Release No. 0492.10
Office of Communications (202) 720-4623
USDA Awards Special Project WIC Grants to Improve Nutrition for Women, Infants and Children
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that California, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois recently received Special Project Grants to help increase the quality of nutrition services for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
"WIC is a proven, effective program and is building a stronger, healthier America by providing nutrition assistance, promoting healthy eating and encouraging breastfeeding," said Vilsack. "The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to a healthy diet and these grants will help further that goal, while helping states to deliver these important benefits efficiently."
The Special Project Grants, funded through WIC, are part of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service's Revitalizing Quality Nutrition Services in WIC initiative. The grants will fund projects designed to help states develop, implement and evaluate new or innovative methods of service to meet the changing needs of WIC participants.
California received $399,341 funding for an initiative to promote healthy feeding for older infants and toddlers. New York received $405,953 funding for a project designed to demonstrate new promotion strategies to retain children who participate at lower rates than eligible women and infants in the program. Both California and New York grants are three-year funded projects.
Massachusetts and Illinois received "concept paper grants," smaller amounts of $25,000 each, used to develop proposals for full grant projects in subsequent funding cycles. Illinois's project will examine barriers to retaining children currently participating in WIC. Massachusetts's project will focus on creating a support system for WIC families that will help increase the nutrition benefits of the program.
WIC safeguards the health of more than 9 million low-income women, infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, counseling, and breastfeeding support.
"These grants hold great promise to improve the health and wellbeing of the babies, children and mothers who receive the important health benefits of the WIC program today and in the years to come," said Under Secretary Kevin Concannon.
Improving USDA's child nutrition programs on behalf of 32 million kids across the nation is a top priority of the Obama Administration. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs, including WIC and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit
www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and the USDA nutrition assistance programs.