Claire’s Story: It’s not easy to live on a budget. Part 36.


By A. Hosack , P. Berman, & K. Hecht 

I really want those ice cream bars. I wonder what I could put back on the shelf so I could afford them. 

The Carsons’ have been thinking a head till when Claire graduates from school and will be living with Davy in her own apartment. They have opened a bank account for Claire and put money for food and clothing into her account every month; they take this money from the stipend they get from Child Protective Services for caring for Claire and Davy. They sit down next to Claire every week and help her consider what she might need to purchase. They started by helping Claire balance her bank account each month but now she knows how to do this herself. Claire would be struggling to find enough money each week for food if she didn’t have the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) to rely on until Davy is 5 years old.

WIC is a governmental program for poor families that has been found to improve children’s health and school achievement. Claire met with someone at WIC in her town and learned about healthy eating. She was working so hard, she wanted those ice cream bars but there was nothing to put back that she didn’t need. She wanted Davy to have a healthy diet. She saw another mother who had a lot of store brands in her cart. She noticed this mother had a quart of ice cream. 

Should I talk to her? Will she get mad? Will she think I’m stupid? 

The other mom saw her looking at the ice cream and seemed to read her mind. Buying the quart is cheaper than those bars if you get the store brand. Also, I see you got apples, I bought the oranges today because they are on special and cost less but are bigger! Claire smiled and thanked her and then the other mom smiled back before walking off down the aisle.  Mrs. Carson was right again. There were friendly people out there who would help her. 

The WIC program had been proved to help increase the health of pregnancies as well as to reduce other negative outcomes in children. You can learn more about the program at: 

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