Growing Transparency round WIC Toddler Formulation Contracts

Posted by Stacy Dean, Deputy Underneath Secretary, Food, Vitamin, and Shopper Providers in

Food and Vitamin

Dec 21, 2022

Baby milk formula in purple spoon on wooden background

WIC is a strong public well being program, serving practically half of all infants born within the nation. To assist preserve program prices manageable, Congress requires WIC state companies to contract with an toddler formulation producer to supply discounted formulation for buy with WIC advantages. The state companies solicit bids from producers and award a contract to the one that gives probably the most cost-effective bid. This course of helps save taxpayers an estimated $1.7 billion per 12 months on formulation supplied by means of WIC and permit this system to proceed to make WIC advantages obtainable to all eligible moms, infants, and younger youngsters.

To extend transparency round this contracting course of, USDA’s Food and Vitamin Service lately launched a webpage – first introduced by the Biden-Harris Administration earlier this 12 months – the place we’ll put up all open state solicitations for toddler formulation bids. By centralizing this data in a single place, the WIC formulation contract solicitations webpage makes it simple for producers – together with these new to WIC – to search out and compete for open alternatives.

Growing transparency and inspiring competitors round WIC formulation contracts could appear purely bureaucratic, however it’s truly an important step towards making certain infants can get the formulation they want. Proper now, there are solely three producers with contracts to be the first suppliers of toddler formulation by means of WIC. Growing visibility round contract alternatives is one step USDA can take that will assist carry extra producers into this system. With greater than half of the nation’s formulation going to WIC infants, diversifying the supply of the formulation supplied by means of WIC would strengthen the resiliency of the nation’s formulation provide and assist guarantee there’s all the time sufficient to go round.

This purpose of accelerating transparency across the contracting course of benefited from bipartisan Congressional assist led by Sen. Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), who launched the WIC Wholesome Beginnings Act that proposed this new webpage. Their management and collaboration with their colleagues within the Home who sponsored companion laws – Reps. Lucy McBath (Ga.), Lisa McClain (Mich.), Andy Levin (Mich.), and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) – helped carry this concept to fruition.

We look ahead to persevering with our work with WIC champions in Congress – the place this system has lengthy acquired bipartisan assist – and different companions to ensure WIC continues to be a useful useful resource for moms, infants and kids throughout the nation.

Class/Matter:
Food and Vitamin