The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has made available $99 million to State agencies for management information systems, EBT projects and other critical systems upgrades. An additional $1 million in ARRA funds is being used to provide technical support for these projects.
WIC ARRA Plan Update (06/18/2010)
The ARRA funds used to support the WIC program are for two purposes:
The WIC Contingency Fund to pay for additional benefits to address an increase in participation or program costs Investments in information technology to improve the efficiency and customer service of the program’s administration. Due to a more modest than estimated growth in caseload and price deflation for food, the WIC program only obligated $38 million out of the $400 million of WIC Contingency Fund ARRA funding. The $100 million provided by ARRA for information technology investments are following their planned implementation.
In August 2009, FNS announced grant awards totalling $34 million in Recovery Act grants to WIC State agencies with existing electronic benefit transfer (EBT) and State Agency Model (SAM) Projects. This represented the first of three waves of WIC ARRA funding. The State agencies which received ARRA funds for existing projects were required to report on the use of their ARRA funds beginning in October 2009.
The second wave of funding was announced by Secretary Vilsack in a press release dated September 23, 2009, Secretary Vilsack Awards $8.5 Million in Recovery Act Grants to Selected States for WIC." These grants were awarded to WIC State agencies for new EBT planning and SAM transfer projects and the funds were released to State agencies in October 2009.
A third and final wave of ARRA WIC technology grants were awarded in the fourth quarter of 2009. These grants covered a wide range of miscellaneous technology projects, to include planning for new clinic systems, upgrading to web-based systems, system enhancements to incorporate new Program requirements, modernizing systems for future EBT implementation, equipment upgrades/replacements, and a variety of other projects to improve WIC operations.
In total, 53 technology projects were funded under the ARRA, with 41 WIC State agencies receiving funds (some State agencies received more than one grant). A summary of ARRA funds provided to WIC State agencies for technology projects, awarded by Federal fiscal year, can be accessed by clicking the link below.
All WIC State agencies that received funds are required to report on the use of these funds. To assist State agencies, FNS has provided instructions for Agency and OMB reporting, as well as a template of reporting requirements specific to the WIC Program technology grants.