The following provides detailed information on the Fiscal Year 2011 EBT funds awarded to WIC State agencies. The EBT awards totaled approximately $13 million.
EBT Planning Grants
EBT planning grants totaling $2,527,972 were awarded to 8 WIC State agencies to assess the feasibility of EBT for their State, as well as to perform a cost analysis to verify EBT affordability. The planning process is a WIC requirement prior to EBT implementation and looks at WIC Information System capabilities, retailer capabilities, and baseline paper cost compared to EBT operational cost within the State to better prepare for the challenges of EBT implementation. WIC State agencies must analyze both on-line and off-line EBT technologies to assess the most cost-effective solution. The following WIC State agencies were awarded funding for EBT planning:
Arizona (lead State agency partnering with American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and Navajo Nation)
Maryland (lead State agency partnering with the Virgin Islands)
WCD Enterprises, Inc. (lead State agency partnering with Muscogee Creek Nation, Otoe-Missouria, Inter-Tribal Council of Oklahoma, Osage Nation and Choctaw Nation)
EBT Implementation Grants
A total of $8,247,075 was awarded to four WIC State agencies for EBT implementation projects. Implementation grant funds will be used to enhance and modify current management information systems to support EBT, conduct cost evaluations, and develop retailer management plans. The following WIC State agencies were awarded funding for EBT implementation:
Technical Innovation Grants
One WIC State agencies, Kentucky, received a technical innovation grant in the amount of $1,773,373. Funding is provided for development of standardized reporting, retailer certification test scripts, and development of a web-based Internet system that will allow WIC participants to access grocer’s websites, select WIC approved foods and purchase them with their EBT card from the convenience of their homes.