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Become a WIC Vendor

New vendors joining the WIC Program on and after June 1, 2016 must demonstrate that their store systems are capable of processing eWIC. For more information on eWIC requirements, click here.  

General Business Requirements

A WIC vendor must:

  • Be open at least five days per week. Daily operating hours shall be consistent from week to week, and shall be posted.
  • Be at a permanent location.
  • Not have had a Food Stamp Program disqualification or civil monetary penalty imposed with the 12 months preceding the date of the application.
  • Not have received a WIC program disqualification or a WIC application denied within the six-month period preceding the date of the application.
  • Not have had a conviction or civil judgment entered against them during the last six years for any activity indicating a lack of business integrity.
  • Have a current State of Iowa Food Establishment License.
  • Stock the minimum quantities and varieties of WIC approved foods. Inventory requirements are listed in the Grocery Vendors Application Guidance Form.
  • Not realize or expect to realize more than 50 percent of its annual revenue from the sale of food items that are obtained with WIC food instruments.

Selection Criteria

Grocery vendors must meet the following WIC selection criteria:

  • The vendor must be a primary retailer of groceries rather than of other merchandise. A grocery vendor is defined as a business which stocks ALL of the following items:
    • Fresh produce (must have a minimum of five linear feet of refrigerated display space). Inventory requirement - 10 varieties of fresh fruits and 10 varieties of fresh vegetables.
    • Fresh or frozen meats and poultry (must have a minimum of twelve linear feet of fresh or frozen unbreaded meat , pre-packaged luncheon meats do not qualify). Inventory requirements - 5 chicken, 5 beef, and 5 pork fresh varieties.
    • Canned and frozen vegetables
    • Dairy products
    • Cereals and bread
  • No more than 20% of the retailer's gross retail sales may be from the sale of gasoline or other automotive supplies.
  • No more than 50% of the retailer's gross retail food sales may be from the sale of authorized WIC food items.
  • Vendors are required to only purchase infant formula from listed sources maintained by the state WIC program in accordance with Section 203(e)(8) of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. 
  • Approved Infant Formula Distributors PDF

Application Guidance 

If you're considering becoming a WIC Vendor, please review the appropriate guidance document prior to requesting an application. These will provide you important information to determine if you will likely be eligible to be a WIC Vendor, and will outline the Application process so you know what your next steps will be. 

Requesting an Application

Once you have reviewed the Application Guidance document above, you may request an Application by contacting the State WIC Office. An Application will be sent to you via mail and you will have 60 days from the date of request to submit the completed Application. You can contact the State WIC Office via mail, or by phone:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas State Office Building
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075
Phone: 1 (800) 532-1579

For more information about WIC, call 1-800-532-1579 or (515) 281-6650. You may also use the Contact Us system to send us a question online.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

Read the full USDA Non-Discrimination Statement and to learn how to file a complaint.