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Use of Manufacturer-Provided Nutrition Information to Determine WIC Food Item Eligibility

EO Guidance Document #
FNS-GD-2020-0189
Resource type
Policy Memos
Technical Assistance & Guidance
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: December 3, 2020
SUBJECT: Use of Manufacturer-Provided Nutrition Information to Determine WIC Food Item Eligibility
TO:

Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
MARO, MPRO, MWRO, NERO, SERO, SWRO and WRO

WIC State Agency Directors
All WIC State Agencies

This memorandum provides information to assist WIC state agencies in ensuring WIC supplemental foods on the state Approved Product List (APL) meet the minimum federal nutrition requirements and specifications at 7 CFR 246.10(e)(12), Table 4 and its footnotes and WIC Policy Memorandum #2015-3.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) strives to provide the best possible customer service to program partners and participants. In response to requests from program stakeholders, this memorandum provides information to assist Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) state agencies in ensuring WIC supplemental foods on the state Approved Product List (APL) meet the minimum Federal nutrition requirements and specifications at 7 CFR 246.10(e)(12), Table 4 and its footnotes and WIC Policy Memorandum #2015-3, Eligibility of White Potatoes for Purchase with the Cash-Value Voucher.

FNS recommends WIC state agencies use the nutrition information the manufacturer provides with the food item eligibility request, rather than the Nutrition Facts Label. While the use of Nutrition Facts Label information is allowable, recent changes in Labeling are intended to guide the consumers’ food selections and may not accurately enable the determination of the minimum requirements and specifications of WIC-eligible products.

In cases where WIC food item eligibility is difficult or impossible to determine, WIC state agencies should request additional documentation from the manufacturer that certifies the actual nutritional content and ingredients meet federal WIC requirements (e.g., for vitamin C, iron, sodium, sugar).

WIC Food Package Policy and Guidance (March 2018) provides additional guidance on determining eligibility of WIC foods (Chapter 3).

State agencies may direct any questions to their respective FNS regional offices.

Sarah Widor
Director
Supplemental Food Programs Division

12/03/2020

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.