Families in Guilford County and around the state who are in the state’s “Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children” – better known as “WIC” – can now purchase more sizes and types of Gerber formula, according to a Wednesday, June 1 press release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
This move is meant as another way to support families during the ongoing infant formula shortage that everyone has now heard about whether they’re a parent or not.
The State of North Carolina contracts with Gerber to provide WIC recipients with standard types of infant formula – but the sizes and types of formula available to purchase were previously more limited than they are now for WIC-participating families.
With the formula shortage hitting major crisis levels, one state response has been to loosen regulations on what types of formula can be purchased with WIC benefits. State officials say that removing restrictions on the formula options that WIC families can buy will make it easier for them to get formula they can give to their babies.
This week, the state’s WIC Program began issuing benefits for more sizes of Gerber formula as well as for two additional Gerber formula products: Gerber Good Start Gentle Supreme and NAN 1 Pro Infant Powder.
These changes will help North Carolina families who use WIC to purchase Gerber formulas that are available in stores during the shortage.
State health officials say that additional options for families in the WIC program are expected in the coming weeks.
Over half of infants nationwide are currently benefiting from WIC programs.
“It’s vital that North Carolina families and caregivers have access to infant formula,” stated NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley in the June 1 press release. “Working with our federal partners and Gerber, families on the WIC program will now have flexibility at the shelf to select sizes of products that usually aren’t covered by the program.”
This week, state health officials also continued to remind parents not to water down baby formula in an attempt to stretch it out and also not to make homemade formula.
In addition, they warn not to buy it from online auction sites or from “unknown individuals.”