Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get an application to become a WIC authorized retailer in
The application can be printed from this website or you can contact the state agency to request an application be sent to you via mail.
The state agency can be contacted at:
WICNS, ATTN: Retailer Unit
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570
What do I need to submit to the state agency in addition to my application?
You must submit a copy of your:
- WIC Food Price and Stocking List,
- A sanitation report dated within the past year for the store location listed on the application, and
- An annual food sales report which can be in the form of a financial statement or tax form. If a new store, sales can be estimated.
When I complete my application packet, may I fax it to the WIC state agency?
No. The state agency must receive the original application and required documents via mail.
Who can be authorized to be a retailer?
Applicants must be either a full service grocery store, a full service grocery store with a pharmacy, or a pharmacy.
What is a full service grocery store?
To be considered a full service grocery store in Missouri, a grocery store must stock a minimum inventory in the following food groups: fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; fresh and frozen meats and poultry; canned fruits and vegetables; canned fish; and bread products. More information is available in Section II of the WIC Retailer Manual. Specific WIC minimum stocking requirements can be found in Section VI of the WIC Retailer Manual.
Do I need a valid sanitation report?
Yes. The store must have and maintain a positive sanitation history as evaluated using the Department's current food establishment regulations (Missouri Food Code) before authorization and during the entire agreement period.
Do I need to register with the Missouri Secretary of State's Office for a charter number?
Yes. The store name on the application must be the same name as registered with the Missouri Secretary of State or the owner's full name must appear in the store's name (e.g., John Doe's Grocery). Stores using fictitious names or names other than the owner's full name must be registered with the Secretary of State's Office.
How long does the application process take?
It could take up to four (4) to six (6) weeks from the date that the state agency receives a complete application from the store.
What is a “complete” application?
An application packet is considered “complete” when all forms have been completed fully (as determined by the Department) and all required documentation has been submitted.
Do I have to have a store and a store name before I submit an application?
Yes. When you submit an application you must have a store and a store name. The store must be an established business, open to the public for at least one (1) year in the current location, or you must own and operate at least one (1) currently authorized Missouri WIC store that is in good standing at another location.
Does the Missouri WIC program require stores to have minimum square footage?
Yes. The Missouri WIC program does have a minimum square footage requirement of 1,000 square feet of space allocated solely for food products, including both WIC and non-WIC foods. This area does not include storage areas, meat cutting areas, or walk-in coolers or freezers.
How do I get WIC customers?
Once a store is authorized, a message is sent to local agencies where WIC families go to receive their WIC checks and other services. The WIC families are advised of all WIC retailers in their area authorized to accept WIC checks for the purchase of WIC approved food items. Also, a listing of authorized WIC retailers located on the WIC website is updated periodically.
How do I get reimbursed for the WIC checks?
WIC checks are deposited directly into your store bank account, like you would deposit regular checks. The WIC checks need to be reviewed prior to depositing them in the bank to ensure that they are complete and accurate. Each WIC retailer is provided with WIC vendor stamps that the store uses to stamp their WIC vendor number on each check prior to depositing them in the bank.
What types of food does WIC authorize?
WIC authorizes the following types of food: milk; soy milk; eggs; cheese and yogurt; cold and hot cereal; juice; peanut butter; dried beans, peas and lentils; canned beans; infant cereal; infant formula; infant fruit, vegetables and meats; tofu; tuna, sardines and salmon; whole grain breads; brown rice; tortillas; whole wheat pasta; and fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables. Specific brands, types, and sizes are listed in the WIC Approved Food List and the Section VI of the WIC Retailer Manual.
Do I have to carry all authorized food types?
No. You must carry the minimum food types to meet the required WIC minimum stocking requirements that are outlined in Section VI of the WIC Retailer Manual. You do not have to carry every single authorized brand variety of each food item. You should carry a variety of foods in each food group.
How can I find out which specific food items WIC authorizes?
How much do I charge for the food items that are approved for WIC?
WIC retailers must maintain prices for approved food items that are comparable to the prices of other stores of similar size and type in the same area.
How much inventory do I have to have before my on-site review?
You must maintain the minimum inventory of supplemental food in each food category that would support the number of WIC participants before, during, and after a heavy volume of WIC redemption activity.
What is a WIC Retailer Agreement?
A WIC Retailer Agreement is a contract between the Missouri WIC state agency and the store. This contract is a time-limited agreement and explains in detail the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
When do I take retailer training?
Retailer training will be scheduled after the WIC program reviews your application and has determined that it is complete and all initial requirements have been met. Retailer training is conducted at the state agency in Jefferson City, Missouri. You can contact the WIC state agency at 573-751-6204.
How will I be notified about the New WIC Retailer training class?
The WIC state agency will notify you of the date, time, and location of the class.
I've worked for another store that took WIC checks and I know about the WIC program. Do I still have to go to training?
Yes. To be considered for authorization, all applicant stores must attend a WIC retailer training class.
What is an on-site visit?
As required by federal regulations, a representative of the Missouri WIC state agency will visit your store and conduct an on-site inspection prior to authorization to ensure that the store meets all requirements. The state representative will note WIC food prices and shelf inventory on a pre-agreement visit form. They will also review and note the store's square footage, and any concerns they find during the on-site inspection.
What do I do if I sell the business, move the store to another location, or change the name of the store?
Since the WIC Retailer Agreement is not transferable, any change of the store name, location, or owner(s) makes the agreement null and void. A WIC retailer must give 60 days' advance notice to the WIC state agency. The store will need to complete a new application and complete the process to be considered for authorization.