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WIC Vendor Information

 
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

The Mississippi State Department of Health's WIC Program is transitioning to a "Retail Food Delivery System." This enables WIC participants to go to a WIC Vendor of their choice, shop to obtain WIC supplemental foods, and complete the transaction at the cash register using an eWIC card.

Notice of Deferral of Application Processing

This notice is to inform potential WIC vendors including grocery stores and pharmacies that the MSDH WIC Program is enacting a state agency- imposed deferral of application processing starting December 1, 2020 and ending February 1, 2022.

The last date for vendor applicants to submit an application is November 30, 2020. The purpose of this deferral is to ensure vendor applicants and authorized vendors complete the authorization and certification process and are adequately monitored during the authorization period in preparation for eWIC implementation.

During this state agency- imposed deferral of application processing, vendor applications will only be accepted for vendors needed to meet participant access criteria, authorized vendors (without any open vendor sanctions or violations) who wish to transfer ownership and/or add outlets, and authorized vendors who wish to change address information. Please see the attachment for additional information.

Approved Infant Formula Manufacturers, Wholesalers, and Distributors

The MSDH WIC Program is accepting requests for the approved infant formula manufacturer, wholesaler, and distributor list. If you are a wholesaler or distributor providing infant formula in Mississippi and would like to be added to the approved list, please send an email to Jameshyia Ballard at vmu@msdh.ms.gov. Please provide the following: (1) proof that you are approved by the FDA, (2) proof the company is authorized/ licensed as a wholesaler or distributor in Mississippi, (3) a list of grocery stores and/ or pharmacies where you currently (or plan to) provide infant formula, (4) a list of other states where you are approved by a WIC Program to provide infant formula (if applicable), and (5) list of manufacturers where infant formula is procured, including the name and address. Please note that approved manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors provide infant formula to grocery stores and/ or pharmacies. WIC authorized grocery stores and pharmacies must purchase infant formula only from the list of approved infant formula manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors.

Vendor Eligibility Criteria

Grocery Stores

Retail grocery stores must meet eligibility criteria to become an authorized WIC vendor. Special consideration may be given to locations in areas where WIC authorized vendors are needed for WIC participants to have adequate access to WIC approved foods.

  1. EBT-capable
  2. WIC Vendors must charge competitive prices.
  3. The State Agency (MSDH) will consider business integrity of a vendor applicant.
  4. An average of $1,000 in eWIC benefit redemptions over a period of 6 months shall be required to participate as a WIC Vendor.
  5. WIC Vendors must be in compliance with all federal, state and local licensing and permitting requirements including those of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State Department of Health.
  6. WIC Vendors must be Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized vendors in good standing with FNS.
  7. WIC Vendors must be open for business year-round at least 9 hours per day and 6 days per week.
  8. WIC Vendors must be a business whose primary purpose is to be a retail grocer. Direct distribution outlets and wholesale food establishments are not eligible.
  9. WIC Vendors must be in a fixed location.
  10. WIC Vendors must have a minimum of 9,000 square feet of continuous retail space allocated solely for food products.
  11. WIC Vendors must have a minimum of three (3) operational cash registers.
  12. WIC Vendors must be able to accept WIC benefits through the use of electronic benefits transfer (EBT). A store must have the use of an internet cable or use a system that is currently certified to accept WIC EBT online.
  13. WIC Vendors must be free of any conflict of interest, as defined by applicable state laws, regulations, and policies, between the vendor and the Program or its contracted providers.
  14. The State Agency (MSDH) will NOT authorize any vendors who expect to derive more than 50% of their store’s revenue from the sale of WIC foods.
  15. WIC Vendors are prohibited from offering incentive items solely to WIC participants in an effort to encourage participants to redeem their eWIC benefits at those stores.
  16. WIC Vendors must comply with all Federal Regulations including the United States Department of Agriculture Regulations at 7 CFR 246, state laws, rules, and regulations as they relate to WIC Vendors.
  17. WIC Vendors must be accessible to monitoring by state and federal officials without prior notice.
  18. WIC Vendors must obtain their infant formula from an approved source found in the State Agency's formula listing found on the WIC Program website.
  19. A store that has been sold by a previous owner(s) in an attempt to circumvent a WIC sanction shall not be authorized.
  20. WIC Vendors must stock a minimum variety and quantity of WIC approved supplemental foods.

Pharmacies

Retail pharmacies must meet eligibility criteria to be considered a WIC vendor. Special considerations may be given to locations in areas where WIC authorized vendors are needed for WIC participants to have adequate access to WIC approved infant formula and nutritionals.

  1. EBT-capable
  2. WIC Vendors must charge competitive prices.
  3. The State Agency (MSDH) will consider business integrity of a vendor applicant.
  4. WIC Vendors must be in compliance with all federal, state and local licensing and permitting requirements including those of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Mississippi State Department of Health.
  5. WIC Vendors who are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized must be in good standing with FNS.
  6. WIC Vendors must be open for business year-round at least 9 hours per day and 6 days per week.
  7. WIC Vendors must be a business whose primary purpose is to be a retail pharmacy.
  8. WIC Vendors must be in a fixed location.
  9. WIC Vendors must be free of any conflict of interest, as defined by applicable state laws, regulations, and policies, between the vendor and the Program or its contracted providers.
  10. The State Agency (MSDH) will NOT authorize any vendors who expect to derive more than 50% of their store’s revenue from the sale of WIC foods.
  11. WIC Vendors are prohibited from offering incentive items solely to WIC participants in an effort to encourage participants to redeem their eWIC benefits at those stores.
  12. WIC Vendors must comply with all Federal Regulations including the United States Department of Agriculture Regulations at 7 CFR 246, state laws, rules, and regulations as they relate to WIC Vendors.
  13. WIC Vendors must be accessible to monitoring by state and federal officials without prior notice.
  14. WIC Vendors must obtain their infant formula from an approved source found in the State Agency's formula listing found on the WIC Program website.
  15. A store that has been sold by a previous owner(s) in an attempt to circumvent a WIC sanction shall not be authorized.

Vendor Authorization Process

Retail grocery stores and pharmacies desiring to become WIC authorized vendors must complete a 7-phase authorization process, as described below.

Phase One: Vendor applicants must complete and submit all required application documents to the Program. All information MUST be complete.

Phase Two: The WIC Vendor application will be reviewed for completeness by the Vendor Compliance Analyst. Vendor applicants will be notified by email if the application is complete.

Phase Three: An on-site inspection to verify the accuracy of the information provided in the application will be conducted. The on-site inspection verifies whether or not the vendor meets all requirements.

Phase Four: A store representative responsible for training will be required to attend a new vendor training session. New vendor training will be offered regionally.

Phase Five: A WIC Vendor Agreement will be sent for the vendor’s signature after which it should be returned to MSDH for further processing.

Phase Six: The agreement will be in effect when all signatures have been obtained, training has been received, and the store is notified of the date it may begin to accept eWIC. The applicant is not allowed to accept eWIC until a fully executed agreement is in place. Any applicant found to be accepting WIC prior to having a fully executed agreement will not be authorized.

Phase Seven: Vendors must be certified by the WIC EBT processor to verify that the system is capable of making required eWIC transactions.

Required Application Documents

Required documentation to process applications:

Corporation or Partnership (ownership of 2 or more stores under one corporate entity)

  • Vendor application
  • Store brand declaration form
  • Additional Store Attachment for each store
  • Form W9
  • Copy of Business License
  • Copy of Food Sanitation License
  • Copy of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Permit
  • Copy of Lease, Deed, or Bill of sale
  • Grocery price survey
  • Vendor technology survey

Sole Proprietorship (ownership of 1 store under 1 corporate entity)

  • Vendor application
  • Store brand declaration form
  • Form W9
  • Copy of Business License
  • Copy of Food Sanitation License
  • Copy of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Permit
  • Copy of Lease, Deed or Bill of sale
  • Grocery price survey
  • Vendor technology survey

Military Commissary

  • Form W9
  • Copy of lease, deed, or proof of ownership
  • SNAP permit
  • Vendor Application
  • Store brand declaration form
  • Grocery price survey
  • Vendor technology survey

Pharmacy

  • Vendor Application
  • Form W9
  • Copy of Lease, Deed or Bill of sale
  • Pharmacy price survey
  • Vendor technology survey
  • Pharmacy License

Vendor Documents

Contact Us

Contact the WIC Vendor Management team at 1-800-359-7832 or vmu@msdh.ms.gov.

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Last reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

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