In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for awarding local agencies for excellence in WIC breastfeeding services and support.
Request for Comments
Written comments must be received on or before July 3, 2023.
- Preferred method: Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.
- Mail: Kristin Garcia, Director, Food Safety and Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1320 Braddock Pl., Alexandria, VA 22314.
All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.
This information collection is mandated by section 231 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) (PL 111–296). Section 231 of the HHFKA requires USDA to implement a program to recognize exemplary breastfeeding support practices at WIC local agencies and clinics. The WIC program provides breastfeeding promotion and support for pregnant and postpartum mothers as a part of its mission to improve the health of the approximately 6 million Americans it serves each month. Breastfeeding is a priority in WIC and WIC mothers are strongly encouraged to breastfeed their infants unless medically contraindicated.
In recognizing exemplary local agencies and clinics, the HHFKA requires the Secretary to consider the following criteria: (1) performance measurements of breastfeeding; (2) the effectiveness of a peer counselor program; (3) the extent to which the agency or clinic has partnered with other entities to build a supportive breastfeeding environment for women participating in WIC; and (4) other criteria the Secretary considers appropriate after consultation with state and local program agencies. The information will be submitted voluntarily by WIC local agencies who will be applying for an award. FNS will use the information collected to evaluate the components of existing breastfeeding programs and support in WIC local agencies and make decisions about awards. This program is expected to provide models and motivate local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities.
A notable improvement from past collection requests is that FNS hosts the application process for local agencies fully online. The state agencies continue to conduct their evaluation on PartnerWeb. FNS plans to explore ways to streamline the evaluation for state agencies to improve their user experience. The total estimated time to complete the application is not expected to change.