Single Fathers Need Help Too
This article is for information only and doesn’t call for any action.
In the early 1970s, an amendment was put in place to expand upon the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. A two-year pilot program, the Special Supplemental Food Progam for Women, Infants and Children was put into place. In 1975 a permanent program was put into place. This was exceptional in helping women get adequate nutrition during pregnancy, after pregnancy and for their children in many cases up until their 5th birthday. This seemed like it made a lot of sense right? I mean women were the ONLY people taking care of the children, right?
Fast forward to 2018 where the program is still in place. Over the years WIC has served many women but not nearly as many men. The fact that men can’t have babies doesn’t mean that they too aren’t in need of services. Today, many fathers are single fathers. Traditional families are not so traditional anymore. There was a time when in the rare case a woman who couldn’t take care of her children left in the in the capable hands of a grandmother, sister or auntie…not the father.
Boy oh boy, have times changed. Single dads are blazing a trail in today’s world. They are doing a great job and raising kids as involved and highly capable parents. Although we are seeing this more and more, one can’t help but wonder for the dads who need help what resources there are out there. To be factually questionable, I recall a conversation with a man I know who was in this same predicament about 30 years ago. He told me he could not get any assistance for him or his daughter, and there weren’t any shelters that would allow him to stay there with his child either. He was left at the mercy of people who would let him borrow space in an extra room or on a sofa until he could get it together.
Today men who have a low income can get food stamps if necessary and a check for assistance if they qualify. This a big step away from the early 70s. Knowing they can get services is one thing but finding out where to get those services is another.
Why does this all matter?
Dads often need help just like moms. Kids need to be in environments where they have proper nutrition, sleeping quarters, and clothing. Without having these basic need met, they are at risk of substance abuse, poor relationships, mental health concerns, dropping out of school and more.
We must do our best to give all kids a leg up in this world regardless of their family structure. Everyone can serve as an advocate for single fathers, single mothers, children, and low-income families. Share resources when you find out a need exists. Let people know about food closets, sliding scale clinics, backpack drives, and holiday giveaways. Just because you may not need the help doesn’t mean someone you work with, in your house of worship or your neighborhood might.
Below you will find a few resources for help should you need it or to pass along to someone else. Something as simple as posting the list to the bulletin board at work may save the day for a person in need!
- National Fatherhood Initiative – www.fatherhood.org
- Single Dad – www.singledad.com
- Single Parents Alliance of America – www.spoa.org
- In Charge Financial Assistance – www.incharge.org
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December 10, 2018 at 07:36PM