By Cindy Long, FNS Administrator
USDA and the Biden Administration have been working hard for months to get more safe infant formula onto shelves across the country. Ending this shortage is a top priority. In the meantime, we’ve heard many uplifting stories of neighbors helping neighbors and strangers reaching out to lend a helping hand. We’ve also seen WIC staff across the country go the extra mile to help the families they serve. For instance:
- Rosebud Sioux Tribe WIC staff have worked around the clock to get formula for their clients. While some called around to locate formula and contacted doctor’s offices to help clients adjust formula prescriptions, others personally drove more than 100 miles round trip to families’ homes and then to authorized vendors to exchange specialty formula affected by the recall.
- WIC staff in New Jersey are using a texting app to reach out to clients proactively to check on their access to formula and point them to alternate locations, if needed.
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma WIC is doing more direct ordering of special formula shipments, including home delivery for the most at-risk infants. Meanwhile, their vendor manager has been visiting 32 vendors in more than 10 counties multiple times a week to check inventory and relay information to WIC participants and staff to help families get the formula they need.
- Multiple Maine WIC staff members drove around the state of Maine after the recall to pull recalled formula off store shelves. This not only helped ensure WIC participants weren’t purchasing recalled formula but also helped other Maine families stay safe.
- The Alaska WIC program ramped up use of its unique food delivery system to allow for direct shipping of formula to participants, including those in rural villages.
To all WIC staff around the U.S., territories, and tribal nations, we are grateful for your creative problem-solving and commitment to caring for people during this challenging time. Thank you!