Become a PA WIC Vendor
Vendor Authorization Summary
VENDOR READINESS PERIOD:
Effective November 16, 2018, the WIC Program will stop accepting new applications for
WIC vendors until further notice. The timeframe when new applications will not be accepted
is known as the Vendor Readiness Period. This is necessary because of the Healthy, Hunger-Free
Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010. The HHFKA requires that all WIC state agencies transition from paper
food instruments (FIs) to electronic benefits transfer (EBT) systems, known as eWIC in Pennsylvania.
PA WIC, its Local Agencies, the currently authorized vendors, and WIC participants all need to
focus efforts on the eWIC project to ensure success and compliance with the HHFKA.
The Vendor Readiness Period applies to
new vendors and new locations for currently authorized vendors.
During this period, there are some exceptions that may allow new applications:
• If a participant does not have sufficient access to a store,
that could trigger an exception and allow a new application.
• If an existing store goes through a change of ownership and the new owner
contacts the WIC state agency prior to the change, that could trigger an exception and allow a new application.
• If an existing store moves locations, as defined
in the PA vendor regulations, that could trigger an exception.
• If there are plans in place to build a new location prior to
the readiness period and the vendor notifies the WIC Program in advance of the readiness period, that could trigger an exception.
The Vendor Readiness Period allows the WIC Program to continue full WIC services to all current
participants. All eligible WIC participants will continue to receive full WIC food benefits
throughout the readiness period.
New applications will be accepted upon full statewide implementation of eWIC, currently scheduled
for October 2019. PA WIC will publish a new Retail Store Alert prior to the end of the Vendor
For questions regarding the Vendor Readiness Period or to request an exception,
please contact Brian Watts at
Any owner of a full line grocery store located in Pennsylvania may apply for
authorization as a WIC vendor. WIC authorization does not transfer to a new
owner when a change of ownership occurs. Vendors may not accept WIC checks
until all application requirements are met, including completing an application
and submitting any required supporting documentation, passing an authorization
review, completing a training program and receiving an authorization letter
from the Pennsylvania WIC Program. Submission of false information will result
in denial of application.
PA WIC Retail Store Handbook;
PA WIC Food List;
PA WIC Maximum Allowable Prices; and
Licensed Infant Formula Wholesalers;
Conditions of Eligibility a Vendor Must Meet:
1. Have an acceptable history with WIC and other food and
nutrition service programs of USDA.
2. Meet the minimum inventory requirements at the time of the
on-site review and thereafter if approved for the program (Minimum Inventory Requirements).
These products must be on the current WIC approved food list (WIC Approved Food List);
and the quantities must be priced at or below the current competitive
prices to be considered as minimum inventory (Competitive Price List).
3. Have a satisfactory authorization review by the local WIC
agency wherein it is determined that:
a. The store is in a permanent, fixed location in the State of Pennsylvania;
b. The store is open for business at least 6 days a week and 8 hours per day;
c. The store meets the minimum stock requirements, which are properly stored and refrigerated, on the store premises;
d. Prices are marked on the food containers or posted in the immediate area where foods are kept, or in an area clearly visible to store customers;
e. The store is not in violation of applicable federal, state, or local health protection laws and ordinances; and
f. Authorized foods are not older than the expiration dates indicated on the packages, or are otherwise fresh.
4. Following the store’s review, the State Agency will approve
or disapprove the store’s application. If approved, the store will receive an
approval letter, window decal and training materials. Once approved, the store
must participate in initial training conducted at the Local Agency serving the
WIC Program in your area.
Duration of Authorization:
At least once every three years, the Department will conduct a periodic review
of all stores in a given area. A store’s authorization or reauthorization shall
remain in effect until the Department acts on the store’s application for
reauthorization, unless terminated earlier.
Applicable Regulations, Statutes and Administrative Rules:
1. PA WIC Program Regulations:
2. Federal Regulations 7 CFR Part 246:
Applications are reviewed within 90 days of receipt of complete applications. If
the application is not complete, a notice of incomplete items will be sent and
the application will not be processed further.
Contact your Local WIC Agency which can be found by selecting the county
location of the store at:
view these publications?