Dear Lazyweb: WIC and nutrition stores

I know that WIC is the federal program for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and infant nutrition. I see their offices in poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles. And I also know that women receiving that aid get EBT cards or checks that have to be spent on very specific items.

Next door to almost every WIC office I see a store with a name like “Mommy’s Nutrition” or “Baby and Mom Nutrition.” It’s obvious that these places exist to immediately capture the business from WIC.

Are these places predatory? I did come across a reference to “WIC Only Stores” being predatory and the government putting in fair price rules to deter that, but that was in 2006 and the stores are still everywhere.

I know some of you work professionally with poverty issues. What’s the scoop?

GO GO GADGET 401(K)!!!

Your Personal Rate of Return from 01/01/2005 to 10/13/2005 is -5.6%

Your Personal Rate of Return is calculated with a time-weighted formula, widely used by financial analysts to calculate investment earnings. It reflects the result of your investment selections as well as any activity in the plan account(s) shown. There are other Personal Rate of Return formulas used that may yield different results. Remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.


“Thunderbird is a marvelous drink for anybody wishing to affect a tough-guy, self-destructive rebel posture. Its surprising more rock stars don’t cement their subterranean posing by swaggering into their favorite dive watering hole and demanding a Donnington Brainstorm, which is a potentially lethal mixture of Thunderbird and vodka.”

Daily Lush takes on wino wine!

St. Bernard and Plaquemines are screwed.

Oxfam has a report from the poor and isolated St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes in southern Louisiana.

The rural areas there are pretty much totally depopulated and everyone’s livelihoods are destroyed. There were a lot of farmers and fishermen there, and that ain’t happening. And, in general, the people in those parishes get screwed when government money is being handed out because they lose at the political game. Plus, as a bonus, the place is full of heavy chemical industries and refineries which got all stirred up and spread on those parishes like peanut butter. Householders are being told not to return home until they have tetanus and hep A and B inoculations.

Oxfam is trying to raise $2 million for both short- and long-term aid to St. Bernard and Plaquemines. Help if you can!



Famine in Niger, war and famine in Sudan, famine and disease after the tsunami, predatory landlords, dirty drinking water, the abuse of women and children, yet more war everywhere, AIDS, hurricanes, the impossible life of the subsistence farmer, drought, endless cycles of poverty and corruption, malaria, and still more war.

What’s a person to do?

Give a few bucks to Oxfam if nothing else. 77% of their donations and 90% of their emergency fund donations go directly to operations. They help in emergencies and crises, and they fight the root causes of the world’s miseries too. They do it locally, with global reach.

For those outside the U.S., the donation link is this one.