Function: The Council studies the operation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and related programs such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Previously, the Council was mandated to submit a report every 2 years to the President and the Congress recommending ways to improve program operations. The Federal Reports Elimination Act of 1998, P.L. 105-362, enacted November 10, 1998, eliminated the function of the Council and the requirement that a Council report be submitted. The Council, however, has continued to follow the precedent of submitting biennial recommendations to the President and Congress.
Statutory Basis: Section 17(k) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended (S 42 USC 1786), mandates the Council and authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to appoint the members.
Members: The Council is composed of 24 members. Membership includes: State WIC director; State CSFP director; State WIC fiscal Director; State health officer; local WIC project director in an urban area; local WIC project director in a rural area; local CSFP project director; State public health nutrition director; representative of an organization serving migrants; official from a State agency serving predominately Indians; 2 WIC and 1 CSFP parent participants; pediatrician; obstetrician; representative of a non-profit public interest organization; person involved at the retail sales level of food that has experience with and knowledge of the WIC Program; expert in drug abuse education and prevention; expert in alcohol abuse education and prevention; expert in breastfeeding promotion; 2 officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); and 2 officials from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
FY17 Membership List FY16 Membership List FY15 Membership List
Term of appointments: Seventeen members of the Council from outside USDA and DHHS are appointed for 3-year terms. However, State and local officials may serve only during their official tenure. Parent participants are appointed for 2-year terms. Members appointed from USDA and DHHS serve at the pleasure of their respective Secretaries.
Appointment Criteria: Categories of membership are specified by law. To assure a balance of differing views, Council members are drawn from Federal, State and local governments, industry and organizations with a common interest in the management of WIC and CSFP, including parent participants in both programs. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA, solicits nominations. These nominations are sent forward for final selection and appointment by the Secretary of Agriculture. Equal opportunity practices, in line with USDA policies, are followed in all appointments to the Council. Further, membership includes, to the extent practicable based on nominations received, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.
Click here for the nomination form: AD-755.pdf
Council meetings: The Council meets at least once each year at the call of the Chairperson. All meetings are open to the public.
Funding: USDA allocates $75,000 to FNS each year to fund the Council.
Staff Support: Technical and other assistance is provided to the Council by staff from the Supplemental Food Programs Division, FNS. Such assistance is mandated by law. The Designated Federal Official's contact information is: DFO, USDA/Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 522, Alexandria, VA 22302. Phone: 703-305-2746. Email: email@example.com