WIC Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

To provide low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children to age five who have been determined to be at nutritional risk, supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and social services at no cost.

WIC also promotes breastfeeding
as the feeding method of choice for infants, provides substance abuse education and promotes immunization and other aspects of healthy living.

For Formula Grants, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) makes funds available to participating State health agencies and Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) that, in turn, distribute the funds to participating local agencies.

State and local agencies use WIC funds to pay the costs of specified supplemental foods provided to WIC participants, and to pay for specified nutrition services and administration (NSA) costs, including the cost of nutrition assessments, blood tests for anemia, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion, and health care referrals.

For Project Grants, funding for the competitive Loving Support grant is available for formative research and educational material development in the campaign for breastfeeding promotion and support.

This project will effectively build on the successes of the existing Loving Support campaign to inform, motivate and persuade the audience in an effective manner that continues to increase breastfeeding rates among WIC participants and increase support for breastfeeding among those who most influence breastfeeding mothers (their family and friends, health care providers, WIC staff, and relevant community partners).
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: A Loving Support Grant was awarded to Every Mother, Inc., in the amount of $969,050.

The agency will update existing breastfeeding training for WIC staff, provide peer counseling management training for WIC State agencies in all 7 FNS Regional locations, and develop and new curriculum for the WIC Designated Breastfeeding Expert.

Fiscal Year 2017: No grants awarded.

Fiscal Year 2018: Expected to award a grant for implementation of the new USDA breastfeeding campaign.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.


Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Human Services Vermont Agency Of $ 207,638   2021-10-012024-09-30
District Of Columbia, Government Of $ 327,321   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health, New Jersey Department Of $ 2,225,268   2021-10-012024-09-30
Public Health, California Department Of $ 13,046,020   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health, Virginia Department Of $ 1,512,868   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health, Rhode Island Department Of $ 282,120   2021-10-012024-09-30
Human Services, Oregon Department Of $ 1,099,660   2021-10-012024-09-30
American Samoa Government $ 106,315   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health, Washington State Department Of $ 615,025   2021-10-012024-09-30
Health And Human Services, Nebraska Department Of $ 250,000   2021-10-012024-09-30

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, 1,837,410 women, 1,874,020 infants, and 3,979,290 children received supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education, and referrals to health and social services at no cost. Nearly half of the infants born in the US in 2016 received WIC benefits. A Loving Support grant was awarded in FY 2016 in the amount of $969.050/. Fiscal Year 2017: At the time of publication, no Formula Grant data available. There are no Project Grants being issued in FY 2017. Fiscal Year 2018: No data available.

Uses and Use Restrictions

WIC Program Formula grants are made to State health departments or comparable agencies, Indian tribes, bands, or intertribal councils, or groups recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, or the Indian Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services.

These agencies distribute funds to participating local public or nonprofit private health or welfare agencies.

Funds are expended to pay for supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, health care referrals for participants, and other client services including certification, as well as administrative costs.

State agencies are provided Federal funds according to legislative and regulatory formulas.

Only local agencies qualifying under State agency applications with formal agreements may operate WIC programs.

The Loving Support Project grant is available to small businesses, nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, WIC State agencies, institutions of higher education and for profit organizations other than small businesses, public and State controlled institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education.

Qualified applicants are expected to update the existing USDA breastfeeding promotion campaign or update and develop breastfeeding training for WIC staff.

The campaign update will be based on a comprehensive social marketing plan with an emphasis on formative research, appropriately framed educational messages, innovative campaign strategies, and updated promotional materials.

WIC breastfeeding training curricula for staff fall under the umbrella of the Loving Support campaign.

Grant awards are contingent upon availability of funding.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

A local agency is eligible to apply to deliver locally the services of the WIC Program, provided that: (1) it serves a population of low-income women, infants, and children at nutritional risk; and (2) it is a public or private nonprofit health or human service agency.

All local agencies must apply through the responsible State, Indian Tribal Organization or U.S.

Territory agency.

The Loving Support grant is available to small businesses, Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, institutions of higher education and for profit organizations other than small businesses, public and State controlled institutions of higher education and private institutions of higher education.

All applications must be submitted via the Grants.gov portal.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants, and children up to 5 years of age are eligible if: (1) they are individually determined by a competent professional to be in need of the special supplemental foods supplied by the program because of nutritional risk; and (2) meet an income standard, or receive or have certain family members that receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Programs. They must also reside in the State in which benefits are received.


Individuals are certified as meeting an income standard, or as participating in certain other means-tested Federal programs. Certification regarding nutritional need for supplemental foods is determined by local level professionals. As of April 1999, all State agencies were using uniform criteria to determine nutrition risk. Costs are determined in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-87 for State and local governments. The State designated official responsible for ensuring that the program is operated in accordance with program requirements must sign the State Plan and Federal-State Agreement pursuant to program regulations. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Project Grants are posted to grants.gov and applicants must follow the procedures noted in the Request For Application.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Local agencies and retailers must apply to the State agency in writing. Individual participants apply for WIC benefits at an approved local agency. State agencies must submit required documentation to FNS. Project Grants are posted to grants.gov and applicants must follow the procedures noted in the Request For Application.

Award Procedures

WIC Program Formula Grants are awarded by the Department on the basis of funding formulas to State agencies for distribution to approved local agencies subject to available funds. WIC Program Project Grants are competitively awarded and subject to available funds.


Aug 15, 2017 A State plan for the next fiscal year is required by August 15. Only substantive changes to the currently approved State plan must be submitted. The application period for WIC Project Grants closure date is specified in the Request for Proposals, posted to grants.gov.


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, Section 17, 42 U.S.C. 1786. Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 , Public Law 111-296, 7 U.S.C 1746.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approval determination for the WIC Program Formula Grants is made within 30 days of submission of a completed plan or amendment. Approval determination for the WIC Program Project Grants is made within 30 days of the application closure date.


For the WIC Program, local agency or food vendor appeals: The State agency provides a hearing appeal procedure for a food vendor or local agency adversely affected by certain State or local agency actions. The adverse action may be postponed until a hearing decision is reached. Participant appeals: The State agency provides a hearing appeal procedure for any individual that receives a State or local agency action that results in a claim for repayment of the cash value of improperly issued benefits, denial of participation, or disqualification from the WIC Program. The RFA will provide information regarding appeals of Project Grants.


The WIC program is authorized through September 30, 2017; it presently operates under the authority of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory Formula: Title 7, Part 246, Public Law Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended. Grants are allocated on the basis of formulas determined by the Department of Agriculture which allocate funds for food benefits, nutrition services and administration costs. This program has no matching requirements. No matching funds are required but some States contribute nonfederal funds in support of a larger WIC Program in their State. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Formula and Project Grants are released using an electronic transfer system. State agencies may withdraw funds only as needed. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: quarterly.

Post Assistance Requirements


Formula grants require reports on monthly participation and value of food or food instruments issued.

Formula grants require cash reports on operating expenses and funds withdrawn from the Federal Letter of credit.

Formula grants required monthly participation reports. Project Grants require quarterly progress reports.

Formula grants require expenditure reports on operating expenses and funds withdrawn from the Federal Letter of credit. Project grants require a Financial Status Report (SF-425).

Formula grants require Financial Management Reviews and Management Evaluations.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Full and complete records concerning program operations including financial operations, food delivery systems, food instrument issuance and redemption, equipment purchases and inventory, certification, nutrition education, civil rights and fair hearing procedures. Such records must be retained for a period of 3 years after the date of submission of the final report for the fiscal year to which the records pertain, except that if audit findings have not been resolved, the records shall be retained beyond the three year period as long as required for the resolution of the issues raised by the audit.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $6,730,000; FY 17 est $6,716,148; and FY 18 est $6,800,896 - FY 16 Administrative costs - $2,019,000; Food costs - $4,711,000 FY 17 Administrative costs -$1,904,462; Food cost - $$4,811,686 (estimated). FY 18 Administrative costs - $1,925,035; Food cost - $4,875,861. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 16 $969,050; FY 17 Estimate Not Available; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available - Loving Support Grants.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For fiscal year 2016, FNS approved the operation of the WIC Program in 90 State agencies. This figure includes 50 States, 34 Indian agencies, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and the District of Columbia. During fiscal year 2016, an average of approximately 7,690,720 women, infants and children received WIC benefits every month. Although food package costs varied widely among the States, the monthly average food package cost for fiscal year 2016 was approximately $42.62 per person.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 246; 'WIC State Plan Guidance' is available at no charge from FNS.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. https://www.fns.usda.gov/fns-regional-offices.

Headquarters Office

Sarah Widor, Director, Supplemental Food Programs 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Sarah.Widor@fns.usda.gov Phone: (703) 305-2729 Fax: (703) 305-2196

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The criteria for evaluation of a Project Grant are included in the Request for Application posted to grants.gov.

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