In February 2022, Abbott initiated a voluntary recall of powdered formulas including Similac, Alimentum, Elecare, and Similac PM 60/40 manufactured in Sturgis, Michigan. This recall has caused a domino effect leading to the nationwide shortage of formulas manufactured by other infant formula companies. This shortge includes standard formulas issued by the Mississippi WIC Program, such as Enfamil Infant, Enfamil Gentlease, Enfamil A.R., and Enfamil ProSobee.
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What are we doing?
The Mississippi WIC Program is taking this shortage very seriously as we work to make sure WIC families in Mississippi have access to the nutritious foods they need. We have taken the following actions to help ensure that WIC participants are able to receive their supplemental WIC benefits.
- Updated the Approved Product List: The Program has added additional infant formula products and sizes to the Approved Product List. This will improve access to standard and medical formulas by allowing WIC participants to select from a greater variety of formulas while shopping at authorized vendor locations. These products will be available from May 31 to August 31, 2022.
- Expedited the Process for Medical Formula Approval: The Program has requested and 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 are unable to find their prescribed medical formula in store locations to contact the clinic to quickly change to an alternative formula that is currently available.
- Communicated with Authorized Vendors: The Program has requested and received a waiver from USDA Food and Nutrition Services to allow WIC participants to return recalled products directly to the location of purchase in exchange for cash back, store credit, or a similar product. This will help WIC families have quick access to the funds they need to purchase available infant formula.
What are we asking the public to do?
WIC participants should continue to redeem their WIC benefits at authorized vendors. If you are a WIC participant and unable to find a standard or medical formula, please report this to the WIC Program by calling the WIC Call Center at 1-800-388-6747, or complete a participant complaint form.
WIC provides nutritious foods and nutrition education to WIC participants. If you are not a WIC participant and interested in applying for WIC, please visit HealthyMS.com/wic or contact the WIC Call Center at 1-800-338-6747 to schedule an appointment.
Please note that the WIC Program does not have a reserve of infant formula. We purchase all formula from manufacturers based on availability. A nationwide manufacturer shortage means we are also experiencing shortages with ordering capabilities for medical formula in counties where direct shipment of medical formula is needed.
These are unprecedented times. We are working diligently and using all resources available to ensure WIC families have access to nutritious foods.