WIC Policy Memorandum #2020-1: Donation of Unused, Returned Infant Formula
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recommends WIC clinics dispose of unused, returned WIC infant formula in accordance with state and local health and safety laws. FNS does not recommend donating unused, returned WIC infant formula to entities such as food banks or food pantries.
This approach ensures safety. Unused, returned infant formula may have been inappropriately stored (e.g., exposed to extremely high temperatures), may be past its use-by-date, or subjected to tampering (e.g., labels or use-by dates changed). Some of these conditions can cause products to lose nutrients, impact the product’s safety, and potentially threaten the health of recipients.
WIC state agencies are encouraged to develop policies and procedures for their local agencies. State agencies are strongly encouraged to consult with their health department and, as needed with legal counsel for issues related to state-procured rebate contracts, local and state health laws, and clinic documentation recommendations, when developing such policies and procedures.
State agencies should also work with local agencies to educate participants on how to utilize food instruments to prevent having unused formula, and how to handle unused formula (e.g., disposal).