Organic baby food just simply isn't currently available to everyone. Whether it's due to the price of buying organic pre-made baby food or the investment of time and money required to DIY your own at home, it's something that's out of reach for many families. But one company is looking to change that — and soon. Once Upon a Farm will soon help WIC-eligible families with tiny mouths to feed have access to its organic baby foods, and that's a serious win for parents.
On Tuesday, organic baby food company Once Upon a Farm announced that it would soon offer new organic baby food bowls to WIC-eligible families. In case you're not aware, WIC, the shortened name for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, offers grant money to states so that they can provide support to low-income moms-to-be and moms with kids under the age of 5. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are some guidelines and restrictions regarding what's available to those who are eligible for the program.
Soon, however, WIC-eligible families in two states will also have access to new products from Once Upon a Farm. The new products will first be available in Florida and in actress Jennifer Garner's home state of West Virginia, granting access to organic baby food to about 125,000 infants, according to a press release. Garner is a co-founder of the company and serves as the company's chief brand officer.
"Bringing better nutrition to children everywhere has been our mission since the beginning — it's never been and will never be about just feeding children who have a socio-economic advantage," Garner said in a press release. "I'm committed to finding ways of providing healthy food to children who have less access and often limited opportunities. I'm grateful and encouraged by this first and very important step that we've made as a company."
Garner also penned a blog post for the Once Upon a Farm blog all about the news, sharing that this was actually one of her goals for the company from the beginning.
"My meeting with John [Foraker, a Once Upon a Farm co-founder and the company's CEO] quickly turned from chatting about Once Upon a Farm as a no-brainer for my mom friends and me, to thinking about the moms who would not have access. I told John about a mom in West Virginia I’d joined for a trip to the grocery store as she’d cobbled together the week’s food for her family. Some things were paid for [with] food stamps, some she counted on a local food bank to provide, but for this mom and her baby – it was WIC, the federally-funded and state-run Women, Infants, and Children program. The baby food available was not what I had been feeding my littlest guy back in California and it drove me nuts."
Fast-forward and now we're here.
These new products were specifically formulated to adhere to WIC's standards for price point, nutritional content, and size requirements, according to a press release. The flavors will include Apple; Apple Sweet Potato Blueberry; Pear Carrot Mango; and Banana Strawberry Beet.
"We wanted to get a healthy, fresh baby food to families that couldn't afford it," Foraker told Forbes. "We had to take a step back and look at our product to make sure it hit a price point of $1.29 per single cup, which is a daunting task with an organic supply chain."
The new products should appear on store-shelves in Florida and West Virginia in June, according to a press release. The company is working to receive WIC approval in more states, however currently only 12 of the 50 approve organic goods for babies, per Forbes.
"It’s been a crazy learning process and a nutty road, and we still have 48 states to go! But it’s a huge step and something that makes me very happy and proud," Garner captioned a video announcement that she posted to her Instagram account.
Clearly, Garner, Foraker, fellow co-founders Cassandra Curtis and Ari Raz, and the Once Upon a Farm team have their work cut out for them in terms of securing WIC approval in the 10 additional states that currently grant it, as well fighting to make sure that organic products are one day available to all WIC-eligible families — and all households in general. But this first step gets them that much closer.