Because of WIC, we’re able to supplement those foods that we might have to take a pause on. Thankfully we can make those decisions easier, and our kids are happy and fed.
Angelique Schanbeck

Angelique Schanbeck, 30, tells her friend Rebecca Gross, 34, about raising her three young children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Angelique’s oldest—five-year-old Madison—has autism and is taking remote school classes. Her youngest, Malanthios is 5 months. The family gets support from the WIC program. We hear first from Rebecca.

Rebecca: How has COVID-19 affected you because you’re a black woman living in a white area.

Angelique: In the area that I’m in, most people think that wearing a mask is already a little silly. And so when I go out, people are kind of looking at me cause I’m wearing a mask, but people are also looking at me because I’m black woman in a predominantly white area. I try my best to not stick out, but you stick out. So it’s just uncomfortable.

Rebecca: So how has your whole family’s typical day changed during COVID-19?

Angelique: We’re doing distance learning. Madison is autistic. Her teachers have set up apps and websites for us to use. It has actually been really great. Having her home has helped Makai in his speech and his language development so they’re both kind of feeding off of each other.

I definitely did not think of the fact that I wasn’t really going to get a break. I used to have a respite care provider who would come and pick Madison up for a couple hours twice a week. And we haven’t been able to do that. So it’s definitely been an adjustment of figuring out their doctor’s appointments, my appointments, and them missing out on that social interaction.

We used to do ballet every Monday—we haven’t done that. They did distance ballet for a little bit, which was really quite hilarious. Madison wasn’t a huge fan of that because it was confusing. So we’re just kind of hanging out in the house.

Rebecca: But you have to go into the grocery store to access WIC.

Angelique: Yes, I have no choice. So that turns into an entire ordeal because I can’t leave [M?] here cause he’s breastfeeding, won’t take a bottle. So that just turns into me having to take the baby and both of the kids and the husband, we all pile in the car, I grocery shop and that’s my break time—like going grocery shopping is the time where I can get away.

My kids go through 11 gallons of milk a month. It’s soy milk and it’s so expensive. I’m so grateful that we have WIC because it is so expensive. It would be very hard to afford that, it would just be really rough. Because of WIC, we’re able to supplement those foods that we might have to take a pause on. Thankfully we can make those decisions easier and our kids are happy and fed and chunky.

Rebecca: And perfect.

The audio-only story can be accessed here.


This segment was produced by StoryCorps, a non-profit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. It was made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in partnership with the National WIC Association.