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WIC Grants To States (WGS)

Number: 10.578
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
10.578 WIC Grants To States (WGS)
Federal Agency (030):
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Authorization (040):
Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, Section 17(h)(10)(A) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended. Section 17(h)(10)(B) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended.
Objectives (050):
To provide grants to WIC State agencies to plan, design and implement WIC electronic benefit transfer (EBT) systems so that Program benefits can be provided electronically. To provide grants to WIC State agencies to fund, implement, and evaluate innovative technology projects that improve WIC services. To provide grants to WIC State agencies to plan, design, implement, enhance or transfer management information (MIS) systems. Please note the following grant activities:
1. WIC EBT Amendments (non-competitive). Grant funds for WIC EBT amendments are provided to WIC State agencies to support on-going EBT planning or implementation projects. These projects were originally funded through a competitive process using WIC technology or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Many WIC State agencies received only partial funding in their original grant award and amendments provide the additional funds needed to ensure all activities are completed and projects are successful.
2. WIC EBT Implementation (non-competitive). Implementation grant funds are provided to WIC State agencies to enhance and modify current management information systems to support EBT, conduct cost evaluations, and develop retailer management plans.
3. WIC State Agency Model (SAM) Amendments (non-competitive). Grant funds for WIC SAM amendments are provided to support WIC State agencies that are either part of the original SAM consortia, or those that need additional funding to complete implementation of a SAM transfer system. These funds are used by WIC State agencies for implementation completion as well as system enhancements through the SAM user group process.
4. WIC EBT Planning Grants (non-competitive). EBT Planning grants funds are provided to WIC State agencies to assess the feasibility of EBT for their State, as well as to perform a cost analysis to verify EBT affordability. The planning process is a WIC requirement prior to EBT implementation and looks at WIC Information System capabilities, retailer capabilities, and baseline paper cost compared to EBT operational cost within the State to better prepare for the challenges of EBT implementation. WIC State agencies must analyze both on-line and off-line EBT technologies to assess the most cost-effective solution.
5. WIC Technical Innovation Grants (competitive). WIC Technical Innovation grant funds are provided to WIC State agencies for the development of standardized reporting, retailer certification test scripts, and development of a web-based Internet system that will allow WIC participants to access grocer's websites, select WIC approved foods and purchase them with their EBT card from the convenience of their homes.
6. WIC SAM Transfers Grants (non-competitive). SAM Transfer grant funds are provided to WIC State agencies that have completed their planning activities, and have an approved Alternatives Analysis document that justifies a SAM as their choice of system transfer. Funds are used for implementation activities.
7. WIC MIS Amendments (non-competitive). Grant funds for WIC MIS amendments are provided to support WIC State agencies that have already received grant funding for their MIS projects. This includes planning for and transferring of an existing system, or developing a new system.
8. WIC MIS Implementation (non-competitive). WIC MIS Implementation grant funds are provided to WIC State agencies that are implementing a new MIS, or are upgrading/enhancing their current MIS. Activities included are design and development, testing, training and data conversion.
9. WIC MIS Planning (non-competitive). WIC MIS Planning grant funds are provided to WIC State agencies to assess their current system, complete a feasibility study and cost analysis as well as prepare a Request for Proposal for an implementation contractor.

To provide grants to WIC State agencies that improve and/or enhance nutrition services of the WIC program. WIC awards State agencies the following grants:
1. WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Funds (discretionary). WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Funds are intended to enable State agencies to implement or maintain effective breastfeeding peer counselor programs. Combining peer counseling with the on-going breastfeeding promotion efforts in WIC agencies has the potential to significantly impact breastfeeding rates among WIC participants. The Food and Nutrition Service’s long-range vision is to institutionalize peer counseling as a core service in WIC.
2. WIC Special Projects Grants (discretionary). WIC Special Projects Grants are awarded to state agencies for special State projects of regional or national significance to improve the services of the program. Current projects focused on FNS’ Revitalizing Quality Nutrition Services (RQNS) in WIC initiatives. The goal is to improve and strengthen the effectiveness of WIC nutrition services. Full grants are awarded to States to evaluate ongoing initiatives aimed at improving these services. Full Project grants and WIC Concept Papers grants are awarded to States under the WIC Special Project Funds.
Types of Assistance (060):
PROJECT GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Technology grant funds are used to plan, develop and implement projects for WIC MIS and EBT. Grant funds are used to enhance and improve WIC service provision through the use of technology which will have a positive impact on the nutrition and health of WIC participants. WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling grants are used to administer peer counseling programs based on research-based components of a successful peer counseling program as identified by FNS in the Loving Support model. This includes salary, office space and supervision of peer counselors. The use of funds for activities outside of the State agency's approved implementation plans or that are not supported by the Loving Support model are not authorized. WIC Special Project Grants are used to plan, develop and implement approved special State projects of regional or national significance to improve the services of the program. The use of special project grant funds is limited to the State agency's FNS approved budget for the project.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
State agencies that administer the WIC Program are eligible to apply for WIC Grant to States funds. States may apply individually or as a coalition of States for WIC technology funds. States may apply individually for WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling and Special Project funds.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
WIC participants will be the ultimate beneficiary in that improved technology will allow for more efficient and effective clinic operations. Additionally, the WIC Program is moving towards the issuance of benefits through electronic benefit transfer. This will enhance their shopping experience and allow for greater flexibility in benefit delivery. Pregnant and breastfeeding women participating in the WIC Program are encouraged to initiate and sustain breastfeeding by peer counselors funded by Breastfeeding Peer Counseling grants. Program improvements resulting from Special Project Grants benefit all WIC participants.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
Only WIC State agencies that administer the WIC Program are eligible. Applicants must submit proper documentation through the FNS funding process to ensure adequate resources are available for project success. Applicants are required to submit a description of the technology/ special Sate project, staffing and budget documents, feasibility studies, cost allocation plans, and any other required documents. A properly executed Federal/State agreement between FNS and the State agency is necessary before funds can be allocated. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
WIC State agencies are no longer required to submit applications using the grant solicitation process. Applicants must submit requests using the FNS WIC MIS and/or EBT funding process, which relies on an approved APD as a pre-requisite step. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applicants must submit proper documentation to FNS for approval before the project begins.
Award Procedure (093):
FNS will review all documentation within 90 days of receipt to determine if the project meets all requirements. Continued funding will be provided if the WIC State agency meets all requirements and if funding is available. WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling grants are provided to State agencies administering the WIC Program based on an FNS approved plan and the number of pregnant and breastfeeding women participating in the program.
Deadlines (094):
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
About 3 to 6 months for technology grants. Approval determination for Breastfeeding Peer Counseling grant is made within 30 days of submission of a completed plan or amendment. Approval determination for the Special Project grants is made approximately 90 days from date of submission.
Appeals (096):
Not applicable.
Renewals (097):
Not Applicable.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
For technology grants funds are available from 2-5 years, depending on project timeline. Obligations must occur within the specified award period.

The WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling and Special Project grants are released for the fiscal year using an electronic benefit transfer system. State agencies may withdraw funds only as needed. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Progress reports and financial status reports must be submitted as outlined in the cooperative agreement. Cash reports are not applicable. Quarterly progress reports are required. WIC State agencies must submit quarterly financial reports in the FNS Food Programs and Reporting System. No performance monitoring is required.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records (113):
State agencies must maintain records as necessary to support the use of all grants to States funds in accordance with the Cooperative Agreement. Such records must be retained for a period of 3 years after the date of submission of the final report for the fiscal year to which the records pertain, except that if audit findings have not been resolved, the records shall be retained beyond the three year period as long as required for the resolution of the issues raised by the audit.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY 12 $73,486,000; FY 13 est $90,000,000; and FY 14 est $103,600,000 - (Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements)) FY12 awards were funded using FY11 re-allocated funds (10,233,314); FY13 est $70,000,000 - The following technology grants were awarded:
1. WIC EBT Amendments (non-competitive), 1 award totaling $50,000. (FY12)
2. WIC EBT Implementation (non-competitive) 3 awards totaling $1,156,203. (FY12); 8 awards totaling $30,469,263. (FY13)
3. WIC SAM Amendments (non-competitive) 5 awards totaling $5,012,420. (FY12); 1 award totaling $12,958,505. (FY13)
4. WIC EBT Planning Grants (non-competitive) 2 awards totaling $359,600. (FY12)
5. WIC Technical Innovation Grants (competitive) 1 award totaling $30,600. (FY12)
6. WIC SAM Transfer Grants (non-competitive), FY 12 no grants awarded.
7. WIC MIS Amendments (non-competitive), 1 award totaling $844,912. (FY12)
8. WIC MIS Implementation (non-competitive), 3 awards totaling $2,779,579. (FY12); 1 award totaling $962,559. (FY13).
9. WIC MIS Planning (non-competitive), No grants awarded. (FY12)

In addition to technology grants, the following discretionary grants were awarded:
1. WIC Peer Counseling (discretionary), FY 12, 86 grants, $50,000,000; FY 13 est $60, 000,000; FY 14 est $60,000,000.
2. WIC Special Projects Grants (discretionary), FY 12, no grants awarded; FY 13, 2 grants totaling $150,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
Not applicable.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
7 CFR Part 3016, 7 CFR Part 3017, 7 CFR Part 3018.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office (152):
Debra Whitford 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22067 Email: Debbie.Whitford@fns.usda.gov Phone: ( 703) 305-2746 Fax: (703) 305-2196.
Website Address (153):
http://www.fns.usda.gov.
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Not applicable; State agencies will use the APD process for project approval and request funding using MIS and EBT funding request protocol.