Denise M. Owen
For the final project we were asked to identify a state level agency that delivers a federal program. The program this writer choose was WIC. She will identify where the program sits on the federal level, what department it is part of, any areas of concern, and of course identify its mission and any other pertinent information. We will attempt to explain how WIC interacts on all levels of government and the type of intergovernmental relations. This writer will write about the challenges currently facing the program and the challenges it may face in the future. She will also try to apply the P A Dichotomy to a policy domain. She hopes she can successfully apply the facets of PA or Public management to the agency's particular policy domain or problem.
The agency this writer chose to write about is a federal government program entitle Women, Infants & Children (WIC). It is this writers opinion that this government sponsored program, which partners with state government, is one that truly shows how well committed and jointly run government agencies should be run. In her estimation WIC is one of the most successful government programs that has ever been sponsored. Background
WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children and was started as a pilot program by the federal government in 1972 and was put into permanent service in 1974. The WIC program is managed by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) which is a division of the Department of Agriculture (WIC 2010). This department is dedicated to reducing hunger in America, in cooperation with various organizations, by providing access to food. Their mission statement explains the agency's goal which is "To safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care" (WIC 2010).
The WIC program originally began under the name of the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, but the name was later changed to WIC under the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994. The Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-448) reauthorized several important expiring programs, such as the school breakfast program, food stamps, school lunch program, homeless children nutrition program, and of course WIC to name a few of the programs this agency oversees. The act required that all federally subsidized meal programs match the food given to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, permanently authorized the nutrition education and training program, and expanded the outreach and coordination of WIC, which changed its role as a nutrition program, instead of a social service program (Devaney 2007). It also set new guidelines that were now required, that the meal programs were required to agree with. This is when WIC was changed to an entitlement program that would henceforth be permanently authorized. It expanded WIC's outreach and coordination with other agencies. The WIC program currently serves about 8.1 million participants each year at an estimated cost of over $5.1 billion (WIC 2007). The agency provides foods rich in certain nutrients (iron in particular) to pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 5 that have low income and are at nutritional risk. The program tries to educate its participants in how to prepare good nutritious meals and supplies the reasons why this is so important for growing children. They will provide referrals, when necessary, to health care and other social service agencies to the participants at no charge. WIC serves low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, and infants and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk.
This government program is eligible to most women who are pregnant or lactating, and along with their infants and children apply for a food...