Coronavirus shopping hurts low-income mothers, recipients of food stamps | Instant News

BOULDER – Millions of low-income and breastfeeding pregnant women and their children face a difficult new challenge in the grocery store when frantic coronavirus buyers continue to take some of the most nutritious and inexpensive food available.

More than 1.6 million women and 5.2 million babies and children receive benefits under federal Women with Babies and Children, or WIC, program. But unlike more traditional food stamp programs, WIC money can only be spent on a narrow food list that is intended to provide the most nutrition at the lowest cost to taxpayers. If someone else buys the food, the WIC recipient cannot use the benefits to buy something else.

“The people we serve have stretched,” said Commissioner David Hudson, national commander Salvation Army, which serves WIC recipients and other poor families. “When other people take more than they need, the system expands.”

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