|May 22, 2023
|FY 2023 WIC Modernization Grant – Notice of Funding Availability
Special Nutrition Programs
All FNS Regional Offices
Grants Management & Administrative Services
All FNS Regional Offices
|WIC State Agency Directors
All WIC State Agencies
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (PL 117-2, ARPA) provided the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with $390 million to carry out outreach, innovation, and program modernization efforts to increase participation and redemption of benefits in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
As part of the WIC innovation and modernization efforts to be funded under ARPA, FNS is supporting planning and implementation projects focused on enhancements that improve the WIC participant experience, as evidenced by enhancing the WIC shopping experience, increasing participant enrollment, reducing unnecessary administrative burden for both participants and administrators, including through data matching to streamline enrollment, and retaining eligible participants while improving equity.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is providing up to $100 million in non-competitive funding for WIC state agencies for the types of projects and activities listed in this announcement (see Attachment 1: Allowable Uses of Funds and Project Types). This notice of funding availability (NOFA) supersedes the following previously announced opportunities for state agencies:
- FY 2023-24 WIC Shopping Experience Improvement Planning Grant NOFA
- FY 2023-24 WIC Shopping Experience Improvement Implementation Grant NOFA
- FY 2023-24 Technology for a Better WIC Experience: Communications, Data, and Metrics Planning Grant NOFA
- FY 2023-24 Technology for a Better WIC Experience: Communications, Data, and Metrics Implementation Grant NOFA
This purpose of this NOFA is to simplify the award process relating to the earlier NOFAs by providing funding in a more streamlined manner in recognition of the current challenges state agencies are facing as they transition out of the public health emergency. Under this NOFA, all 89 WIC state agencies are eligible to receive funding to carry out WIC modernization projects consistent with the goals and timelines of this notice. The amount of funding available to each state agency is specified in Attachment 3: Funding Amounts by State Agency. To ensure award, the FNS-529 will be sent to each state agency, already signed by each state agencies’ respective regional office. The state agency must return the 529 signed with a wet signature in blue ink. While funds will be obligated to state agencies via the FNS-529 Grant Award Agreement, grant award recipients will not have access to their funds until all required documentation had been provided and approved, to include a SF-424, Grant Application Package and related project plan template.
Eligibility and Funding Levels
Under this NOFA, up to $100 million is available for WIC modernization projects. All state agencies will receive a base grant of $750,000. In addition to each state agency’s base grant, pro rata funding will be provided based on each state agency’s share of the 2022 caseload. See Attachment 3: Funding Amounts by State Agency for exact amounts.
These grants will be awarded and managed by FNS’ regional offices. The FNS regional program offices will provide ongoing technical assistance to state agencies. As part of FNS’ grants management oversight, FNS will coordinate with WIC state agencies, subsequent to award, to ensure that SF-424 application packages and related project plans reflect the use of funds outlined in Attachment 1: Allowable Uses of Funds and Project Types. Project plan templates, similar to those included in the superseded NOFAs, will be provided after award to provide state agencies the opportunity to detail the WIC modernization activities to be carried out with associated timelines and activities. FNS retains the right to adjust awards downward if appropriate documentation is not received after award.
Period of Performance
The period of performance for this grant is from May 24, 2023 through Sept. 30, 2027. State agencies will have until Sept. 30, 2027 to fully obligate this funding. Funds must be liquidated during the subsequent 120-day closeout period.
Grant Agreement (FNS-529)
As earlier noted, funding of these awards will be provided through the grant award/letter of credit process. The awards will be made via an FNS-529 Grant Award Agreement between FNS and the grantee, with accompanying terms and conditions. A fully executed FNS-529 form, with accompanying terms and conditions, will serve as the official grant agreement. State agencies must sign and return the signed FNS-529 provided with this notice with a wet signature in blue ink.
Please see the attachments for allowable uses of funds, regional points of contact, reporting requirements, and other critical requirements of these funds.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for this grant project award is: 10.557 (WIC).
If you have questions on this grant opportunity, please contact your respective FNS regional office GMAS POC (see Attachment 2: Additional Grant Information and Award and Reporting Requirements, which also outlines reporting requirements that will be associated with these grants).
|Amy M. Herring
Director, Office of Innovation
Supplemental Nutrition and Safety Programs
Director, Grants and Fiscal Policy Division