Rebates allow more people to participate in WIC

A chart showing the amount of WIC participants, years 1974 to 2008.

USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is the largest purchaser of infant formula in the U.S. Each State awards a sole-source contract to a formula manufacturer to provide its product to WIC participants. In exchange, the manufacturer provides the State with a large rebate (averaging about 85 percent of the wholesale price) for each can of formula purchased through the program. In fiscal year 2009, WIC received $1.9 billion in rebates from formula manufacturers, supporting almost 25 percent of the WIC caseload that year. This chart is from the September 2011 issue of Amber Waves magazine.

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