WIC adds new options to offset infant formula shortage

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, June 4, 2022

By Maya Martin

Submitted article

The Mississippi WIC program remains concerned about the national infant formula shortage and is taking the following action to ensure that its participants continue to receive all supplemental WIC benefits.

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Previously, WIC participants could only purchase four types of formula with their WIC benefits within the state unless their child received a medical exemption. Now, the program has added eight additional infant formula products and package sizes to the approved product list allowing participants to select from a greater variety while shopping at authorized vendor locations.

Enfamil AR Refill Box, Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Refill Box, Enfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Value Can, Enfamil Gentlease Value Can, Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Refill Box, Enfamil NeuroPro Infant Value Can, Enfamil Infant Value Can, Enfamil Prosobee will all be available from May 31, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2022.

WIC participants who cannot find their prescribed medical formula in stores may contact their WIC clinic to quickly change to an alternate formula currently available.

However, the Mississippi WIC Program does not have a reserve of infant formula. Jameshyia Ballard, Director of Vendor Management, said. “Nationwide manufacturers’ shortages [mean] we, too, are experiencing constraints in our ability to order medical formulas. These new options for WIC participants are being used to help meet the needs of families.”

WIC also received a waiver from the USDA Food and Nutrition Services for medical documentation required to change a WIC participant’s prescribed medical formula. This will allow WIC participants who cannot find their prescribed medical formula in-store locations to contact the clinic to quickly change to an alternative formula currently available.

As options have expanded, participants are now able to return recalled products directly to the location of purchase for cash back, store credit, or a similar product.

If a participant is unable to find a standard or medical formula, WIC asks them to report this to the program by calling the WIC Call Center at 1-800-388-6747. For more information on WIC or to apply, visit www.healthyms.com/wic