Planning for eWIC (January, 2011 - June, 2013)
The Iowa WIC program began the process of exploring eWIC implementation in early 2011. Analysis and planning activities continued through early 2012. The product of this analysis was documented in a feasibility study approved by the Food & Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (FNS) in May 2012. Findings from the feasibility study have provided insight and guidance in planning for eWIC.
The Iowa WIC program submitted a plan outlining the steps to be taken to pursue eWIC for the State of Iowa and received approval of the plan from FNS in October 2012. Based on the approved plan, the Iowa WIC program intends to select the eWIC solution that best meets the needs of the Iowa WIC program through a competitive bid process. Once a solution is chosen, implementation will begin with a “pilot” test, with state-wide expansion to follow.
June 2013 Iowa eWIC Planning Phase completed
The Iowa WIC program partnered with the Colorado WIC program to produce a joint request for proposal (RFP) in the first step of the process to procure a contractor for eWIC implementation. The two states worked collaboratively from August, 2012 until FNS provided approval of the RFP in June, 2013. The approval of the RFP marks the conclusion of the planning phase of the eWIC project; however, the 2014 USDA federal budget does not include funding for eWIC implementation. What this means for the Iowa WIC program is that work toward an eWIC environment will continue, although the impact of such efforts will be minimally visible until federal funding is available to fully fund implementation activities. Once funding is made available, the Iowa and Colorado WIC programs will proceed to procure an implementation contractor through the approved joint RFP.
Completing the APL project prior to full eWIC implementation will allow the Iowa WIC program to carefully manage the collection of UPC data to ensure that all WIC approved products are included in the APL when eWIC implementation proceeds.