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WarmRegards August 2022: How Can WIC Help Mitigate the Formula Shortage Crisis?

WarmRegards August 2022

Welcome to WARMRegards! We’ve recently restarted our popular e-newsletter aimed at helping WIC agencies discover the latest developments in technology, applications, and tips-of-the-trade. It’s our goal to support you in reaching and retaining more WIC clients.

For most of this year, the United States has been experiencing a severe infant formula shortage affecting families all across the country. The crisis began with global supply chain issues in 2021-2022 and was compounded after a large-scale recall of baby formula was issued in early 2022. While typical out-of-stock rates for baby formula hover around 10%, at the height of the shortage, out-of-stock rates hit a shocking 70%, leaving worried parents struggling to feed their babies. Parents have had to travel great distances and pay exorbitant amounts of money to find formula. Hardest hit during the shortage are low-income families and those living in rural regions, along with parents of babies with special dietary needs. 

In desperation, parents have sometimes resorted to extreme measures, like making their own baby formula or diluting formula to make it last longer. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions against these actions, as they put babies at risk of malnourishment. To combat these issues, the USDA has extended the capabilities of WIC state agencies in order to provide formula to babies. As a WIC agency, how can you take advantage of this extension to help families during the formula shortage?

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WIC Outreach Success with One Call Now

“Maine WIC enjoys a great relationship with OCN. Our team was looking for innovative ways to promote and increase the duration of breastfeeding among WIC Participants and ways to reach out and communicate with people who are not enrolled in the WIC Program, but already eligible.OCN’s team and products assisted Maine WIC in being innovative with a breastfeeding texting program delivered in a variety of languages and two-way texting to try and add more participants to the WIC program.One Call Now has direct WIC contacts nationwide and connected Maine with what other WIC Directors and programs have done, shared documentation and approaches, and helped us build those experiences into what Maine is trying to achieve, with great results.”

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