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WIC Food Package Rule: Implementation of Lowfat (1 percent) and Nonfat Milks Provision

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
WIC Policy Memorandum #2014-6
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (85.59 KB)
DATE: March 27, 2014
MEMO CODE: WIC Policy Memorandum # 2014-6
SUBJECT: Final WIC Food Package Rule: Implementation of Low fat (1 percent) and Nonfat Milks Provision
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
WIC State Agency Directors

On March 4, 2014, a final rule revising the food packages provided in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was published in the Federal Register (79 FR 12274). The final rule requires that only low fat (1 percent) or nonfat milks may be authorized as the standard issuance for children over two years of age and women in Food Packages IV-VII. This memorandum clarifies effective and implementation dates for the low fat (1 percent) and nonfat milks provision and expectations related to implementation.

The final rule is effective May 5, 2014, and state agencies may implement this provision upon the effective date. In technical assistance provided to state agencies on the interim rule, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) supported and encouraged state agencies to issue only nonfat and low fat (1 percent) milk to children and women unless otherwise indicated by nutrition assessment. Some WIC state agencies already have policies to ensure that the competent professional authority issue the appropriate milk to participants based on the assessed nutritional needs of individual participants. Since 1995 the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have recommended consumption of nonfat and low fat milk (1 percent) and milk products.

For those state agencies that do not have policies and procedures to ensure that only nonfat and low fat (1 percent) milk is the standard issuance for children over two years of age and women (Food Packages IV-VII), FNS expects state agencies to begin revising their policies, educational materials for participants, staff and vendor training materials, and to work with their vendor community for a smooth implementation of this provision. The policies and procedures for this required provision should be reflected in the fiscal year 2015 state plan, due Summer 2014, with an implementation date no later than Oct. 1, 2014.

If a state agency determines that they need time beyond Oct. 1, 2014, to implement this required provision, please contact your FNS regional office.

Supplemental Food Programs Division

Page updated: December 09, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.