Ever since Kailyn lost the security that Jo‘s parents provided and then moved back in with her mom, she’s been weary about how long things would stay civil there, and during tonight’s episode of “Teen Mom 2,” she got her answer. After receiving a note from her mother’s boyfriend that criticized her cleanliness, she hit a breaking point and decided to find her own place. Kailyn confided in her supportive boyfriend, Jordan, who convinced her that exploring non-profit organizations to subsidize rent costs would be the only way she could afford to do it.
In the below video from this week’s “Teen Mom 2 After Show,” the young mom talks to SuChin Pak about how unwelcome she felt living at home. Kail explains her mom’s tendency to date men that like to take control and assume parenting responsibility over her. She knew that moving was the only solution, but she admits to feeling an initial embarrassment over reaching out for financial assistance. 19-year-old audience member Cekoro understands what Kailyn was going through and speaks out about her own experience of getting help from an organization called WIC.
Watch this clip from the after show to hear more from Kailyn about her need for independence, and be sure to check out what The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy had to say about the breadth of offerings that WIC handles.
What is WIC?
If you’ve watched “Teen Mom” for any amount of time, you probably know that it isn’t easy to raise a child. Attending school and working–even part-time–can make it difficult for both mother and child to stay healthy. Many state and federal programs aim to help parents in need gain access to food, shelter, healthcare and other basic necessities. One such program is called WIC, which stands for Women, Infants, and Children. If you are a struggling young parent, it’s important to know about it.
What Does It Do?
WIC is a national program that’s been around for almost 40 years. It provides federal grants to states for nutritious food, education, and healthcare referrals for those who can’t afford it. WIC serves low-income pregnant or breastfeeding women, those who have recently given birth, and infants and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk. Available in all fifty states, WIC supplies checks or vouchers to purchase specific foods that target the areas of nutrition most important to women and children. This includes milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cheese, peanut butter, and infant formula.
How Do You Participate?
Though the steps vary from state to state, all applicants must contact their local agency to set up an appointment, where eligibility for the program is determined. From there, the local agency will let participants know the next steps in order to get food. While some states have warehouses or drop off systems for participants to receive their food, most allow the participants to purchase approved items directly from their local grocery store or farmers market using paper check vouchers or electronic benefit transfer cards. Next time you’re at the store, check for the WIC signs, chances are the place where you already buy your food participates in WIC.
How Long Is WIC Available?
WIC is a short-term program and usually lasts from six months to a year, depending on whether the mother is pregnant, breastfeeding, or the age of the infant or child. Participants “graduate” at the completion of the program and must reapply to continue to receive benefits. Sometimes a state doesn’t have enough funding for every eligible applicant and must prioritize a waiting list based on the health of the mom or child or the severity of the situation. In 2010 alone, more than nine million people received WIC benefits, resulting in improved birth, diet, and health outcomes for women and children.
To find out more about the WIC program, eligibility and how to apply, as well as for links to other nutritional assistance programs, check out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service website.
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