they got back on their feet. Their bank worked with them so they didn't loose their house, but it was and continues to be difficult for them, but they are slowly climbing back out of the hole it put them in. I'd rather help out someone like that any day than pay all of the people who are just sitting around, doing nothing and drawing off the government with no intention of every doing anything!

Katara 8 years, 7 months ago


I think that was the original goal of the Vision card - to avoid the situation that you see happening with WIC vouchers. However, we all know how that worked out and we can still see how others treat people who are any form of public assistance by the comments they have made on this thread.

Katara 8 years, 7 months ago

Jane (Anonymous) says… Not that it matters, but the switch to the Vision card was to save money (printing checks and postage), and it is also a more secure way for the recipients to receive benefits.

Is it more embarassing to present WIC vouchers/Vision cards or to have a child that is undernourished? Who cares what other people in line are thinking? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It was one of the several goals with the Vision card. Forgive me for not being more specific.

I am a regular grocery coupon user so already I don't give a rat's patoot what other people in the line are thinking when I check out. I do what's best for my family.

There are many who see any form of assistance as a sign of weakness and are too prideful to do what is needed for themselves or their families and unfortunately there are many too willing to help perpetuate that view and continually try to shame them further.

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