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The Texas Woman, Infants & Children (WIC) agency reported this week that it is working with grocers in an effort to offer options for benefit-eligible families to purchase baby formula amid an ongoing nationwide shortage.
Consumers have experienced a severe baby formula shortage after Abbott Laboratories, which makes baby food and formula, shut its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, in February. The closure followed a federal investigation after three baby formula products were recalled amid reports of infant illness. The recall has resulted in a massive shortage in baby formula across the United States.
The US government recently took action to allow manufacturers to import baby formula and restock shelves in an effort to ease the shortage.
Texas WIC is telling clients that if they find Similac Advance in the size needed on the benefits section of their myTexasWIC app, it can be purchased without making any updates to the benefits card. If they are unable to find the formula they need, WIC has temporarily added additional options to find a formula at the store to meet their baby’s needs without updating their card.
Available options can be found at https://texaswic.org/about-wic/special-wic-food-updates.
If families can’t find any of these brands or sizes at the store, they are asked to call their local WIC office and may need to set up an appointment to have their benefits updated to larger can size options.
Alternative WIC options for Similac Advance are available through the end of June.
Alternative options for the ‘Sensitive,’ ‘Total Comfort’ and ‘Spit Up’ varieties of baby formula are available through July.
Texas WIC is also reminding clients that because babies need a specific balance of nutrients, they should not water down infant formula, make homemade formula or give babies cow’s milk, goat milk or other milk alternatives.
Anyone needing additional information can call Frio County WIC at (830) 334-0090.