WIC: Eligibility Requirements for Vendor Applicants
Before submitting an application for Wisconsin WIC (The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) Vendor authorization, you should review the following to make sure you meet the minimum requirements.
If you are a food vendor (grocer), you have to carry a minimum amount of WIC foods at all times. The amount and types are listed in the Minimum Stock Requirements, P-00371 (PDF).
If you are a pharmacy vendor, you must be able to provide:
- WIC-approved formula
- Specialty formula
- Liquid nutrition products.
Although authorized WIC pharmacies aren’t required to maintain minimum stock, these products must be made available to participants in a timely manner when requested.
Other things to know:
- You must offer WIC foods that are fresh. They cannot be past their “sell by,” “best if used by,” or other date that limits their sale or use.
- You must make sure all prices are easy to see. You can put them on the product or on the shelf. If they are on the product, they cannot cover the “best if used by” date.
- You cannot charge WIC shoppers more for WIC foods than non-WIC shoppers.
- You can only offer infant formula from suppliers on this list: Wisconsin Authorized Infant Formula Suppliers, P-40146 (PDF).
Note: Is infant formula theft a problem in your store? You can keep it in a secure area, but you must put up a notice, where other infant products are located, of where to find the formula along with their prices.
- Your business must be at a fixed and permanent location. Mobile vendors or home deliveries aren’t allowed.
- Each WIC location must be open regular hours. This includes a minimum of two four-hour blocks of time on each of five days per week. Daily hours must be the same from week to week.
- Your prices must be competitive with other like-sized vendors.
- Your annual revenue from WIC sales may not be more than 50% of your annual revenue from the sale of all food items.
Your cash register system or payment device must be able to run WIC purchases. It should be WIC EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) capable.
Your equipment and software must be able to:
- Scan or enter WIC UPC (Universal Product Code) and PLU (Price Lookup) codes.
- Match UPC/PLU codes to the Approved Product List.
- Verify there is a large enough balance in the WIC shopper’s account to make their purchase.
- Calculate the cost of the purchase.
- If you have self-checkout lanes, they need to be authorized by the WIC Vendor and Integrity Unit.
If your cash register system is multi-functional (integrated), it needs to be able to manage:
- WIC and non-WIC items.
- Sales tax on non-WIC items.
- Any special offers or discounts.
You must give each WIC shopper a cash register receipt. Do this whether they ask for one or not. The receipt should show the:
- Total price
- Price of each item
- Remaining food items the WIC shopper can buy
If you are applying to be a WIC vendor, you must have a good history with WIC and other similar programs, such as FoodShare (SNAP).
The Vendor Unit reviews new applications to make sure a disqualified owner did not sell their store to avoid the disqualification.
Our vendors should also show they conduct themselves with integrity in business. Please see Wis. Admin. Code ch 149.05.
You can’t redeem your own WIC benefits or a relative’s WIC benefits if you are an owner, member, officer, or employee of a WIC grocery store or pharmacy. An employee who is not related must do it for you. This rule might not apply if there are no other WIC stores or pharmacies within 10 miles.
Your store may be visited by state or local WIC project representatives. It must pass inspection. Once it passes the site visit, the owner and/or manager must receive WIC training.
- All your cashiers should know how to run the cash registers. They must be trained on how to make WIC transactions.
- If a WIC shopper wants to find out their balance, you must give them a receipt that shows what is available.
You must let the WIC Vendor and Integrity Unit know, at least 15 days in advance, about changes in:
- Store hours
- Cash register system
- Store name