The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental foods, nutrition education, including breastfeeding promotion and support, and health care referrals to low income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age five. Currently, WIC operates through state health departments in 50 states, 33 Indian Tribal Organizations, American Samoa, District of Columbia, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The federal regulations governing the WIC program (7 CFR part 246) require that certain program-related information be collected and that full and complete records concerning WIC operations are maintained. The WIC program is authorized by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended.
Need and Use of the Information
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) collects information from state and local agencies, applicants, and retail vendors to determine eligibility in the WIC program. This ongoing information collection is mandatory for state agencies and required to obtain or retain benefits for the WIC participants. This information includes participant certification information (e.g., income and nutrition risk); nutrition education documentation; local agency and vendor application and agreement information; vendor sales and shelf price data; data related to vendor monitoring and training; financial and food delivery system records, and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) delivery. State plans are the principal source of information about how each state agency operates its WIC program. The information is needed for the general operation of the program, including regulatory compliance, and for ongoing program integrity and cost-saving efforts. The information is also used by FNS to manage, plan, evaluate, make decisions, and report on WIC program operations. If the information were not collected, the efficiency and effectiveness of the program would be jeopardized, improper use of federal funds would increase, and FNS' ability to detect violations would diminish greatly.