On February 17th, 2022, Abbott Nutrition recalled several brands of infant formula, including Similac Advance and Similac Sensitive. The formula recall has caused a chain reaction leading to formula shortages nationwide. Find the press release about the recall here: Abbott Press Release from February 17, 2022.
DC WIC is working to help families find formulas that are safe for infants. Here are several tools families can use to report issues to Abbott and to DC WIC, and to shop for formulas safe from the recall.
When DC WIC participants cannot find the standard contract formula issued to them on their food benefits, they may choose from 20+ allowed substitute formulas, as available.
Note: if the formula on your benefits is available, then you should purchase that formula.
Click on chart to open pdf
If you're having trouble finding the WIC formula listed on your benefits, here are some things you can do:
Print out or open the formula substitution chart on your phone
At the store:
Select the available formula you want to purchase
Call your WIC clinic* – they will change the benefits on your card to the formula you have chosen
Proceed to checkout after the benefits have been updated
Please do not call the clinic while you are in line or at the register
Note: You don't have to return to the WIC clinic to get the formula on your benefits changed, WIC staff can do this over the phone .
*You may call 202-442-9397 on Monday to Friday from 4:30p - 7:00p and Saturday/Sunday from 9:00a - 3:00p for help if you are shopping during these hours and your local agency is not open for business.
You may always call the store you plan on shopping from to ask about formula that is in-stock before heading over to make your purchase. If you speak to the store manager, they might allow you to request a specific formula and even hold it for you, but DC WIC cannot guarantee that.
Learn more about how to view your family balance and handle issues with your eWIC card here:
DC WIC Local Agency Phone Numbers:
Formula "Do"s and "Don't"s
Formula Recall Causing Infant Formula Shortages Nationwide
Check smaller stores and corner stores to see if they are carrying formula
Be flexible with the type of infant formula available to purchase, if possible - all standard infant formulas are suitable for healthy infants
Water down formula to make it stretch further
Make baby formula with ingredients from the store such as corn syrup and rice starch
Give your infant cow's milk, goat's milk, or other milk substitutes
Give your infant a formula designed for toddlers - their nutrition needs are different!