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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Request for Public Comments for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Loving Support Award of Excellence

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AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is a revision of a currently approved collection for awarding local agencies for excellence in WIC breastfeeding services and support. Section 231 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111-296, requires that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) establish a program to recognize WIC local agencies and clinics that demonstrate exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before October 28, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted using the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov or by mail: Sarah Widor, Director, Supplemental Food Programs Division, FNS, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 520, Alexandria, VA 22302. All comments submitted in response to this notice will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. All comments will be made available publicly on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Anne Bartholomew, Chief, Nutrition Services Branch, Supplemental Food Programs Division, FNS, USDA, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 520, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 305-2746.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Title: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Loving Support Award of Excellence.

Form Number: Not applicable.

OMB Number: 0584-0591.

Expiration Date: 03/31/2017.

Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

Abstract: This information collection is mandated by section 231 of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) (Pub. L. 111-296). Section 231 of the HHFKA requires USDA to implement a program to recognize exemplary breastfeeding support practices at WIC local agencies and clinics. The WIC Program provides breastfeeding promotion and support for pregnant and postpartum mothers as a part of its mission to improve the health of the approximately 8 million Americans it serves each month. Breastfeeding is a priority in WIC and WIC mothers are strongly encouraged to breastfeed their infants unless the mother or baby have a medical condition where breastfeeding is not advised.

In recognizing exemplary local agencies and clinics, the HHFKA requires that the Secretary consider the following criteria: (1) Performance measurements of breastfeeding; (2) the Start Printed Page 59180effectiveness of a peer counselor program; (3) the extent to which the agency or clinic has partnered with other entities to build a supportive breastfeeding environment for women participating in WIC; and (4) other criteria the Secretary considers appropriate after consultation with State and local program agencies. The information will be submitted voluntarily by WIC local agencies who will be applying for an award. FNS will use the information collected to evaluate the components of existing breastfeeding programs and support in WIC local agencies and make decisions about awards. This program is expected to provide models and motivate other local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities. Applications will be submitted online.

Affected Public: State, Local, Territories and Tribal Government. Respondent groups identified include the WIC local agencies who are applying for the award and the WIC State agencies who evaluate the applications.

Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of participants is 453: 363 local WIC agencies and 90 State WIC agencies.

A recent FNS study on WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling found that approximately two thirds of the local WIC agencies operate a “Loving Support Program.” The Loving Support Program is an FNS initiative that equips WIC programs with an implementation and management model the “Loving Support Model”—that serves as a framework for designing, building, and sustaining peer counseling programs; a requirement for award eligibility. Based on the findings of the study, it is estimated that approximately 1,210 of the 1,834 WIC local agencies will be eligible to apply for an award. Although the number of local agencies operating a Loving Support Program has increased, an average of only 16.4% of eligible respondents have applied over the past two years. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, 77 out of 607 eligible local agencies applied for an award (12.7%) and in FY 2015, 123 out of 607 eligible local agencies applied for an award (20.3%). Therefore, unlike the previous information collection request, the estimated number of respondents for local agency applications will not assume all eligible local WIC agencies will apply for an award. To better reflect the estimated number of respondents for subsequent years, FNS estimates that 30% (363) of eligible local agencies will respond annually. This reduces the total number of burden hours for the local WIC agencies from 1,214 to 907.5 hours. The estimated number of respondents for the State agency application evaluation is derived from the total number of State WIC agencies.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: The estimated number of responses per respondent for the WIC local agency is one, as each eligible WIC local agency will submit one application. The estimated number of responses per respondent for the WIC State agency is 4.03, as each WIC State agency will evaluate approximately four applications annually. The estimated number of responses per respondent for the WIC State agency application evaluation was derived by dividing the total number of respondents for the WIC local agency applications, 363, by the total number of WIC State agencies, 90. FNS estimates that the overall responses per respondent for the entire collection is 1.60, which was derived by dividing the number of total annual responses 725.7, by the estimated number of respondents, 453.

Estimated Total Annual Responses: 725.7.

Estimated Time per Response: FNS estimates the WIC local agency application response is 2.5 hours, and the WIC State agency response is 1.5 hours. The overall response for the entire collection is 2.0 hours, which was derived by dividing the number of estimated total hours, 1,451.6, by the number of total annual responses by all respondents, 725.7.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,451.6 hours. The time for the WIC local agency is an estimated time for the agency to voluntarily review the instructions, fill out the “Loving Support Award of Excellence” application, and attach supportive documentation. The time for the State WIC agency is an estimated time for the agency to review the instructions, evaluate the components of the local WIC agencies applications, and make a recommendation for an award.

See the table below for estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

RespondentEstimated number of respondentResponses annually per respondentTotal annual responses (Col. B × C)Estimated average number of hours per response *Estimated total hours (Col. D × E)
Reporting Burden:
WIC Local Agency Application363.01.00363.02.5907.5
WIC State Agency Evaluation90.04.03362.71.5544.1
Total Reporting Burden453.01.60725.72.01,451.6
* Estimated average # of hours per response includes .5 hours for reviewing instructions
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Dated: August 9, 2016.

Audrey Rowe,

Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.

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[FR Doc. 2016-20555 Filed 8-26-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-30-P