MN WIC Program
- What is the WIC Program?
- Who is eligible to apply to become a vendor?
- How do I apply to become a vendor in the WIC Program?
- What requirements do I have to meet to be a WIC vendor?
- What training will be provided to me?
- How long will it take for my store to be authorized for the WIC Program?
- How long will I be authorized for the WIC Program?
- View or Download a Copy of the Application Packet
The WIC Program was established by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, when Congress found that substantial numbers of low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and young children were at risk of physical and mental impairment due to inadequate nutrition and health care. The program provides nutrition education, health referrals and nutritious supplemental foods to its participants. The WIC Program helps promote healthy eating practices and good health care during critical times of growth and development in order to prevent the occurrence of health problems and to improve the health status of its participants.
The WIC Program’s official name is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. It is administered at the federal level by the United States Department of Agriculture, and in Minnesota by the Minnesota Department of Health. It is governed by federal laws, regulations and policies, and state laws, rules, and procedures.
The Minnesota WIC Program accepts applications from large and small grocery stores and pharmacies throughout Minnesota.
You may download the application packet, or you may have an application packet sent to you by calling Mark Peine at (651) 201-4414 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3942, extension (651) 201-4414.
Before we can consider an application from your store, you must be approved for the Food Stamp Program. In addition, there are several other requirements for our vendors.
- Requirements for grocery vendor in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties (PDF: 32KB/7 pages) - counties with a population exceeding 250,000
- Requirements for grocery vendors in all other counties in Minnesota (PDF: 34KB/7 pages)
When you initially apply for your business to become a WIC vendor, you will be invited to a group training session. During this training session a WIC staff person will explain the WIC Program and how vendors process WIC vouchers. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions. This training must be attended by a “controlling person” of your store; someone who will take responsibility for training the store cashiers. More than one person from a business may attend this training session.
Later, when a WIC staff person visits your store or pharmacy to determine if it meets WIC program requirements, he or she will discuss with the available store personnel the program policies and procedures.
The WIC Program also provides regular newsletters and other forms of written training to its vendors throughout the year. Federal regulations governing the WIC Program also require that all stores receive interactive (face-to-face) training at least once every three years. We usually accomplish this interactive training through group training sessions held throughout the state.
The WIC Program must notify you of the approval or disapproval of your business within four months of the date your complete application is received by the WIC Program. It typically takes much less time than this; a vendor applicant may receive notice of authorization or disapproval within 6 weeks.
If your store or pharmacy is approved, you will be sent an agreement (a contract) that will spell out the terms of your authorization. A WIC Vendor Agreement never exceeds three years in length, and all agreements in the state end on the same date. At this time, the ending date of all vendor agreements is March 31, 2014. Several months before the ending date of its current agreement, a store will be provided information on applying for reauthorization.
Authorization is terminated if a store closes, is sold, or is terminated because of a violation of the WIC Program or Food Stamp Program.
To view or download a copy of the application packet, select the county in which your store is located from the drop-down list and click Go!: