WIC to Change Infant Formula

The Allegheny County Health Department today announced that the Pennsylvania Women, Infants and Children (WIC) supplemental food and nutrition program is changing its standard contract infant formula.

Under a new contract, WIC will offer the Similac and Isomil brands made by Ross instead of Nestle’s Gerber Good Start infant formula brands. The switchover will start October 1 and be completed by November 1. Special infant formula authorized by WIC will still be provided with prescriptions from physicians, certified nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

“While we actively support breastfeeding because of its nutritional, immunological and psychological benefits to both infant and mother, whenever a mother decides not to breastfeed or to breastfeed partially our WIC program will provide iron-fortified infant formula,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

WIC is a federally funded program for income- and medically-eligible pregnant women, postpartum mothers, breastfeeding mothers, and children under the age of five.

The income limits are an annual gross income of $21,257 for a family of one; $28,694 for 2; $36,131 for 3; $43,568 for 4; $51,005 for 5; $58,442 for 6; $65,879 for 7; and $73,316 for 8. Add $7,437 for each additional member beyond 8. Unborn children are counted when the woman is pregnant.

WIC families receive nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support and food vouchers redeemable at participating grocery stores for infant formula; infant cereal; milk; eggs; cheese; juice; cereal; peanut butter; whole grains, including bread, tortillas, oatmeal and rice; soy milk; tofu; jarred baby foods; dry or canned beans; canned tuna/sardines/pink salmon; and fresh/frozen/canned fruits and vegetables.

Additional vouchers are available during the summer to purchase fresh Pennsylvania-grown produce at participating Farmers Markets and Farm Stands.

For information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, please call the Allegheny County Health Department WIC Program at 412-350-5801. If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, please call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS.

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