At the direction of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) tackled the initiative to plan, develop and deploy model management information systems to support WIC state agencies. OMB's philosophy on WIC State agency system development is: "Build it once and replicate it many times." FNS developed a business case for the SAM Project and received approval from Departmental officials and OMB to proceed with the project.
As part of a competitive process in 2004, FNS selected three consortiums to develop model systems: SPIRIT, with Chickasaw Nation as the lead SA; Crossroads Consortium, with North Carolina as the lead SA; and Mountain Plains State Consortium, with Colorado as the lead SA. Each SAM is required to build a web-based system incorporating standard WIC data elements, modular components, and an open system architecture and is compliant with Federal policy and regulations.