The WIC food packages provide supplemental foods designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who are at nutritional risk. WIC food packages and nutrition education are the chief means by which WIC affects the dietary quality and habits of participants.
This interim rule revises regulations governing the WIC food packages to align the WIC food packages with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) and current infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, better promote and support the establishment of successful long-term breastfeeding, provide WIC participants with a wider variety of food, and provide WIC state agencies with greater flexibility in prescribing food packages to accommodate participants with cultural food preferences.
This final rule strengthens vendor management in retail food delivery systems by establishing mandatory selection criteria, training requirements, criteria to be used to identify high-risk vendors, and monitoring requirements, including compliance investigations. In addition, the rule strengthens food instrument accountability and sanctions for participants who violate program requirements.
This final rule amends the WIC program regulations to incorporate two nondiscretionary funding provisions mandated by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000.
Interim Final Rule: Implementation of WIC Mandates of PL 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
The provisions in this interim rule include elimination of the following provisions: required provision of written information on certain other assistance programs; state agency timeframes for action on local agency applications for participation in the WIC program; annual evaluation of nutrition education and breastfeeding promotion efforts; and annual submission of a state plan.