The West Virginia WIC Program has approximately 250 Authorized Vendors statewide to process WIC transactions. WIC Approved stores include mass merchandisers, national grocery chains, regional grocery chains, local grocery chains, independent grocery stores, general stores, specialty markets, and convenience stores. The WIC Authorized Vendor role is critical and essential in making the WIC Program successful.
The West Virginia WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WVFMNP) provides access to fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to eligible WIC recipients, and expands awareness and use of local Farmers Markets. The WVFMNP partners with 314 Farmers Markets in 35 counties throughout the state from June 1-October 31 each year.
The West Virginia WIC Program issues food benefits through Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) onto an eWIC card. Retailers wishing to apply to become a WIC vendor must have the capability to operate either an integrated or non-integrated multi-function system in order to accept WIC benefits.
PRIOR to upgrading or purchasing an integrated POS system in order to accept West Virginia WIC benefits, please contact the Vendor Management Unit at 304-558-1115 to verify the system is an integrated WIC EBT certified Electronic Cash Register (ECR) system approved by the West Virginia WIC Program. The store is responsible for all the costs associated with upgrade or replacement of their current Point-of-Sale (POS) system's hardware and/or software. The West Virginia WIC Vendor Management Unit will complete a Level III certification (a live in-store test) for all integrated systems at a pre-authorization store visit.
Stores choosing a non-integrated POS multi-function system will have a terminal and item scanner that operates independently of the vendor's ECR system. FIS Government Solutions is the host/processor that will be handling the non-integrated multi-function terminals for stores that will be utilizing this type of POS system. Any vendor requiring the non-integrated multi-function terminal must complete the Agreement for Benefits Redemption Using EBT with FIS in order to be able to participate in the WIC Program. A WIC participant access assessment will be completed to determine if the State Agency will cost share or if the vendor is responsible for the costs associated with the non-integrated multifunction system including a monthly service fee of $20, and a monthly transaction fee of $15 (which includes 100 transactions per month).
The West Virginia WIC Program establishes minimum requirements for stores regarding the variety and quantity of the approved WIC eligible foods which a store must stock in order to be approved and/or continue accepting WIC benefits. The minimum stock must be on the shelves or available immediately on-site (i.e. stock room) at all times. The required food product package sizes, varieties and/or quantities are specific for each store size:
Group 1 are Mass Merchandisers that sells a wide variety of merchandise
but also carries groceries, owns a distribution center, and operates
Peer Group 2 are National Grocery Chains that primarily sells
groceries, has own distribution center, and operates in 10 or more states.
Peer Group 3 are Regional Grocery Chains that primarily sells
groceries, orders from a corporate or national grocer distribution center, and operates
in 4-9 states and/or corporate headquarters not in West Virginia.
Group 4 are Local Grocery Chains that primarily sells groceries, orders through
corporate or national grocer distribution center, and operates in 3 or less
states and/or in more than one WIC region of West Virginia.
Group 5 are Rural Independent Grocers that primarily sells groceries, uses a
third-party distribution center, and operates in only one WIC region of the
West Virginia. *May include franchisee
of national grocer.
Group 6 are Isolated Independent Stores that sells a wide variety of
merchandise but has a limited assortment of grocery items, uses third-party
distribution center, and operates in only one WIC region of West Virginia.
Applicants and WIC Authorized Vendors are required to purchase infant formula solely from a list of suppliers approved by the West Virginia WIC Program. This list includes wholesalers, distributors, and retailers authorized in West Virginia, or formula manufacturers registered with the Food and Drug Administration. No other sources may be used to obtain infant formula. Invoices for the infant formula purchase must be maintained for at least the three previous years plus the current year.
The Vendor Price Survey (VPS) is used to establish competitive pricing criteria, and ensure your store has competitive prices compared to WIC Authorized Vendors with the same business model. The VPS is required of all applicant grocers and retailers. It is the official record of your shelf prices. When completing an WIC Vendor application you may submit your shelf prices through the Vendor Portal
individually or upload a VPS
The West Virginia WIC Vendor Advisory Board (VAB) provides informed guidance, and serves as a tremendous ally, in the quest for superior WIC vendor management and vendor relations. By representing the retailer and customer interest, the VAB serves as an instrument of change and a sounding board for WIC administration to test-drive options before being more definitive and assertive in program governance. Since 2017, the VAB has contributed to the development of the West Virginia WIC participant access policy, minimum stocking requirements by vendor peer group classification, minimum stocking exemption request procedures, and food selection for the approved food list. The Board is currently working on the vendor peer group classification system, WIC outreach materials for retail locations, the vendor handbook, and cashier training tools.