Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Formula Recall

October 20, 2022

The alternative formula options will now be available until at least December 31, 2022.

September 15, 2022

The alternative formula options will now be available until at least November 30, 2022.

August 25, 2022

The alternative formula options will now be available until at least October 31, 2022.

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July 25, 2022

Participants now have 4 more formula alternative options to purchase with WIC benefits. The new alternatives are in medium and large containers.

As a reminder:

  • Small containers remove one (1) container from your benefits.
  • Medium containers remove 1.5 containers from your benefits.
  • Large containers remove 2 containers from your benefits.

Alternative formula options will be available until at least September 30, 2022.

Similac Total Comfort and Similac Soy Isomil now have additional options.

June 21, 2022

The following imported formula options have been added to the alternative formulas for participants issued Similac Total Comfort.

  • Similac Total Comfort Stage 1 (0-12 Months) 820 g – from Spain
  • Nestle NAN Expert Pro Sensi Pro 800 g – from Germany

Both options will remove two (2) containers from your benefits.
Missouri WIC does not know if or when these formula options will be available at approved Missouri WIC retailers.

Alternative formula options will be allowed until at least August 31, 2022.

June 13, 2022

Participants now have 11 more formula alternative options to purchase with WIC benefits. The new alternatives are in small, medium, and large containers.

As a reminder:

  • Small containers remove one (1) container from your benefits.
  • Medium containers remove 1.5 containers from your benefits.
  • Large containers remove 2 containers from your benefits.

Alternative formula options will be available until at least August 31, 2022.

Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort, Similac for Spit Up, and Similac Soy Isomil now have additional options.

May 11, 2022

As the nationwide formula shortage continues to affect parents and caregivers, more information on possible solutions are popping up all over the internet and social media. Missouri WIC would like to help you sort through the information you are seeing, and provide a guide of dos and don’ts when it comes to keeping your baby safe and healthy.

The dos will not be possible for everyone, so make sure and see what you might be able to do. The don’ts apply to everyone, so please follow this list!

Do:

  • DO feed your baby over 6 months old more baby food and formula, as appropriate. A great resource, Food to Grow On: Birth to 12 months, provides a guide to the nutritional intake needed by babies during their first year of life.
  • DO wean your babies over 12 months old off of formula, as appropriate. After their first birthday, babies no longer need formula to meet their nutritional needs. Caregivers can wean the baby using water, milk, and food.
  • DO consider relactation. It is possible, with some effort, for women to relactate even if they didn’t breastfeed when their baby was born or weren’t able to for long. Contact a local IBCLC to help if you want to try to relactate.
  • DO search for formula at multiple stores in your area. Check the customer service desk at the store to see if they are keeping any there. Call a store before making the trip to check their supply or ask when the next supply truck arrives.
  • DO tell friends and family the brand and type of formula you use and ask them to pick it up for you if they see it in a store while shopping.
  • DO call your pediatrician if you run low and ask for guidance. They will be able to give you guidance on a safe formula switch or may even have samples to help you for a few days.
  • Do reach out to your WIC local agency for guidance or assistance when looking for solutions to keep your baby healthy!

Don’t:

  • DON’T hoard formula. Only keep a monthly supply, at the most, to give other caregivers the opportunity to find formula. Hoarding is making the shortage worse!
  • DON’T make homemade formula! Without proper regulation, homemade infant formula may lack proper ingredients that are vital to infant growth and can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses when consumed. There are many social media conversations about how homemade formula was used a long time ago and babies were just fine. They weren’t just fine. Babies died before commercial formula was widely available. The infant mortality rates were higher and babies were malnourished. Don’t make homemade formula.
  • DON’T dilute (water down) your baby’s formula to make it last longer. Your baby needs the full formula for proper nutrition and growth.
  • DON’T follow online advice except from trusted, expert sources. Your baby’s health and nutrition is too important to risk!
  • DON’T give cow’s milk or other milk substitutes to a baby under 1 year of age. Before your child is 12 months old, cow’s or goat’s milk may put him or her at risk for intestinal bleeding. It also has too many proteins and minerals for your baby’s kidneys to handle and does not have the right amount of nutrients for your baby.

You are doing a GREAT job taking care of your little one!

April 15, 2022

Participants now have 20 more formula alternative options to purchase with WIC benefits. The new alternatives are in medium and large containers. The medium containers will remove 1.5 containers from your benefits. In addition, the alternative formula options will be available until at least May 31, 2022.

Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort, and Similac for Spit Up now have additional options.

March 14, 2022

Missouri WIC received a temporary waiver that allows you to redeem your Similac formula benefits for larger containers of formula if standard-size Similac formula is not available at an authorized WIC retailer.

What does this mean? You can use your benefits to purchase larger containers of formula, in addition to the alternative brands of formula added on February 25. The images in the comments show the larger containers available as alternatives for each issued formula type.

You may begin to purchase these larger containers of infant formula as early as March 16, 2022, depending on each individual retailer’s availability. Larger containers will remove 2 containers from your benefits. This waiver will be available through at least April 2022.

March 2, 2022

Good news - most retailers have resolved their system issues and are now able to redeem the formula alternatives!

Here are a few tips to try if your store is unable to redeem:

  1. Make sure your alternative formula matches what is issued on your eWIC card.
  2. Try another register at that store.

February 28, 2022

On Friday, WIC announced if you have formula benefits on your eWIC card, you can redeem those benefits for approved, alternative brands of formula. We heard from many of you that you were able to redeem the rest of your February benefits. This is exciting news!

Today, we learned not all retailers are able to redeem different brands of formula due to system issues. These stores are working with their IT departments to resolve the issue. However, the issue might not be resolved until later this week.

If you need to get formula and your retailer is unable to complete the transaction, please go to another retailer/different chain. For instance, if you can’t redeem benefits at XYZ store on Walnut Street, don’t go to XYZ store on 12th Street as their system is most likely tied to the same issue. We do not have a list of all retailers who are having trouble completing transactions.

We will place an update once most of the issues are resolved. Thank you for your patience.

February 25, 2022

Missouri WIC received a temporary waiver that allows you to redeem your Similac formula benefits for other brands of formula if Similac formula is not available at an authorized WIC retailer.

What does this mean? If you have formula benefits on your eWIC card, you can redeem those benefits for alternative brands of formula – WITHOUT having to go to your WIC local agency! This temporary waiver will carry over into March benefits as well! The images below show the alternative brands for each issued formula type.

You may begin to purchase these alternative brands of infant formula as early as February 25, 2022, depending on each individual retailer’s availability. Retailer’s systems may have a 1-2 day delay.

Note: If you want to change your issued formula type, you need to return to your WIC local agency.

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February 23, 2022

Missouri WIC received a waiver that allows retailers to exchange the recalled Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare formula products. WIC authorized retailers must treat all customers (including WIC participants) the same with regard to the recall exchange process and possible substitutes, which may include, but are not limited to: the same product, a substitute product in another brand, a store credit, or a cash refund.

Retailers are not required to verify whether a product was purchased with WIC benefits as part of the exchange process. The recall exchange process could vary with each WIC retailer. Talk to your retailer to learn how to complete the exchange. If the exchanged cans cost more, the store may charge you the difference, depending on the store policy. If unable to complete an exchange at the retailer, call the Similac hotline at 1-800-986-8540 or complete the form at similacrecall.com.

February 18, 2022

FDA Announcement: More information and photos about how to identify the container codes and expiration dates.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

WIC is the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. WIC provides services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children until their fifth birthday.