Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children

Please direct all program related information and questions to:

Stephanie Bess
815-823 East Monroe Street
Springfield, IL  62701
Phone:  217-782-2166
Fax:  217-785-5247
Email:  STEPHANIE.BESS@illinois.gov

I. Introduction/Definition

The mission of the WIC program is to improve the health status of women, infants, and children; to reduce the incidence of infant mortality, premature births and low birth weight; and to aid in the development of children. The program serves income-eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age who have a medical or nutritional risk.

The program provides health screening, nutrition education and counseling, supplemental foods and information about other health services.

The program works in collaboration and cooperation with local health departments, not-for-profit health and social service agencies, FQHCs, county boards of health and numerous other organizations, such as Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (for the WIC Food Centers), Illinois Hunger Coalition, Illinois Public Health Association, and the National WIC Association.

II. Policies & Procedures

The Provider will administer the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in accordance with the following:

  1. Guidelines and definitions developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Service as set forth in Title 7, Part 246, United States Code of Federal Regulations. The Provider acknowledges that in accordance with 7 CFR 246.23 the Provider may be required to reimburse the Department for any food funds which are lost as a result of thefts, embezzlements or unexplained causes or the misuse of food instruments which are voided in hand (coded "H"), stolen (coded "S") or reported to the Department as lost (coded "L") and which are subsequently paid by the Department's contract bank.
  2. Appropriate rules promulgated by the United States Office of Management and Budget, such as Circulars A-87, A-110, A-122 and A-133. Applicable circulars are hereby acknowledged as being reviewed and in compliance by the Provider.
  3. Department WIC Policy and Procedures Manual, and changes thereto which may be necessary for Department and Provider WIC program administration. Said manual is hereby acknowledged as being received by the Provider.
  4. Reporting Requirements - A portion of the funding for this grant agreement is from a federal award which requires a close out (separation of expenditures) as of September 30. This means documentation for expenditures incurred on or prior to September 30 must be submitted separately from documentation for expenditures incurred on or after October 1.  The final documentation reporting expenditures incurred on or prior to September 30 shall be submitted to the Department by November 15.

III. Contract and Amendment Process

Contract Process

The contract between the Department and the Provider is generally referred to as the Agreement and consists of several parts:

  1. Community Service Agreement, containing the standard contract language used for all Department contracts
  2. Exhibit A, containing Scope of Services/Purpose of Grant
  3. Exhibit B, containing Deliverables
  4. Exhibit C, containing Payment Information
  5. Exhibit D, containing Contact Information
  6. Exhibit E, containing Performance Measures
  7. Exhibit F, containing Performance Standards
  8. Exhibit G, containing State Agency Contracts
  9. Attachment E
  10. The Program Manual, attached by reference to the Agreement, contains the program service provisions.

The Department will initiate the contract by having it online for the Provider to obtain and sign. The Provider will fax signature page to the Department to obtain the Secretary's signature and the Department will return a copy of the executed signature page of the contract to the Provider via pdf email.

Amendment Process

There are two types of amendments to an executed Community Service Agreement.

  1. Letters of increase or decrease - A letter is sent to the Provider stating the intent to increase or decrease dollars to specific program services existing in the Community Service Agreement. There is no need for the Provider to sign and return this document.
  2. Formal amendments - A two-party signed agreement to an executed Agreement is a formal amendment. The following process is required for a formal amendment to be processed:
    1. Adding new program services- An amendment to add a new program service must contain a detailed summary of services to be provided under the executed Community Services Agreement and a method of payment.
    2. Extending the service dates of the Community Services Agreement* -An amendment to extend the service dates of the Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause stating the new term of the Agreement; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services

      *NOTE: A Community Services Agreement end date should only be June 30 due to mandates in the State Finance Act regarding audit period. Language on pages one through nine in the Community Services Agreement may not be changed. 

    3. Extending the service dates of an existing program attachment - An amendment to extend the date of a specific attachment in the existing Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the original Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause stating the new term and the specific attachment name and number; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services
    4. Changing language within an existing program attachment - An amendment to change language in an existing program attachment of the Community Services Agreement must contain the following information: Agreement number as it appears on the Community Services Agreement; Provider name; clause(s) stating the new language; signatures of the Provider and the Secretary of the Department of Human Services

 IV. Deliverables/Costs/Payments

  1. Payments to the Provider are scheduled on a monthly basis. The first payment is scheduled to be a prospective payment of 1/12 of the provider contract. All future payments will be reconciled based on submitted documentation. Failure of the Provider to submit documentation may result in a reduction to the total award. In the case of special circumstances, please contact the Department for consideration.
  2. The final payment from the Department under this Agreement shall be made upon the Department's determination that all requirements under this Agreement have been completed, which determination shall not be unreasonably withheld. Such final payment will be subject to adjustment after the completion of a review of the Provider's records as provided in the Agreement.

V. Provider Responsibilities

Services to be provided include, but are not limited to:

  1. Provide health screening, certification, food prescription, nutrition counseling, collection of data and retention of records for the provision of WIC services to the assigned caseload of women (pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum), infants and children.
  2. Serve only residents of Illinois, and within the geographic area defined by local agency procedure if applicable, or who are members of a designated population with a common special need, including but not limited to homeless, migrant or Native American persons, as defined in the WIC Policy and Procedures Manual. Appointment times should accommodate working families.
  3. Provide safeguards against agency, vendor or participant abuse of WIC program funds or services.
  4. Promote and support the WIC breastfeeding philosophy by directing WIC breastfeeding activities, including knowledgeable and consistent breastfeeding education, promotion and support from all WIC staff, establishing a breastfeeding Peer Counselor program and collaboration with community partners to effectively support breastfeeding mothers and babies.
  5. Integrate/coordinate services with the Family Case Management (FCM) program serving the provider WIC recipients.
  6. Providers will make reasonable efforts to assure that WIC enrolled infants and children are appropriately immunized. Reasonable efforts may include recording WIC recipient immunization status into Cornerstone, providing immunization on site or by referral, and follow-up of immunization compliance at subsequent visits.
  7. The Provider will make reasonable efforts to assure Medicaid/insurance status of all WIC recipients.
  8. The Provider agrees to comply with requirements in accordance with Federal and State laws and regulations, U.S. Department of Agriculture Code of Regulations (7 CFR 246), FNS Instructions and Policies, (including FNS Instruction 113, Civil Rights Compliance and Enforcement), National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) of 1993 (Public Law 103-31; 42 USC 1973 gg) and the State WIC Policy and Procedure Manual. Staff must receive WIC training annually, appropriate to their job duties, including health, nutrition, counseling and federal program requirements.
  9. The Program applicant hereby agrees that it will comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C.1681 et seq.) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.794), Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.); all provisions required by the implementing regulations of the Department of Agriculture; Department of Justice Enforcement Guidelines, 28 CFR 50.3 and 42; and FNS directives and guidelines, to the effect that, no person shall, on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, age or handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any program or activity for which the Program applicant receives Federal financial assistance from FNS; and hereby gives assurance that it will immediately take measures necessary to effectuate this agreement. By accepting this assurance, the Program applicant agrees to compile data, maintain records and submit reports as required, to permit effective enforcement of the nondiscrimination laws and permit authorized USDA personnel during normal working hours to review such records, books and accounts as needed to ascertain compliance with the nondiscrimination laws. If there are any violations of this assurance, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, shall have the right to seek judicial enforcement of this assurance. This assurance is binding on the Program applicant, its successors, transferees and assignees, as long as it receives assistance or retains possession of any assistance from the Department. The person or persons whose signatures appear below are authorized to sign this assurance on behalf of the Program applicant.
  10. The Provider must conduct a self-monitoring evaluation of its operations annually to ensure compliance with WIC Federal and State Regulations and state policies. Provider tools used for self-monitoring must be the State WIC Management Evaluation tool or other state approved tool. The Provider must maintain a file of completed self-monitoring evaluation forms for review by state or federal staff.
  11. Agencies participating in the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program will provide training, oversight and monitoring of farmers in participating Farmer's Markets.
  12. The provider must ensure the WIC Management Information System (Cornerstone) is fully operational and maintained per state standards.

VI. Department Responsibilities

The Department will provide technical assistance and monitoring for all programs operated under Family and Community Services.

VII. Support Services

Utilization of Community Resources

It shall be the responsibility of each project director to coordinate the services provided through the project with other sources of care in the community, such as:

  1. The Illinois Medical Assistance Program.
  2. Local Health Departments.
  3. Neighborhood Health Centers.
  4. Local Child Development Clinics.
  5. Division of Specialized Care for Children.
  6. Local Hospitals.
  7. Local Children and Family Services Programs.
  8. Local Schools.
  9. Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
  10. Regional Perinatal Centers.
  11. Local Early Intervention Programs for Infants and Toddlers with disabilities.
  12. Other related social service agencies.

Please refer to 77 Ill. Adm. Code 630.160 and 630.170; Other Applicable Rules; and to the program-specific Exhibits for additional requirements.

VIII. Special Projects

  1. WIC Child Retention
    This special project is being funded to conduct a study on the retention of children in the Spcial Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.  Funding will be used to Revitalize Quality Nutrition Services in WIC (RQNS).
    1. The Provider will identify barriers to services, and best practices, culturally appropriate service models to improve WIC participation and health outcomes for eligible recipients, utilizing the following methods:
      1. Meet no less than monthly with IDHS staff to discuss project planning, implementation and evaluation plans.
      2. Analyze administrative data provided by IDHS.
      3. Conduct formative data collection with WIC staff and parents.
      4. Develope the intervention.
      5. Meet with other WIC programs to coordinate activities around child retention activities
    2. Reports
      1. Provider reports will be submitted quarterly.
  2. WIC Outreach
    In order to increase enrollment in nutrition and health programs the Illinois Hunger Coalition (IHC) educates community providers about programs policies and procedures; conducts outreach and provides technical assistance to providers in community-based organizations, townships, and regional groups in their statewide network.
    1. The IHC will provide outreach and education for WIC, and a voice from community-based groups back to WIC management to identify program participation barriers and ways to address them.
      1. The Provider will provide WIC referrals through the IHC Hunger Hotline
      2. Educate community based groups on the WIC Program.
      3. Participate in the Illinois Interagency Nutrition Council meetings.
    2. Reports
      1. The provider will submit quarterly progress reports to the Department using the Provider's evaluation tool.
      2. Such reports will address where successes have occurred and where improvements are still needed.
      3. The progress reports are due October 31, January 31, and April 30.
      4. Submit a final evaluation report which shall cover the total period of this project. The final evaluation report shall be received by the Department by July 31.
  3. Folic Acid Coalition:
    The goal of the Illinois Folic Acid Education and Prematurity Campaign is to reduce the risk of birth defects, including neural tube birth defects, in Illinois through increased awareness and outreach on the importance of adequate folic acid for all women of child-bearing age and to establish prematurity as a major health issue among Illinoisans.
    1. The Provider will organize an Illinois Folic Acid Campaign and provide the following services:
      1. Work with the Department and other interested parties to reduce the occurrence of neural tube defects, spina bifida, anencephaly, and to decrease the rate of preterm births.
      2. Develop or obtain and distribute folic acid and prematurity education and promotional materials to health care providers, health centers, local health departments, community-based organizations and others.
      3. Establish a mechanism to determine impact/outcomes of educational materials that have been distributed to Family Planning providers, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children providers and other provider offices.
      4. Collaborate with local DHS offices and Local Health Departments throughout the state in order to develop and implement a health education and a health promotion campaign targeted at women of childbearing age in Illinois.
      5. Solicit donated television and radio air time in urban and rural markets to run nationally-developed public service announcements.
      6. Establish collaborative relationships and linkages with local DHS offices and Local Health Departments throughout the state in order to develop and maintain local community contacts for folic acid and prematurity outreach education.
      7. Establish a mechanism to define outcome measures of these collaborative efforts.
    2. Reports
      1. The Provider will submit quarterly progress reports to the Department using the Provider's evaluation tool. Such reports will address where successes have occurred and where improvements are still needed. The progress reports are due October 31, January 31, and April 30.
      2. The Provider will submit a final evaluation report which shall cover the total period of this project. The final evaluation report shall be received by the Department by July 31.
  4. SNAP Education and SNAP Outreach Program
    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is mandated to fight hunger and improve nutrition and health for low-income Americans. The FNS mission is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing low income persons with access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education. The SNAP Education Program is intended to carry out this mission for the SNAP Program. Under current USDA SNAP regulations (7 CFR 272.2), states have the option of providing nutrition education to SNAP recipients and other low-income households eligible for SNAP as part of their SNAP program operations. Illinois' SNAP Education Project provides practical nutrition education for services for low-income households. Through a working partnership, the Illinois SNAP Program, University of Illinois (Champaign and Chicago) jointly facilitate SNAP-Ed delivery with support and guidance from USDA-FNS. USDA reimburses the State for the allowable administrative costs deemed reasonable and necessary to operate SNAP Education activities. The SNAP Outreach Program is conducted in partnership with public and non-profit agencies. USDA reimburses the State and its contracted agencies for 50% of the allowable costs approved by USDA's SNAP Outreach Program. The ultimate goal of the Illinois SNAP-Ed Program is to safeguard the health and well being of low income households by providing access to a healthy, nutritious diet. The University of Illinois (Chicago and Champaign campuses) are the predominant Illinois sponsoring agencies that are contracted to provide SNAP Education.

a.  Reports

  1. The Provider will submit quarterly progress reports to the Department using the Provider's evaluation tool. Such reports will address where successes have occurred and where improvements are still needed. The progress reports are due October 31, January 31, and April 30.
  2. The Provider will submit a final evaluation report which shall cover the total period of this project. The final evaluation report shall be received by the Department by July 31.

IX.  Billing Instructions

Providers shall use the following methodology to document the use of these funds:

  1. The Provider shall provide summary documentation by line item of actual expenditures incurred for the purchase of goods and services necessary for conducting program activities. The Provider shall use generally accepted accounting practices to record expenditures and revenues as outlined in DHS Rule 509, Fiscal Administrative Recordkeeping and Requirements.
  2. Expenditures shall be recorded in the Provider's records in such a manner as to establish an audit trail for future verification of appropriate use of Agreement funds.
  3. Expenditure documentation must be submitted in the format defined by the Division of Family and Community Services. Expenditures must be received by the Department no later than the 15th day of the month following the month of service. Any change in this schedule must be submitted in writing to the Department. Final billings must be received by the 15th day of the month following the end of the Agreement period.

    The Provider shall submit expenditure documentation by one of the following means:

    1. Mailing Address
      Charlotte Heberling
      100 South Grand Ave., East, 2nd floor
      Springfield, IL  62762
      Phone:  (217) 524-5835
    2. Fax
      (217) 524-2491
    3. Email Charlotte.Heberling@illinois.gov
  4. All financial record keeping on the part of the Provider shall be in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles consistently applied.
  5. The Provider shall allocate and report WIC program expenditures by the categories, General Administration, Client Services, Nutrition Education and Breastfeeding Promotion.  This is a requirement of the federal award.

WIC Expenditure Documentation Form Instructions (pdf)

WIC Expenditure Documentation Form (pdf)

X. Program Monitoring

Programs operated by the Provider under this contract will be monitored by the Department to review the program's progress according to stated goals, measurable objectives and administrative operations.

XI. Program Budget

Providers agree to establish and utilize a budget approved by the Provider's Board of Directors.

XII. Appendices/Forms

The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children Program does not require special appendices or forms.

In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.