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December 23th, 2013


Holiday Greetings

'Tis the season to reflect on those in our lives we are thankful for, and all of us here at the State WIC Office want to express a heartfelt thank you and season's greetings to all of you! Your hard work and dedication makes the Montana WIC Program work, and your efforts create critical and lasting improvements in the lives of WIC participants. We hope each and every one of you will have the opportunity to enjoy time spent with loved-ones this holiday season, and have a very happy New Year!

Benefit Issuance & Redemption Report November 2013

View the new report here. This report will be run monthly, and in the future will be published with the Participation Report.

New Check Stock

When you request new check stock, you will start seeing a slightly new format. The “stick figure” family is removed from the top left corner and it now says, “Payable through SOLUTRAN An affiliate of Security State Bank, Howard Lake, Minnesota 55349.” The paper is also a whiter than before.

Lower Participation Rates

You may have noticed the participation counts for November were a little lower in every agency than usual. This is a temporary condition caused by changing benefit issuance to month to month. This will not affect agency budgets, nor overall funding for the WIC program. We expect the lower participation to continue through February, and then rebound back to normal.

Check for Remaining Benefits Before Beginning a New Certification

Prior to beginning a subsequent certification that involves a breastfeeding dyad, remember to check for remaining benefits due. Once the certification changes for a participant, the remaining benefits may be affected for the other member. This is particularly noticed when a fully breastfeeding infant is recertified as a child. Once the "Child" certification begins, the mom will no longer be eligible for benefits. If the mom still had one set left, then it cannot be issued to her. Please note that, when applicable, the system displays a message notifying you that the participant still has benefits available. The message provides WIC staff with the ability to proceed or to cancel the certification or breastfeeding amount change. If you have questions, contact the WIC Help Desk.

Don’t Forget About Routine Retailer Monitoring

Attention Local Area Retailer Coordinators (LARC): About half of the Montana WIC Program’s Local Agencies have retailers scheduled for monitoring this year, and there might be a few in your region. If you have received a routine retailer monitoring notice, please review the stores on your list and make a plan for getting those monitoring visits completed no later than February 28, 2014. Once you have an idea of when you want to visit each retailer, contact Kevin and he will send benefits to use during the educational buy. Thank you for your help in ensuring WIC authorized retailers are providing the best services possible to participants.

Kraft String Cheese Recall

Kraft is voluntarily recalling a number of string cheese products under the Kraft and Polly-O labels. Only one of the items is an approved Montana WIC food item. Check the press release and list of recalled items. Thanks to Ann Devereux in Great Falls for the heads up.

Possible CLC Training in Spring 2014

There have been numerous requests for a Montana Certified Lactation Counselor Training (CLC) in 2014 and CLC presenter dates are limited. Please fill out this (very quick) survey to let us know if you or anyone in your department would be interested in attending a Montana CLC training next year. Thank you for your feedback, we will keep you updated on the results of the survey.

Terry Miller IBCLC, CLC, Senior Breastfeeding Consultant - NAPA
TMiller6@mt.gov / 406-542-7070

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A copy of all newsletters can be found on the WIC website - go to http://wic.mt.gov

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