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Recipes using WIC foods for a young mom


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A friend of ours is in a challenging position. She has a 3 year old and is pregnant, due in December. Her partner just left her with another woman and can't be found. :( She works full time but without his income, there is very little left after paying rent. There is no family assistance.

 

She gets WIC but makes too much for food stamps (so crazy with her low income in this area of very expensive rents!) Her son gets snacks and lunch at preschool.

 

I told her I'd try to come up with a very inexpensive menu for her, using her WIC products as much as possible. I'm giving her a spice rack (she has a woefully under stocked spice cabinet!) and $50 gift certificate to our local cheap grocery store as well. They have no allergies and aren't picky eaters.

 

Please help me come up with meals using her WIC products. Here's what she's getting each month from WIC for her and her son:

 

$16 Fruits and Vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned w/no added fat, salt, sugar, etc.)

7 Gallons, 1 half gallon, and 1 quart Milk, Lower Fat (some of this can be powdered or evaporated milk)

2 (16 oz) Whole Grains (brown rice, oatmeal, barley, tortillas, bread)

72 oz Breakfast Cereal

4 (64 oz) Bottle Juice or 5 (11.5 or 12 or 16 oz) Concentrate Juice

2 Dozen Eggs

2 (16 oz) Cheese

2 (16 oz) Dry Beans, Peas or Lentils or 2 (16-18 oz) Peanut Butter

another 1 lb. Dry beans, peas or lentils

 

What are your suggestions for recipes primarily using these ingredients?

 

And if you are one who prays, she could really use it!

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Hmm. The lentil soup I have posted on my blog is quite cheap to make. Doesn't even use stock, just water.

 

http://enchantedwinterhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/02/yummiest-lentil-soup-youll-ever-eat.html

 

With the cheese and beans, she could make some kind of vegetarian tacos or enchiladas. I don't have a specific recipe, but it wouldn't be too hard to throw something together.

 

She could use some of the oatmeal to make oatmeal bread, if she bakes. And she could use up some eggs, cheese, and milk to make quiche.

 

WIC foods are hard, because there aren't too many actual ingredients.

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Hmm. The lentil soup I have posted on my blog is quite cheap to make. Doesn't even use stock, just water.

 

http://enchantedwinterhomeschool.blogspot.com/2012/02/yummiest-lentil-soup-youll-ever-eat.html

 

With the cheese and beans, she could make some kind of vegetarian tacos or enchiladas. I don't have a specific recipe, but it wouldn't be too hard to throw something together.

 

She could use some of the oatmeal to make oatmeal bread, if she bakes. And she could use up some eggs, cheese, and milk to make quiche.

 

WIC foods are hard, because there aren't too many actual ingredients.

 

You're right - WIC foods are staples, but most need *something* to make a meal. Your soup looks good!

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She should talk to the nutritionist at the WIC office and explain her situation. They should be able to provide her with lots of recipe ideas.

 

:iagree:

 

and check out as many food pantries as possible in her area. You can go to multiple if need be and you dont have to attend the church.

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*quesadillas-grains, cheese, beans (you can get canned here, don't know about her)

*french toast-grains, eggs

*deviled eggs, boiled eggs

*omelets-eggs, cheese, veggies

*grilled cheese-grains, cheese

*cream of veggie soup- make like potato but substitute other veggies on list, milk, cheese or not

*stir fry-rice,veggies

*chili-beans,juice

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I guess before worrying about the actual recipes, I'd pause a bit and see how she is set for containers for example...for freezing and storage.

 

It's going to be a really difficult day with a 3 year old underfoot and a newborn, and even before with the fatigue issues.

 

Does she have any close role models to show her how to store the dry goods to keep or how to freeze..crockpots, etc. to help out any?

 

Bulk dried is going to be her lifesaver, but those can be time intensive..without the right kitchen supplies it's not going to make any sense to her.

 

Is there anyone around to show her the in's and outs of kitchen prep?

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Beans and lentils are cheap. If she or her son eat peanut butter, she will save by using the WIC for that instead of beans and lentils where possible. 2 jars of PB is like $5-8 depending. 2 pounds of legumes is maybe $3, more like 1.5 or $2 if bought in larger bulk bags. So don't use the check for legumes and buy PB yourself.

 

Enchilada casserole is a cheap and filling dish that has a lot of those ingredients- corn tortillas, cheese, beans, onions.

 

Juice is an annoying WIC food because it is not all that healthy. I always encouraged my clients to stretch it with water- less sugar per day and lasts longer. Personally, I prefer orange juice with 2x as much water as the can says to use.

 

Quiche, either with or without a crust, is a great way to use eggs and cheese and veggies. Also, here is a tip for when you have little time. Egg cups. Take a muffin tin and line each muffin mold with a slice of ham. Fill with 1 egg, whatever stray diced veggies you like and top with a little cheese. Bake till cheese is nice and brown/bubbly. These can be kept in the fridge and then you can grab and go as needed- either eating cold or briefly toasting in the toaster oven.

 

If they won't drink that much milk, she might consider making yogurt in a crockpot.

 

Also, unless she has applied for food stamps and been denied I would apply again. Many times a client would say they didn't qualify based on an income table they saw but once they applied and their rent, childcare, medical costs were factored, they did he at least something.

Edited by kijipt
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Is there a food pantry she can visit? Does she belong to a church where she could ask for some assistance? Even if she isnt a member, some churches offer monetary or food assistance to anyone who needs it.

If i needed to make do with those ingredients, I'd do lots of Mexican type cooking-

Beans and rice

Quesadillas with beans, cheese, and sautéed veggies

Soups with white beans and bits of vegetables

If she can afford some leg quarters, she can use the meat for meals and make stock from the bones.

Chicken, veggie, and egg stir fry over rice

Quiche with the eggs, cheese, and veggies

Creamy tomato soup-can of tomato sauce, milk, salt and pepper (I also add a teapspoon of sugar, it helps take the acidity down) with grilled cheese

Scrambled eggs with cheese and veggies

Can she get flour? She could make a lot with it if she could...pancakes, muffins, bread...they all freeze well too.

If she can get some WW flour, she can use a basic muffin recipe to make lots of different flavors-zucchini, apple, banana, carrot, ect.

Pasta is pretty inexpensive, usually $1 or less if you get it BOGO. Pasta with some cut up veggies, salt, and a bit of milk and melted cheese would be nice and filling.

Good luck to your friend. :grouphug:

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I guess before worrying about the actual recipes, I'd pause a bit and see how she is set for containers for example...for freezing and storage.

 

It's going to be a really difficult day with a 3 year old underfoot and a newborn, and even before with the fatigue issues.

 

Does she have any close role models to show her how to store the dry goods to keep or how to freeze..crockpots, etc. to help out any?

 

Bulk dried is going to be her lifesaver, but those can be time intensive..without the right kitchen supplies it's not going to make any sense to her.

 

Is there anyone around to show her the in's and outs of kitchen prep?

 

Oh, this is good thinking. I have been helping her out and can definitely show her how to do some OAMC. I have a crockpot that I rarely use and can pass along. She doesn't have a lot of good people in her life. Her son goes to preschool with my daughter, which is how we met, but it sounds like her support group disappeared when she had her first kid, and she's been scraping by even with the guy in the picture.

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Beans and lentils are cheap. If she or her son eat peanut butter, she will save by using the WIC for that instead of beans and lentils where possible. 2 jars of PB is like $5-8 depending. 2 pounds of legumes is maybe $3, more like 1.5 or $2 if bought in larger bulk bags. So don't use the check for legumes and buy PB yourself.

 

Enchilada casserole is a cheap and filling dish that has a lot of those ingredients- corn tortillas, cheese, beans, onions.

 

Juice is an annoying WIC food because it is not all that healthy. I always encouraged my clients to stretch it with water- less sugar per day and lasts longer. Personally, I prefer orange juice with 2x as much water as the can says to use.

 

Quiche, either with or without a crust, is a great way to use eggs and cheese and veggies. Also, here is a tip for when you have little time. Egg cups. Take a muffin tin and line each muffin mold with a slice of ham. Fill with 1 egg, whatever stray diced veggies you like and top with a little cheese. Bake till cheese is nice and brown/bubbly. These can be kept in the fridge and then you can grab and go as needed- either eating cold or briefly toasting in the toaster oven.

 

If they won't drink that much milk, she might consider making yogurt in a crockpot.

 

Also, unless she has applied for food stamps and been denied I would apply again. Many times a client would say they didn't qualify based on an income table they saw but once they applied and their rent, childcare, medical costs were factored, they did he at least something.

 

These are great tips! Thanks! I'll look up how to make yogurt in the crockpot. :) She said she was denied food stamps, but I'll ask her to try again. It would certainly help!

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She may not know how to menu plan either, the really basic stuff of carryover from leftovers into new, etc.

 

Someone have a really nice chart to download to share? I've been doing my own for so long I don't use a graph, but it would be helpful.

 

This is really cool of you to do; I used to help out with an extension program that taught basic kitchen life to new moms. Good of you to help.

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She may not know how to menu plan either, the really basic stuff of carryover from leftovers into new, etc.

 

Someone have a really nice chart to download to share? I've been doing my own for so long I don't use a graph, but it would be helpful.

 

This is really cool of you to do; I used to help out with an extension program that taught basic kitchen life to new moms. Good of you to help.

 

The menu plan is what I'm trying to put together for her - the idea of make a pot of beans, use some for tonight's dinner and some in a soup for tomorrow, etc. A chart would be fantastic - it's all just what I do, but I haven't ever written it out.

 

She is not a member of a church as far as I know. I'll ask her if she's looked into them for extra support.

 

I know how hard it was for me with a young kid and newborn, with lots of support and enough to make ends meet financially. I just want to ease the burden for her as much as possible - I feel for her!

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It is very sad to see a young woman struggle with trying to raise her children alone. Holding men accountable for supporting their progeny is abysmal in this country. He gets to go tripping off with his new distraction while she's left to struggle to raise the children they both contributed to making.

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It is very sad to see a young woman struggle with trying to raise her children alone. Holding men accountable for supporting their progeny is abysmal in this country. He gets to go tripping off with his new distraction while she's left to struggle to raise the children they both contributed to making.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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$16 Fruits and Vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned w/no added fat, salt, sugar, etc.)

7 Gallons, 1 half gallon, and 1 quart Milk, Lower Fat (some of this can be powdered or evaporated milk)

2 (16 oz) Whole Grains (brown rice, oatmeal, barley, tortillas, bread)

72 oz Breakfast Cereal

4 (64 oz) Bottle Juice or 5 (11.5 or 12 or 16 oz) Concentrate Juice

2 Dozen Eggs

2 (16 oz) Cheese

2 (16 oz) Dry Beans, Peas or Lentils or 2 (16-18 oz) Peanut Butter

another 1 lb. Dry beans, peas or lentils

 

That amount of food will never adequately feed a pregnant woman and a child, even a small one. :glare: She needs to find other sources of food, perhaps a food bank, church pantry, or some similar helping agency. Catholic Charities, Convoy of Hope, Feed the Children, or whatever she can find to help them.

 

But here's what I would do with that list in her situation:

 

 

  • For breakfast, either a small amount of cereal with milk, a small amount of oatmeal with milk, or a small serving of eggs with a little grating of cheese. She could thin out the juice with a bit of water, so it goes farther.

  • For lunch, her son is fed. She could take a PB sandwich and piece of fresh fruit, but not much else.

  • For supper, she needs to rinse and soak dried beans in the morning before going to work. After the beans have soaked, drain them, rinse them, and drain them again. Then wash & chop onions, carrots, celery, cauliflower or cabbage and add to the beans. Add plenty of seasonings (not salt, yet). This soup will not have much flavor without them, unless she gets a piece of ham. I'd add black pepper, bay leaves, basil, oregano, garlic, parsley, and perhaps cumin. Add water, enough to cover the beans and the vegetables, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until beans are tender and vegetables are cooked through. Add iodized salt to taste. If she uses some of the eggs, milk, and corn meal for an occasional treat (corn bread), that might make the beans more of a complete protein. Another option is to add or serve over some rice.

  • For a different supper, she could cook up lentils in much the same way (no soaking) and add some curry powder (not too much). Serve over rice.

  • For another supper, she could cook up some inexpensive pasta with steamed, frozen vegetables. Pasta is filling and cheap, but I don't see it on the list. :confused:

  • For a snack at home, pop corn is inexpensive.

 

HTH.

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She should get a support order and turn over the case to support enforcement. Unless he works off the books, many states do a great job of garnishing wages for childcare. Even if he can't be found, making the claim now means that he is racking up a back support liability which can be enforced once he is found. The system sucks but far too many moms don't bother to file for support or report to the support enforcement agency for whatever reason.

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That amount of food will never adequately feed a pregnant woman and a child, even a small one. :glare: She needs to find other sources of food, perhaps a food bank, church pantry, or some similar helping agency. Catholic Charities, Convoy of Hope, Feed the Children, or whatever she can find to help them.

 

You're right that it won't stretch for a month, and it's intended to be a supplemental program so they don't expect it to last a month. I'll see if I can find food banks, etc., in the area. She didn't know of any, and I don't either.

 

It's been a learning experience for me, finding what support is out there!

 

Thanks for the meal suggestions.

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She should get a support order and turn over the case to support enforcement. Unless he works off the books, many states do a great job of garnishing wages for childcare. Even if he can't be found, making the claim now means that he is racking up a back support liability which can be enforced once he is found. The system sucks but far too many moms don't bother to file for support or report to the support enforcement agency for whatever reason.

 

I haven't asked if she has done this, but I'll definitely suggest it!

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There are most likely other agencies that can help her. Sometimes it just takes reapplying to get food stamps. In our area there is also the Community Services agency that handles the commodities from the USDA. Every 3 months they give out pantry stock items to those that qualify. They also have access to food banks and resources such as utility help, specialized classes such as budgeting, food prep, couponing, and so on. It make take several visits and lots of paperwork, but it could be worthwhile.

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There are most likely other agencies that can help her. Sometimes it just takes reapplying to get food stamps. In our area there is also the Community Services agency that handles the commodities from the USDA. Every 3 months they give out pantry stock items to those that qualify. They also have access to food banks and resources such as utility help, specialized classes such as budgeting, food prep, couponing, and so on. It make take several visits and lots of paperwork, but it could be worthwhile.

 

This is good to know.

 

One of the challenges is that she's working full time, and can't take a day off to do the appointment to get aid. Taking a day off means she loses the pay and she can't afford that. They don't have evening or weekend appointments, and running her numbers through the online calculator it doesn't look like she qualifies for anything, so she hasn't wanted to take the day off for nothing.

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I forgot to say that Hillbilly Housewife also has some impoverished meal plans: http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/70dollarmenu.htm They're certainly not wonderful or gourmet and I'm pretty sure they're very poor quality nutrition. But if you're broke, you're broke.

 

Oh, this is fantastic! Likely with the added nutrition from her WIC foods, it would be reasonable for a short time. Thanks!

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That amount of food will never adequately feed a pregnant woman and a child, even a small one. :glare: She needs to find other sources of food, perhaps.

 

Pasta is filling and cheap, but I don't see it on the list. :confused:

 

 

WIC is a supplemental program to put specific high nutrient foods into the diets of pregnant women and young children to reduce the long term impact of low nutrition in the first few years of life. Women are eligible when pregnant for a number of months post delivery (longer if breastfeeding) and kids are eligible from birth to 5 years. The total food provided is about $40-60 per month per person. The foods are limited in most cases to specific types or brands.

 

I think WW pasta may be included as one of the whole grain choices, but that is new, as are the fruits and veggies. Plain pasta is not included.

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Oh, this is fantastic! Likely with the added nutrition from her WIC foods, it would be reasonable for a short time. Thanks!

 

Those prices are from 2006? or 2009? I think. So, double it basically. (Or in her case, she'd spend the $40-45 to feed two instead of the 4 listed on the menu.) More frugal resources: http://www.afullcup.com/ and http://www.frugalvillage.com/

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:iagree:

 

and check out as many food pantries as possible in her area. You can go to multiple if need be and you dont have to attend the church.

 

You need to watch this as with our local pantries the main ones are USDA which means if you try to go to more than one and they catch you then you are blocked from using any for awhile. It is because the different ones are really just different locations for distributions but part of the larger USDA system. There are however some pantries not affiliated that don't have any requirements or even take any kind of info. I would guess it would depend on the area but I would make sure the regs before hitting up multiple pantries.

 

Oh, and how about hillybilly housewife for ideas?

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You're right that it won't stretch for a month, and it's intended to be a supplemental program so they don't expect it to last a month. I'll see if I can find food banks, etc., in the area. She didn't know of any, and I don't either.

 

It's been a learning experience for me, finding what support is out there!

 

Thanks for the meal suggestions.

 

You can call United Way and they can give you resources. Google search Food Panties in (insert zip code). Even call Job and Family Services and simply ask them.

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Using the USDA's thrifty meal plan budget and subtracting the amount of WIC she gets, I think she'll do ok with a slim grocery budget of <$200/month. She's going to have to do a lot of food prep work and meal planning, but it's doable.

 

Also, she can check into day care assistance programs. She might qualify to have some of her son's day care paid.

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You need to watch this as with our local pantries the main ones are USDA which means if you try to go to more than one and they catch you then you are blocked from using any for awhile. It is because the different ones are really just different locations for distributions but part of the larger USDA system. There are however some pantries not affiliated that don't have any requirements or even take any kind of info. I would guess it would depend on the area but I would make sure the regs before hitting up multiple pantries.

 

I know a lot of them use that system.

Here is what I meant (based on my experience)- There was one pantry that supplied you with a few days of food and then there was one that supplied you for a month. I could go to both in a 1 month time. They served my zip code and were at small churches.

I know you cant go back to the same pantry multiple times a month. If its every 2 weeks, they wont see you if it hasnt been 2 weeks. If its monthly, same thing.

 

I know you cant go to 10 pantries a month (as an example) because they would likely refer you to get other services aka: food stamps, etc because Food Pantries are for supplement.

 

I hope that clears up what i meant.

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I think WW pasta may be included as one of the whole grain choices, but that is new, as are the fruits and veggies. Plain pasta is not included.

 

Looking through her booklet of allowed foods, pasta is NOT on the list. The whole grains are 100% whole grain bread, 100% whole grain tortillas, brown rice, bulgur, barley, and oats.

 

Pasta is cheap enough to add on its own in addition to the whole grains. I think she's going to do better with bread for sandwiches (usually $2-3/loaf) rather than rice ($1/lb.) Like the poster above saying to get the peanut butter and buy the beans.

 

Cereal is on the list, and includes things like Cheerios, Grape Nuts, Bran Flakes, Corn Flakes, Rice Crispies, Kix, Life, Puffed Wheat, Total, Special K, Malt-o-meal, Cream of Wheat - basic cereals.

 

soror - it wouldn't have occurred to me that food banks would all be connected! I'll check on that in our area.

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You can call United Way and they can give you resources. Google search Food Panties in (insert zip code). Even call Job and Family Services and simply ask them.

 

Thanks for these ideas for resources! My friend doesn't have internet access and I really wasn't sure where to start!

 

Calendula - that's a good idea for soup with V8!

 

dansamy - I don't think she has an extra $200 a month. :/ I'll suggest looking into something to help with preschool.

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When I was on WIC I could get tomato juice in place of fruit juice.

 

This is a super simple tomato soup recipe

 

 

16-22 oz. can chopped whole seedless tomatoes

32 oz. can V-8 Cocktail Juice

1 Tbs. sugar

1 bay leaf (remove it before serving)

thyme, garlic and basil to taste

Just simmer all the ingredients together until the chopped tomatoes fall apart.

 

Don't bother about the bay leaf. This plus a grilled cheese.

 

Baked peanut butter oatmeal? My 3 year old ate it for dinner with fruit quite a bit when I was pregnant. This makes a 9X13 pan and reheats well. I usually subbed applesauce from a jar(cheap!) for the butter. I used regular oats.

 

From Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.

http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/05/peanut-butter-baked-oatmeal.html

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

 

 

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Spread in a greased 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. If you like it a little crunchy on top cook for a few minutes longer. Serve with warm milk poured over top. Enjoy!

 

 

If she can't drink all the milk, it can be turned into yogurt in the crockpot. It's a project though and she may not want to mess with it. Snacks, breakfast, or lights lunches were often strained yogurt topped with fruit and WIC cereal.

 

If she chooses to nurse once she has the baby, she'll get more food....

 

These aren't very helpful, but things like cornflakes can be used to bread chicken for chicken nuggests or as filler in a meatloaf. I know affording meat is probably the tricky thing though. I've seasoned them and used them in place of breadcrumbs for filler in tuna patties as well.

 

I used this a lot.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/wicworks/Sharing_Center/WA_beanbook.pdf

 

It also talks about how to cook beans in a crock pot.

 

If she has hard water and lives at a high altitude, dried beans take more patience. I'm only at 5,000 ft, but I need to add baking soda when I soak them and a little when I cook for soft beans.

 

She can mash some of the beans to make something similar to refried and use the corn tortillas and cheese to make quesadillas.

 

This recipe database from Texas was somewhat helpful. Often things like pasta and tuna showed up at food pantries, so those can help round out a meal.

http://texaswic.dshs.state.tx.us/wiclessons/english/recipes/default.asp

 

This might help some, but it's doesn't just use WIC food.

http://wicfoodrecipes.blogspot.com/

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dansamy - I don't think she has an extra $200 a month. :/ I'll suggest looking into something to help with preschool.

 

If she is working and does not have $200 to spare for food the number one thing she can do is start seeking affordable housing NOW. House sharing, moving to a cheaper 1 bdrm place, moving to a less expensive area are things she can do now. Here, in various suburbs subsidized housing could only have a 5-12 month wait. She should apply EVERYWHERE even of the list is 2+ years because you never know what will come open. The waiting list is filled with people who have moved on, no longer qualify or have found other housing so it can move a little faster than advertised. Some areas like mine have more available than other areas, but she needs to get her housing down to an amount she can still afford to feed her kids. If she has debt, she should put that after feeding her kids first, even consider a consolidation or forebearance.

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At three, there might be some Headstart programs her oldest can qualify for. Most day cares (if accepting subsidies) absolutely love working with that set up. Bus normally comes and picks the children up at an address & drops off also. I'm a big fan of Headstart. Huge. Love it.

 

The local state extension office has many programs built just for this sort of thing, they can connect families with local farmers or other outlets for surplus. It's not always possible for one program to be aware of all the others that are available so some phone calls can be needed.

 

If you are familiar with or can find the local state/city representative offices, they are also worth a visit ****IN PERSON****. I'm assuming she's old enough to vote and be involved.

 

Local libraries are also a plethora of information on these things from the very obvious (recipe books etc., I really like The Bean Bible) - but they also sometimes have bulletin boards where minutes and/or organizations from the community are posted up.

 

City agencies, like City Hall, are also very valuable to young moms, sometimes just printing up a personal "card" - with name/phone - and liberally distributed can help. A friend of a friend, of a friend...that system.

 

Lots of places are looking to donate but can't use regular channels for whatever reason, that's when this sort of thing comes in handy.

 

If you have a community college or such in the area, check around there for support resources.

 

The very best thing about being a new single mother is your immediate community and the aid they can offer; someday, she'll want to pay that back and it's a wonderful chain.

 

It goes without saying, but a church if she belongs, is a place to stop and do a visit with and look for ideas and support.

 

Her OB should probably (and probably is) aware of her situation, I'd really encourage her to open up and share there. There are again, lots of avenues of support out there.

 

A few simple stationary tools can really help out, like an address book (pen and paper) - the name/address cards, I'd keep them all together in one spot like a binder so they don't get lost or scattered around.

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I don't have much to offer since PP have given you a lot of information! But I do want to say you are a wonderful person for wanting to help her! I was unfortunately in an almost identical situation as her (abusive exhusband) and if my parents hadn't supported me, I would have never made it.

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I know a lot of them use that system.

Here is what I meant (based on my experience)- There was one pantry that supplied you with a few days of food and then there was one that supplied you for a month. I could go to both in a 1 month time. They served my zip code and were at small churches.

I know you cant go back to the same pantry multiple times a month. If its every 2 weeks, they wont see you if it hasnt been 2 weeks. If its monthly, same thing.

 

I know you cant go to 10 pantries a month (as an example) because they would likely refer you to get other services aka: food stamps, etc because Food Pantries are for supplement.

 

I hope that clears up what i meant.

This is not true of all pantries though. When we took a drastic pay cut last November I went to a few pantries myself. Some, like Salvation Army, were only 1 visit every 6 months. Others, especially church based ones that received most donations from their members, would say once a month but if someone was really in need would tell them to come back again sooner if they needed something. Pantry Foods were also a shot in the dark when I was receiving them. One visit might be great, then the next visit I might come home with 6 loaves of bread, 2 bottle of soda, and some weird candy and hot dogs. A few times it really wasn't worth my gas spent. There was also no limit to the number of pantries I visited each month. Some did require that I had a voucher saying I had applied for food stamps or that I had met the criteria of another agency, but some just requested my name, our monthly income, and that is it.

 

When I was receiving WIC for foster children, I had to go in every 3 months for new vouchers and recertification. The next time she has to miss work for that, she may want to schedule time with another agency as well so she can possibly get more help.

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You guys are so fantastic! Thank you for the many fantastic resources, recipes, and suggestions. I'm sure they'll be helpful!

 

Mrs. Basil - the soup looks easy and tasty, and cheap! Thanks for the beans cookbook, too. Crockpot beans sound so easy!

 

kijipt - we're in an area with crazy high rent and she's already in a cheap apartment. I don't know that there's anything else cheaper, but it's likely something she's looking into. I'll suggest putting herself on low income housing wait lists. I also don't know her debt situation. She's 22 and hasn't been to college as far as I know.

 

one*mom - you rock! I'm printing this list out to give to her. I definitely wouldn't have thought of all these ideas!

 

celticsmom - she gets regular milk, or can choose evaporated or powdered. She has been getting regular milk because she didn't know what to do with the other options.

 

Grover - great cookbook! They use dried eggs, which I've never seen!

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