This is a new information collection for WIC and WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program which contains the reporting burden associated with requesting waivers of WIC and WIC FMNP program requirements as authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) and the American Baby Formula Act of 2022 (ABFA).
In order to receive waivers authorized by these statutes, WIC and WIC FMNP state agencies must submit a request that establishes that they have met the requirements for a waiver.
ARPA waivers are intended to provide flexibility to WIC and WIC FMNP State agencies as they carry out outreach, innovation, and program modernization efforts. In coordination with ARPA-funded projects, FNS anticipates that WIC and WIC FMNP state agencies will request waivers that will allow them to implement the grant-funded projects. Additionally, FNS anticipates that WIC and WIC FMNP state agencies will be interested in testing modernization projects that will not require funding, such as extending WIC certification periods to align household certification periods. FNS will offer three types of waivers to state agencies under ARPA's authority: (1) waivers requiring additional information, (2) accelerated waivers, and (3) ad hoc waivers.
USDA has authority under ABFA to waive or modify any statutory requirement under section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 or any regulatory requirement, provided that the following two conditions are met: (1) such requirements cannot be met by WIC state agencies under the conditions that prompted either the emergency period or the supply chain disruption, including a supplemental food product recall, and (2) exercising the waiver authority is necessary to serve participants and does not substantially weaken the nutritional quality of supplemental foods. ABFA also provides USDA with the ability to issue the waiver or modification to multiple WIC State agencies or on a nationwide basis.