The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), is a Federal nutrition assistance program that serves low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to five years old who are at nutrition risk.
WIC provides nutritious foods,
nutrition education including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health and other social services to participants in all 50 states, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth Islands of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands.
This is an announcement of the availability of funds for one new cooperative agreement for FY 2019-2024 with a public or private academic research institution.
In this funding cycle, the USDA anticipates awarding up to $8,500,000 in grant funding to support the implementation and evaluation of telehealth services in WIC.
The majority of these funds, $5,000,000, shall be awarded as sub-grants through a competitive process to WIC State Agencies1 for the purpose of implementing telehealth innovations that supplement the nutrition education and breastfeeding support offered in the WIC clinic.
The recipient of this cooperative agreement, referred to in this document as the Grantee, will carry out the competitive award process to select sub-grantees, design and conduct evaluations of each sub-grantee’s telehealth innovation project, and produce reports and publications to disseminate the findings.
The legislative authority for this grant announcement is contained in the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 Section 17 (g) (5)2 as amended.
Under this program, subject to the availability of funds, the Secretary of Agriculture may award competitive grants and cooperative agreements for the support of research projects to further USDA food and nutrition assistance programs.
Further, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law 116-6) specifically authorizes the allocation of $5,000,000 for telehealth competitive grants to supplement the nutrition education and breastfeeding support offered in the WIC clinic, and to decrease barriers to access to WIC services, particularly in rural communities, and other populations facing barriers to accessing support.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) defines telehealth as "the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support and promote clinical healthcare, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration." Technologies include video conferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications