Food stores and pharmacies may apply to become WIC vendors

The Connecticut Department of Public Health today announced that grocery stores and
pharmacies can apply through the month of January to participate in the state’s Special
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
By accepting new applications, DPH hopes to increase the number of vendors that accept WIC benefits,
particularly in communities where the distance between stores and WIC participants is

“In some parts of Connecticut, particularly rural areas, finding a grocery store that accepts WIC
benefits can be challenging,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen in a press release. “By becoming a WIC
vendor, stores are able to offer healthy foods to low-income families and also increase their
customer base to include those with WIC benefits.”

Vendors must meet certain criteria to participate. WIC authorized grocery stores are required to
maintain a minimum inventory of healthy foods that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, whole
grain bread, whole grain cereal, low-fat milk, eggs, infant cereal and formula, and other
nutritious staples for moms, children and babies. Pharmacies can also participate but are only
authorized to sell formula.

A 2011 study by the University of Connecticut’s Center for Public Health and Health Policy
found that WIC authorized stores in Hartford carried healthier foods than stores without WIC

Information needed to apply for participation in the WIC program is available on the DPH
website at The website provides information on the application process, criteria for eligibility, and links to register for required training sessions. Vendors may apply
through Jan. 31.

Amanda Cuda