WIC in Vermont

How To Become a Retail Vendor

Vermont WIC issues cash value benefits (CVB) to participants via the state’s EBT system, for use in purchasing fruits and vegetables in retail grocery stores.

Retail vendors are authorized to provide ONLY approved fruits and vegetables. All other WIC foods continue to be distributed by home delivery vendors.

If you are interested in becoming a Vermont WIC retail vendor for fruits and vegetables, this web page includes information on selection criteria, the application process, and the forms you’ll need.

Selection Criteria

In order to be authorized as a retail vendor, grocery stores must meet the following criteria:

  • The store is physically located within Vermont.
  • A need exists for a WIC authorized retailer in the area where the store is located to assure participant access to the WIC fruit and vegetable benefit.
  • Retailer currently participates in, and is not disqualified from, Vermont SNAP/ 3SquaresVT program.
  • Retailer utilizes the Vermont DCF EBT system.
  • Retailer has no serious SNAP violations.
  • Retailer has no serious WIC vendor violations in Vermont or any other state.
  • None of the current owners, officers, or managers have been convicted of or have had a civil judgment during the last 6 years for the following:
    • fraud, antitrust violations, embezzlement, theft,
    • forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records,
    • making false statements, receiving stolen property,
    • making false claims, or obstruction of justice.
  • The retailer has the ability to maintain adequate stock of fresh WIC approved food items. Specifically, the retailer must stock at least the following minimum variety and quantity of fruits and vegetables:
    • Two different types of fresh fruits AND
    • Two different types of fresh vegetables AND
    • Two choices canned or frozen fruits, AND
    • Two choices of canned or frozen vegetables.
  • The retailer carries a full line or “market basket” of standard grocery items in addition to the requirements for fruits and vegetables, such as: dairy, dry staples (dry cereal, bread, brown rice, beans) and at least two varieties of fresh, frozen, or canned meat and/or fish. (Smaller “convenience” stores, with limited variety and inventory, may be authorized only if they meet all other criteria and State determines authorization is necessary to ensure participant access.)
  • The retailer is open at least 8 hours per day, 6 days per week.
  • The retailer successfully completes on-site inspection requirements.

Required Minimum Inventory

At the time of authorization and throughout the term of the agreement with the State, the retailer must maintain at least the following minimum inventory in order to remain an authorized retail vendor:

  • Two different type of fresh fruits AND
  • Two different types of fresh vegetables AND
  • Two choices canned or frozen fruits, AND
  • Two choices of canned or frozen vegetables.
  • A full line or “market basket” of standard grocery items in addition to the requirements for fruits and vegetables, such as: dairy, dry staples (dry cereal, bread, brown rice, beans) and at least two varieties of fresh, frozen, canned meat and/or fish. (Smaller “convenience” stores, with limited variety and inventory, may be authorized to stock smaller inventory during term of agreement if State determines store authorization is necessary to ensure participant access.)

Authorization Process

Retail Vendor Application and Vendor Agreement

Download the required application forms and Vendor Agreement:

One corporate application must be completed by all applicants. In addition, applicants must complete a copy of the Store Application for each store location for which applicant seeks authorization. (In other words, if the applicant corporation has two store locations, the application will submit one corporation application PLUS two store applications.)

The Corporation and Store Application(s) are to be submitted electronically. When you open the downloaded forms, you should be able to tab through the form to fill in the required information, and when it is completed, click on “SUBMIT” to electronically send the completed form to us. If you have problems submitting the form electronically, complete the form, print it out and mail it to us. You must also print out and mail a signed copy of the Corporation Application to the WIC Central Office (WIC CO).

All information provided must be truthful and accurate. The signature on the Corporation Application attests to the truthfulness of information on all application forms. Incomplete or inaccurate applications will not be processed. The WIC CO will determine whether the application is complete; Vendors who submit incomplete applications will be given an opportunity to correct the application before it is rejected.

The owner or business representative is responsible for reading and understanding the Vermont WIC Program’s Vendor Agreement, which the owner will be required to sign as the final step in the authorization process. We suggest that you read the Vendor Agreement when you apply, so that you’ll understand all the program requirements.

Pre-Authorization Inspection

When WIC CO determines that the application is complete and the applicant satisfies selection criteria, a Pre-authorization Inspection will be completed by a WIC staff representative. The inspection will consist of an assessment of:

  • Handicap accessibility
  • Minimum stock requirements
  • Minimum variety requirements
  • Full service grocery status
  • Sanitary and safety conditions, general appearance
  • Store staff knowledge of WIC program retail vendor rules and requirements, and plans for training. Staff will also discuss with store management the contents of the VT WIC Program’s Vendor .

Eligibility Determination

The WIC CO will objectively apply the selection criteria to each vendor applicant. Only applicants meeting all of the selection criteria will be selected as eligible WIC authorized vendors. The determination of eligibility is not subject to appeal.

Vendor Agreement

When a store is selected for authorization, the owner and the Commissioner of Health will sign the VT WIC Vendor Agreement. The Vendor Agreement has a term of three-years. The Agreement lists in detail the requirements and responsibilities of the retail vendor and the Vermont Department of Health.
Click here to download a copy.

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The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form(exit VDH), found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html(exit VDH), or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Page updated 6/27/2013