A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) policy regarding returned baby formula has been revised to make unopened baby formula available for low-income families at shelters, food banks and pantries.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program released a policy in February of this year that didn't allow for the distribution of the unused, returned formula. That was in accordance with USDA guidelines.
Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the MDHHS, says they renegotiated the policy with the USDA because of concerns about food access from their stakeholders.
“We recently revised the policy that's going to allow the WIC agencies to donate returned, unused formula to local non-profit organizations such as food banks; food pantries; shelters,” Sutfin said. “This puts families first and it allows individuals who use services at food banks or food pantries, you know, that they have access to this formula now, that they were not going to have access to. so it helps everyone.”
As of May 31st, WIC clients who receive formula from the agency that they don't need must return the formula directly to their local WIC agency. The MDHHS policy requires the agencies to inspect and document the received items before the formula can be donated, ensuring it's safe for families who need it.