Become a WIC Vendor

Public Health

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What you need to know

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The Nebraska WIC Program accepts applications to become a WIC-authorized vendor at any time during the year. Applicants must be a full-service grocery store or pharmacy. Stores are also selected based on a variety of criteria. To apply for WIC-authorization, contact the Nebraska WIC Program. Find out more below!!

What is WIC

Proper nutrition and health care are very important to the growth and development of children. This is especially true during pregnancy and early childhood. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program was established in Nebraska in 1975. The WIC Program strives to prevent health problems before they occur by providing nutritious foods to pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum mothers, infants, and young children.

What is the Vendor's Role

WIC participants receive food benefits that are specific to their nutritional needs. WIC food packages are designed to reduce complications of pregnancy due to poor nutrition and to promote the healthiest possible birth, growth, and development of children. WIC-authorized stores play a vital role in the WIC food delivery system by providing nutritious foods to WIC Families including:

  1. Whole Grain bread, brown rice, pasta, cereal, & tortillas
  2. Low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, & cheese
  3. Fresh and frozen fruits & vegetables
  4. 100% fruit juice
  5. Legumes, peanut butter, eggs, & canned fish
  6. Baby foods & formula

The Nebraska WIC Program allows participants to use their WIC food benefits at any approved WIC vendor (stores). Authorized grocery stores may sell WIC foods and formula. Approved special purchase stores (pharmacies) are authorized to sell specialty infant formula and medical formulas only. WIC food benefits are redeemed by participants and authorized vendors are paid for those redemptions.

Selection Criteria

  1. The Nebraska WIC Program considers stores for authorization that provide nutritious WIC supplemental foods at a competitive price to make the most efficient use of program funds. The Nebraska WIC Program has established the following criteria to select retail grocery stores who wish to participate in the program:

    • Full-service grocery store–Must be primarily a retailer of groceries rather than of other merchandise such as gasoline, beverages, or snack/convenience foods.
    • The store is capable of processing electronic benefit transactions (eWIC) including the ability to perform split tender transactions.
    • A grocery store must have available and provide all categories of Nebraska WIC-eligible foods, including all infant formulas, in our approved product list. Most infant formulas do not need to be available at all times. However, authorized vendors must allow WIC-participants to order specialty or medical formulas. These formulas must be provided within 72 hours of request.
    • A full-service grocery store must have a current Food Establishment Permit issued by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
    • A full-service grocery store is required to purchase all categories of WIC-eligible foods from wholesalers or distributors licensed and inspected by the regulatory authority, whether it be a state or local authority, in accordance with State law.
    • The NE WIC Program also partners with pharmacies. Pharmacies are authorized to sell certain specialty or medical formulas only.
    • Store sales may not have more than 20% of the retailer's gross annual retail food sales from alcoholic beverages.
    • Store sales may not have more than 50% of the retailer's gross annual food sales from the WIC Program. 
    • The Nebraska WIC Program does not authorize WIC-only stores.
    • Authorized vendors must maintain minimum inventory of WIC-eligible foods according to the type and size of store.
    • The applicant store cannot be currently disqualified from participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) nor can the store have been assessed a SNAP civil money penalty for hardship and disqualification period that would otherwise have been imposed has not expired.
    • The store cannot be currently disqualified from the Medicaid program.
    • The store cannot be currently disqualified from the WIC Program.
    • For the applicant store, the current owners, officers, or store managers cannot have been convicted of nor had a civil judgment entered against them for any activity indicating a lack of business integrity during the previous six years from the date of the application. 

    Please contact the Nebraska WIC Program for a complete list of selection criteria! At the time of application and during the full term of the agreement, WIC-authorized vendors must comply with WIC Program regulations and policies including, but not limited to:

    1. Complying with terms of the Vendor Agreement
    2. Participating in store training sessions provided by the WIC Program
    3. Training employees regarding WIC procedures
    4. Submitting accurate price lists of WIC-eligible foods on a semi-annual basis each year
    5. Permitting monitoring for compliance with the Vendor Agreement and Vendor Handbook

    Stocking WIC-eligible foods to meet minimum inventory requirements at all times regardless of sales

Application Process

To be considered for partnership with the Nebraska WIC Program, the store must complete an application, store price list of WIC-eligible foods, and submit a sample cash register receipt. Upon receipt of the completed store application, the review process will begin. If the application is accepted after review, a local WIC vendor manager will complete an on-site visit to verify information submitted on the application. After a successful on-site visit, the NE WIC Program will work with the store's POS provider or IT department to establish communication between the store's register systems and our Program's WIC system. Then, a store representative with the legal authority to obligate the store must attend a training session. The Nebraska WIC Program encourages the person responsible to train staff also attend the training session.

Contact Information

Interested retailers may contact the Nebraska WIC Program for a complete authorization packet. The packet includes a store application, store price list for WIC approved foods, and an application guide. The application guide details selection criteria, WIC-eligible foods, minimum inventory requirements, and information about processing WIC transactions.​

Nebraska WIC Program
Department of Health & Human Services
Phone Number
(402) 471-2781
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026