Voyatek’s WIC Team Recognized by Service to the Citizen Award

Voyatek’s WIC Team Wins Service to the Citizen Award

Voyatek’s Women Infants and Children (WIC) Team has been selected as a winner of the 2023 Service to the Citizen Award.

The team is being honored for their innovative approach to transforming the WIC program during the national baby formula shortage in 2022. A recall by baby food manufacturer Abbott Nutrition, compounded by global supply chain issues, created an extreme shortage of formula.

While the formula shortage affected parents and infants nationwide, the millions of families who rely on the Women, Infant, and Children’s nutrition program were particularly vulnerable. WIC serves more than 40% of infants in the US, while about half of all baby formula sold in in the United States is purchased with WIC benefits.

In response to the shortage, the Biden administration authorized use of the Defense Production Act to increase the formula supply, which included measures that allowed families to purchase alternate brands without a doctor’s note, alternate forms of formula, and alternate container sizes, including ones larger than the normal maximum. These measures helped ensure that families who rely on the WIC program had safe and reliable infant formula options, even during the shortage. However, increasing the number of brands that WIC participants could purchase required WIC programs to make significant updates to their enterprise systems and the mobile apps used by participants. If these changes weren’t made properly and quickly, WIC beneficiaries could run into issues purchasing the formulas with their benefits, adding another layer of stress to an already difficult situation.

Voyatek has been driving innovation in WIC technology for nearly two decades; its web-based application helps WIC staff provide efficient, effective services to WIC participants by using state-of-the-art technology, experienced developers, former WIC staff, and subject-matter experts. 

In the face of the shortage, every member of the Voyatek team stepped up to support its customers and expand the types of formulas available for participants on very quick timelines. Voyatek rapidly modified the WIC systems to include the new formula brands, pushed out these changes to the EBT processors, and conducted rigorous testing to verify that WIC participants would be able to purchase the formulas with their benefits. Additionally, Voyatek’s team took extra measures to ensure that participants were able to purchase the amount of formula that their infants needed. Previously, all approved WIC formulas were sold in a single size, but the brand expansion meant adding in cans of various sizes. Voyatek modified the technology accordingly to ensure that participants were still able to buy the amount of formula they needed, regardless of unit size, and weren’t being over-debited. Finally, Voyatek used push notifications to notify WIC participants who use our mobile app that their formula options were now expanded and that they could begin purchasing the new brands right away. Thanks to the work of the Voyatek and its WIC partners, families can now purchase the formula they need without returning to the WIC clinic or taking any extra steps.