Information for Grocers

WIC transaction with cashier

COVID-19 Update for Grocers

WIC has temporarily expanded our Approved Product List (APL) to add options for some items that have been hard to find due to COVID-19. Please see the list of expanded foods for specific items that have been added and share with cashiers as a training tool. 

It is very important that you update the Vermont APL into your system daily to ensure participants can purchase all WIC-approved foods. Families may choose bread substitutions specifically from the expanded food list if they cannot find a 16 oz package of WIC allowable bread. Regardless of the size, each package will only be deducted as 16 ounces from their Whole Grain benefit amount through June 30, 2020.

Grocers are important partners of the Vermont WIC Program

We rely on you to:

  • Provide access to safe and nutritious foods for WIC families
  • Offer competitive prices to help WIC reach the greatest number of eligible participants
  • Understand and support WIC’s mission
  • Maintain a minimum inventory of WIC foods
  • Offer a positive shopping experience
 

Become A WIC Grocer

Grocers benefit by accepting WIC and allowing participants to shop for a variety of fresh, healthy food. If you are interested in becoming a WIC grocer, review important program requirements in the Vermont Grocer Handbook.

Apply 

Grocer Handbook Content Page
WIC Program Overview 1
Requirements for Becoming a WIC Grocer 5
Grocer and Cashier Training 9
WIC Approved Foods 11
Technical Requirements for Accepting WIC EBT Appendix 2
VT WIC Minimum Inventory for Chains, Large Grocers and Large Coops Appendix 3
VT WIC Minimum Inventory for Small Independent Grocers and Small Coops Appendix 4

 

Resources for WIC Grocers

Vermont WIC Program & Shopping Guide (also available in Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Swahili)

Vermont WIC Foods (also available in Nepali, Somali, Spanish and Swahili)

WIC Cashier Tip Card as a reference for staff training, or order print copies from WIC. 

Shelf Tag Orders -  Email WIC@Vermont.gov  (If you would like to develop and use your own shelf signs, you must first obtain permission from the state office. Email WIC at WIC@Vermont.gov with your request and attach a copy of your draft materials)

Visit the Shopping with WIC page to find a list of WIC Authorized Grocers 

Questions?

Contact the Vermont WIC Vendor Manager at 1-800-649-4357 or (802) 652-4183, or email WIC@Vermont.gov attention: WIC Vendor Manager

 
 
Training Modules
Title Date Type
Module 1: Vermont WIC and Grocers: Overview
Get to know the basics of the WIC program, your role as a WIC grocer and resources and support available. This module is appropriate for all grocer staff (corporate staff, local managers and cashiers)
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Module 2: Know the WIC Foods
Learn the details of the WIC-approved foods by category and what is entailed in keeping a minimum inventory stocked in your store. This module is appropriate for all grocer staff (corporate staff, local managers and cashiers)
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Module 3: Provide Excellent Customer Service
Review expectations for customer service for WIC shoppers. This module is appropriate for all grocer staff (corporate staff, local managers and cashiers)
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Module 4: Process Transactions - And Get Paid!
Learn how WIC transactions are different than SNAP and what to do if a transaction fails. This module is appropriate for all grocer staff (corporate staff, local managers and cashiers)
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Module 5: Monitoring and Compliance
Understand WIC’s role in monitoring grocers and violations and sanctions. This module is appropriate for corporate staff and local managers
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Module 6: What Is New with VT WIC
Updated annually, learn about changes to the Approved Product List and State program updates. This module is appropriate for all grocer staff (corporate staff, local managers and cashiers)
08/05/2020 PDF Download
Training Module Quiz
This training quiz can be used internally by grocers to verify staff’s understanding of the modules. Add: It is appropriate for corporate staff, local managers and cashiers
10/04/2018 PDF Download
Training Module Quiz - Answer Key
09/27/2018 PDF Download
Vermont WIC’s Approved Product List and UPC Database

WIC Approved Product List

October 2019 PDF

WIC UPC Database September 2020

Updated Monthly

EXCEL

Expanded UPCs for COVID-19

April 2020 EXCEL
 
 
Shopping Videos for WIC Families
The following shopping videos were developed for WIC families, particularly those new to WIC or who are having challenges shopping: 

Understanding Vermont WIC Food Benefits (view in NepaliSomali, Maay Maay, or Spanish) - Monthly food benefits are one part of the WIC program. Learn more about WIC foods

How to Check Your WIC Balance (view in NepaliSomali, Maay Maay or Spanish) - Know before you go! Learn the different ways to check your WIC food balance to plan your shopping trip

Look for Specific Foods (view in NepaliSomali, Maay Maay or Spanish) - Check for specific sizes and types of foods - some can be trickier to find in the store. You got this! 

Know the Checkout System (view in NepaliSomali, Maay Maay or Spanish) - You've planned, you've picked your foods. Now know the checkout where you shop

5 Tips for WIC Shopping (view in NepaliSomali, Maay Maay or Spanish) - Let's face it, shopping for WIC foods can be challenging at first. It gets easier and these 5 tips will help

Fair Hearings

If a Grocer Application is rejected for any reason except incompleteness and a grocer wishes to appeal the decision, the grocer must request a fair hearing by writing within 30 days of receiving the non-selection letter to the following address

WIC Grocer Manager
Vermont Department of Health
WIC Nutrition Program
108 Cherry Street, Suite 302
Burlington, VT 05401

Product Submission for Food Manufacturers

Thank you for choosing to submit your product to the Vermont WIC Program for consideration. We select foods for inclusion in the Vermont Food Guide based on federal regulations, statewide availability, packaging and cost. Not all food submissions will be approved.

Vermont provides food benefits through an Electronic Benefits Transfer system. All eligible products require a UPC or PLU code. All allowed fresh fruits and vegetables with an individual UPC code needs to be mapped to the closest PLU code or to 4469.

If you wish to be on Vermont WIC’s email distribution list please call or email us:

Vermont WIC Program
Phone: 802-863-7333
800-649-4357 (in Vermont)
WIC@Vermont.gov  Attn: Andrea

Product Submission Instructions

Foods currently on Vermont WIC's approved food list do not need to be resubmitted.

Submission Timeline

  • For Brand Specific food categories, please submit your product for consideration between February 1st and March 31st for inclusion beginning October 1st.   
  • For Non-Brand Specific foods that meet Vermont WIC standards, please submit at any time for immediate inclusion in our UPC database. 

Categories

Categories in the Vermont WIC Food Guide are either Brand Specific or Non-Brand Specific:

  • Brand Specific Foods – These products are identified by brand in the Vermont WIC Foods. Current Brand Specific Food categories include Cheese, Tofu, Soymilk Beverage, Yogurt, Peanut Butter, Whole Grain Bread, Whole Wheat Pasta, Whole Wheat Tortillas, Breakfast Cereal (cold and hot), Juice, and Infant Foods.
  • Non-brand Specific Foods – These products are not specified by brand in the Vermont WIC Program and Food Guide but are considered ‘Any Brand Allowed.’ Current non-brand specific food categories include: Milk, Eggs, Beans, Canned Fish (Chunk Light Tuna, Sardines and Salmon) and Brown Rice. Manufacturers may submit products that meet eligibility requirements as they become available. Please email Andrea Miller, and include the information that is requested in the Vermont Product Submission spreadhseet.

Submission Requirements

Prior to submission, please verify that your products meet requirements set forth by USDA:

Prior to submission, please verify that your product(s) meet Vermont eligibility requirements:

Note: It is the responsibility of the submitter to notify the Vermont WIC Program of all changes and the effective date of each change to a product included in the Vermont Food Guide and in our UPC database, including, but not limited to, UPC, package design, container size, ingredients, and/or discontinuance of a product or eligible size.

If you have any questions or for more information, contact WIC@Vermont.gov. 

 
 
Not a WIC Food But Should Be?

If you find a food item that, according to the Vermont Food Guide, should be allowed, but the UPC does not debit from a WIC account, send us an update request. We may have missed a UPC so the product is not scanning properly.

Here’s what you can do:

Send an email to WIC@Vermont.gov and include the following information:

  • Product name
  • Package size
  •  Price
  • UPC number from the bar code - give all 12 numbers, including the little ones at the beginning and end.