WIC waiver program to expire at end of Sept.

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When Abbott Nutrition recalled three of its infant formulas, Similac, Similac Alimentum and Elecare, in February of this year, the state and United States Department of Agriculture provided WIC (Women Infant Children) waivers to expand access to alternate brands.
Similac was one of the main WIC-eligible products offered to families. The USDA announced the waiver program, which was set to expire in September, will be offered through December 31, 2022, or 60 days following the end of the COVID-19 disaster declaration.
According to the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, 60.2 percent of children under five (171) in Lake County received WIC in 2021.
The USDA waiver program was issued to all states and included the following:
Maximum Monthly Allowance: A waiver to provide administrative flexibility to exceed the MMA (and to issue multiple container sizes and physical forms) for infants in food packages I and II.
Medical Documentation: A waiver to provide administrative flexibility to allow for the issuance of non-contract brand infant formula without medical documentation for infants in food packages I and II.
Vendor Exchanges: A waiver to allow WIC-authorized vendors to treat WIC participants like all other customers when they exchange recalled products at the store.
Those waivers allowed states to open up their WIC-eligible products to include imported formulas and reimbursement for substitutions, based on size or product pricing. Contracts for Gerber and Reckitt Mead Johnson were also approved through the waivers.
Families in Tennessee receiving the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF/Families First) or TennCare (Medicaid) and have children under age five are eligible for the WIC program. Further program eligibility is based on income.
Contact the Lake County Health Department at 731-253-9954 to apply for WIC benefits.

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