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.
The WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (PC 2006) report summarizes demographic characteristics of WIC participants nationwide in April 2006, along with information on participant income and nutrition risk characteristics. A national estimate of breastfeeding initiation for WIC infants is included. The report also describes WIC members of migrant farm-worker families.
In 1991 and 1998, FNS conducted national studies of WIC vendors to determine the extent of vendor violation of program rules. After the 1998 study, FNS issued regulations to correct vendor practices. The 2005 study replicates the 1998 study to determine whether the regulations were effective, and to measure the frequency of vendor violations and the degree to which vendors charge accurate prices for WIC transactions.
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.
The WIC program provides a combination of direct nutritional supplementation, nutrition education and counseling, and increased access to health care and social service providers for pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women; infants; and children up to the age of five years. WIC seeks to improve fetal development and reduce the incidence of low birthweight, short gestation, and anemia through intervention during the prenatal period. Infants and children who are at nutritional or health risk receive food supplements, nutrition education, and access to health care services to maintain and improve their health and development.
WIC provides supplemental foods, nutrition education and access to health care to pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five. Since its inception in the early 1970’s, the program has received fairly widespread support and it has grown in size to serve 7.4 million participants in FY 1998 at an annual cost of around $4 billion.