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 and supports 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 support, and health care referrals. For Project Grants, funding for the competitive WIC Breastfeeding Support grant (formerly Loving Support grant) is available for formative research, educational material and training development, and implementation in the campaign for breastfeeding promotion and support. This project will effectively build on the successes of the existing WIC Breastfeeding Support campaign to inform, motivate and encourage 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).

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants; B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2017 No Project Grants were issued in FY 2017.
Fiscal Year 2019 No data available
Fiscal Year 2020 No data available.
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.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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 WIC Breastfeeding 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 nutritional risk. The State agency 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.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. 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. Project Grants are posted to grants.gov and applicants must follow the procedures noted in the Request For Application.
Application Procedure
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 Procedure
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.
August 15, 2019 A State plan for the next fiscal year is required by August 15 of the current fiscal year. 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.
Approval/Disapproval Decision 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 local agency or food vendor 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, 2019; it presently operates under the authority of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended.
How are proposals selected?
The criteria for evaluation of a Project Grant are included in the Request for Application posted to Grants.gov.
How may assistance be used?
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 the WIC Program. The Project grant is available to an accredited college/university, private or public non-profit or for profit research institution or organizations with experience in implementing and evaluating marketing campaigns. Qualified applicants are expected to provide technical support for the implementation and evaluation of the updated USDA National Breastfeeding Promotion Campaign WIC Breastfeeding Support, Learn Together Grow Together, in no more than eight WIC States Agencies. The campaign is based on a comprehensive social marketing plan with an emphasis on formative research, appropriately framed educational messages, innovative campaign strategies, and updated promotional materials.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Formula grants require Financial Management Reviews and Management Evaluations.
Not applicable.
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.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title 7 Part 246 Public Law Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended 7

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
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.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Sarah Widor, Director, Supplemental Food Programs Division
3101 Park Center Drive
5th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22302 US
Phone: (703) 305-2746
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 18$6,060,000,000.00; FY 19 est $6,060,000,000.00; FY 20 est $5,660,000,000.00; FY 17$6,512,698,000.00; - FY 18 Food and NSA FY 19 Food and NSA FY 20 Food and NSA
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
For fiscal year 2018, FNS approved the operation of the WIC Program in 90 State agencies. This figure includes 50 States, 34 Indian agencies, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia. During fiscal year 2018, an average of approximately 6,870,000 women, infants and children received WIC benefits every month. Although food package costs varied widely among State agencies, the monthly average food package cost for fiscal year 2018 was approximately $40.96 per person.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 246; "WIC State Plan Guidance" is available at no charge from FNS.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017 No grants awarded.
Fiscal Year 2019 Expected to award a grant for implementation and evaluation of the breastfeeding campaign.
Fiscal Year 2020 No grants awarded.