IMPORTANT VENDOR NEWS!

Updated: July 16, 2014

Information for WIC-Allowed Grocery Stores & Pharmacies


MN WIC Program

WIC MATTERS Newsletter for Vendors July 2014 Edition

The July 2014 edition of the WIC Matters Newsletter for Vendors was recently mailed out to every retail food vendor in the State. We reduced the number of pages in each individual edition and plan to publish it four times a year instead of twice per year.

This edition of the newsletter includes information on the following topics:

  • Explanation of the new fresh fruit and vegetable voucher for infants 9-11 months
  • Sample vouchers for cashier training
  • Updates and information on the WIC Allowed infant foods
  • UPC/Product updates on other WIC Allowed food items
  • Information about the WIC vendor website, including a QR code linking to the main vendor website page
  • Reminder about the new infant formula insert
  • Shelf Label ordering information

The WIC Matters newsletter can be viewed online at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/comm/newletters/07_2014.pdf

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New WIC Fruit and Vegetable Voucher for Infants

As a result of the final WIC food package rule published by USDA earlier this year, most infants 9-11 months old will now receive a $4 or $8 fruit and vegetable voucher in place of some of the 4 ounce infant fruit and vegetable containers that they now receive. These vouchers are different than the typical fruit and vegetable voucher because they list only fresh fruit and vegetables. Below is an example of an infant $4 fresh fruit and vegetable voucher:

Image of infant benefit with fruits and vegetables on it

Please make sure all store cashiers are made aware of this version of the fruit and vegetable voucher.

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Sample Vouchers for Cashier Training

At the request of several stores, the Minnesota WIC Program has developed a Microsoft Word template that stores can use to print sample vouchers. These vouchers can be used in mock transactions to help train store cashiers on what it is like to shop with a voucher in the store and to help them better understand how to properly transact a WIC voucher.

The First and Last Day to Use dates on the vouchers can be changed to meet your training needs, and they are formatted to print three vouchers per sheet.

If you would like a copy of the documents, please contact Beth Shaw at: (651) 201-4416 or Beth.Shaw@state.mn.us

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Information below was updated on or before 7/1/2014.

UPC/Product Update posted

Updates to the WIC-Allowed Foods were posted on May 29, 2014 and June 26,2014. The Updates can be accessed on our website at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/index.html

Once on this page, click on the following section found near the top of the page:

Update Section for UPC/Product Listing

The most recent Updates are at the top of the list and titled:

UPC Update 05/29/2014 (PDF: 70KB/1 page)

and

UPC Update 06/26/2014 (PDF: 51KB/2 pages)

If you have any questions regarding the WIC-Allowed Foods, please contact Karilyn Schrankler at: karilyn.schrankler@state.mn.us.

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Information below was updated on or before 5/22/2014.

Updated Maximum Prices for the WIC-Allowed Foods

The Minnesota WIC Program Maximum Price List has been updated based on the results of the price surveys that stores submitted in April 2014. The new price list can be accessed at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/rqrmnts/newprcng.pdf

If you have questions, please contact Rick Chiat at (651) 201-4401 or by email at: rick.chiat@state.mn.us


Revised WIC Formula Insert (to WIC Shopping Guide) Now Available

A revised WIC Infant Formula Insert is now available and can be ordered using the online order form found at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/comm/ordering.html

The new version of the Formula Insert has been updated to reflect the change in the label and container sizes of the Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort and Similac Spit Up formulas. This insert also indicates that medical documentation must be obtained before these formulas can be issued. Please note that this medical documentation takes place at the local WIC clinic and does not involve the stores. Stores must always provide the specific size, type and brand of formula that is listed on the voucher.

Similar to the previous version, English can be found on one side of the Formula Insert and Spanish is found on the other side.

If you have any questions regarding the WIC Infant Formula Insert, please contact Rick Chiat at: rick.chiat@state.mn.us or by phone at (651) 201-4401.

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Information below was updated on or before 4/30/2014.

Increase in Children's Fruit Vegetable Voucher Amount in May

Beginning in early May, 2014 you will see an increase from $6 to $8 in the amount of the fruit and vegetable voucher for children. The fruit and vegetable voucher for the pregnant and breastfeeding women who participate in the Program will continue to be $10. This is the first change resulting from the final food package rule published by USDA on March 4, 2014.

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Updated Shelf Label Packets Now Available

Minnesota WIC Shelf Labels have been updated and packets are now available to order. The Order Forms for Supplies webpage can be accessed at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/comm/ordering.html

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UPC/Product Update posted

An Update to the WIC-Allowed Foods was posted on April 28, 2014. The Update can be accessed on our website at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/index.html

Once on this page, click on the following section found near the top of the page:

Update Section for UPC/Product Listing

The most recent Updates are at the top of the list and titled:

UPC Update 04/28/2014 (PDF: 37KB/1 page)

If you have any questions regarding the WIC-Allowed Foods, please contact Karilyn Schrankler at: karilyn.schrankler@state.mn.us.

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Updated Special Formula Price List March 2014

The Special Formula Price List has been updated to reflect price changes for Nutricia EO28 Splash, and the following Abbott Similac products: Expert Care Alimentum, Expert Care for Diarrhea, Expert Care Neosure, Special Care 24 and Special Care 30.

This updated list can be found on our website at:

WIC Special Formula Price List (PDF: 227KB/5 pages) - updated March, 2014

If you have questions, please contact Rick Chiat at (651) 201-4401 or by email at: rick.chiat@state.mn.us

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4.25 Ounce Beech Nut Infant Foods Are NOT WIC Allowed

Many Beech Nut brand infant fruits and vegetables are WIC Allowed, but a new product line of Beech Nut infant fruits and vegetables is packaged in 4.25 ounce jars and these are NOT WIC Allowed. All WIC Allowed fruits and vegetables must be in 4 ounce containers. WIC-Allowed Beech Nut infant fruits and vegetables in 4 ounce jars are labeled as Beech Nut Classics or Beech Nut Goya. In addition, the Beech Nut Homestyle Textures Stage 2 product line has been discontinued.

The complete listing of WIC-Allowed infant foods can be found at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/download/infantpdf.cfm

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WIC MATTERS Newsletter for Vendors March 2014 Edition

The March 2014 edition of the WIC Matters Newsletter for Vendors was recently mailed out to every retail food vendor in the State. This edition of the newsletter includes information on a number of topics including:

  • A follow up to the February 26, 2014 letter that we sent to all stores regarding the Similac formula container size and label changes
  • The next Shelf Price Survey is due on April 25, 2014
  • The results of our recent store monitoring and compliance activities
  • Cashier training resources
  • A reminder that 59 ounce refrigerated orange juice and some common peanut butter products are not WIC allowed
  • Information about ordering new shelf labels

The WIC Matters newsletter can be viewed online at:

March 2014 WIC Matters - Newsletter for Vendors - Volume 14, Issue 1 (PDF: 780KB/8 pages)

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Similac Formula Container Size Changes

Summary of Changes:
The container sizes of three Similac powder infant formulas will soon be changing. Below are the changes and the anticipated dates that they will start to appear in stores:

Formula Current Size New Size Effective Date UPC Code
Similac Sensitive powder 12.6 ounce 12 ounce April 2014 70074-57541
Similac Total Comfort powder 12.6 ounce 12 ounce June 2014 70074-62600
Similac Spit Up powder 12.3 ounce 12 ounce July 2014 70074-50960

Note: The UPC codes for these 3 products will not be changing. And the 12.4 ounce container of Similac Advance powder will not be changing.

Voucher Wording Changes:
To insure a smooth transition as the sizes of these three formulas change, we have revised the wording on the vouchers. Below is a chart of how the vouchers will be worded and a description of what formula WIC customers can purchase with their WIC vouchers:

If voucher lists: The WIC customer can receive:
12.6 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Sensitive Any combination of 12.6 ounce Similac Sensitive and/or 12 ounce Similac Sensitive powder formula
12.6 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Total Comfort Any combination of 12.6 ounce Similac Total Comfort and/or 12 ounce Similac Total Comfort powder formula
12.3 OR 12.0 oz powder Similac Spit Up Any combination of 12.3 ounce Similac Spit Up and/or 12 ounce Similac Spit Up powder formula
12.4 oz powder Similac Advance 12.4 ounce Similac Advance powder formula

Important Note:
During the transition to the new sizes of these formulas, it is important that you continue to order and have available a sufficient quantity of each of these formulas to meet the demands of your WIC customers.

Questions:
If you have any questions about these changes or if you experience any difficulties obtaining these products from your supplier, please contact Rick Chiat at (651) 201-4401 or by email at rick.chiat@state.mn.us.

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WIC Shopping Guide Updated for 2014

The Minnesota WIC Shopping Guide has been updated for 2014. The 2014 Shopping Guide can be found online at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/shopguide.pdf

There are several packaging size and product changes that are reflected in this version of the Shopping Guide. Please see the UPC/Product update posted on 12/18/2013 found at: UPC Update 12/18/2013 (PDF: 94KB/4 pages).

A summary of the primary changes made to the 2014 WIC Shopping Guide are listed below.

Packaging Size Changes

In accordance with recent guidance from USDA, the allowed packaging sizes have been slightly modified in the following food categories:

  • Allowed canned beans size changed to 15-16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)
  • Allowed dry beans size changed to 16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)
  • Allowed peanut butter size changed to 16-18 ounce (from 15-18 ounce)
  • Allowed oatmeal size changed to 16 ounce (from 14-16 ounce)

Product Changes:

  • Tortillas
  • Added Frescado's whole wheat Added Ortega whole wheat
  • Added Best Choice whole wheat and corn
  • Bread
  • Removed Wonder Soft Whole Wheat (discontinued)
  • Added Fareway Whole Wheat
  • Oatmeal
  • Removed Mother's brand (discontinued)
  • Added Food Club brand
  • Added Best Choice brand
  • Eggs: Brown eggs are no longer WIC Allowed. Brown eggs are typically organic, specialty and/or exceed our maximum price limits to be considered WIC Allowed.
  • Soy Beverage: Silk Soy Original has been WIC Allowed since August, 2013 and is now pictured in the Shopping Guide.
  • Canned Beans: The most common bean types are now specifically listed in the WIC Allowed section.
  • Peanut Butter: Several common peanut butter products that are not WIC Allowed are now listed in the "Not Allowed" section for peanut butter. This includes Skippy Natural and Jif Natural which are peanut butter spreads and Simply Jif which is packaged in a 15.5 ounce container.
  • Light Tuna: "No Wild Planet brand or other specialty brands" is now listed under the Not Allowed section. Specialty brands like Wild Planet exceed our maximum price limits.
  • Pink Salmon: Clarified that 5, 6, 7.5 and 14.75 ounce packages are considered WIC Allowed
  • Infant Foods
  • Removed the Up and Up brand. This brand, previously available at Target, has been discontinued.
  • Removed Tuv Taam brand. This brand is unavailable.
  • Removed HyVee brand. This brand has been discontinued. These products remain WIC Allowed until they are no longer available.
  • Added Tippy Toes brand. This brand is available at Coborn's and HyVee stores.

If you have any questions regarding the Shopping Guide changes, please contact Karilyn Schrankler at : Karilyn.Schrankler@state.mn.us or at 651/201-5798.

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59 Ounce Refrigerated Orange Juice Removed from UPC Listing

As previously communicated here on our Important Vendor News webpage and in our March 2013 WIC Matters newsletter, 59 ounce refrigerated juice is no longer WIC Allowed. All of the 59 ounce refrigerated orange juice products have been removed from our online UPC listing. Minnesota WIC vouchers listing juice now only list the 64 ounce juice size (or 11.5-12 ounce frozen juice). A list of the WIC Allowed 64 ounce refrigerated orange juices can be accessed at:

http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/download/juicepdf.cfm

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Sign up for UPC/Product Updates

The online UPC listing of the WIC-allowed foods is frequently revised. Revisions identify new brands, discontinued products and product changes sent to us by the manufacturers. Changes made to the list are compiled on an Update page and posted to our website. We encourage you to update your scanning system as soon as possible to reflect the changes. These Update pages can be found on the website at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/vendor/fpchng/upc/updates/index.html.

If you would like to receive notification when these UPC changes are posted to our website, please send an email to: karilyn.schrankler@state.mn.us.

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Archived Important Information for Vendors