The Connecticut Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is offering an opportunity for all food stores and pharmacies to apply for WIC authorization from January 3, 2012January 31, 2012. Authorization is required for stores to be able to accept WIC checks and serve Connecticut participants in the WIC Program.

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infant's and Children (commonly known as the WIC Program) is the nation's largest supplemental nutritional provider for children in America. WIC serves children to age five, including roughly 50% of all infants born in the United States, and 61% of WIC participants reside in families with incomes below the poverty level. WIC helps to ensure infants' and children's normal growth, reduces levels of anemia, increases immunization rates, improves access to regular health care and social services and improves diets. In Connecticut, WIC serves approximately 58, 000 people. From a vendor prospective, the State WIC Program currently authorizes approximately 500 grocery stores (large and small) and 112 pharmacies (both chain and independent), and 47 farms that redeem WIC checks exclusively for fresh fruits and vegetables.

The training for prospective vendors will be held in February of 2012 for new stores that have never been authorized or are not currently authorized by the State WIC Program. The training begins by logging onto a website. Once on the website, the vendors will choose a location in which to attend a training session. Also on the website, the WIC Program will post all WIC materials and correspondence/paperwork which needs to be completed by prospective vendors At this training we will review all procedures and paperwork that stores may encounter as prospective WIC vendors. Attendance is by "invitation only"only those vendors (and their authorized representatives) who responded by the deadline, via the website may attend a training session. The deadline to reply to our website to request to become a WIC vendor is January 31, 2012.

Beginning January 3, 2012, applications to participate in the WIC program will be available through the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph/wic, and selecting "For Vendors". The website provides information on the application process, criteria for eligibility, and links to register for required training sessions. The application package will only be available to print after registration for a training session is completed.

By January 31, 2012, stores who would like to apply must: 1) register online to attend a training session and; 2) print the application package. The completed application package and all required documents must be submitted at the selected training session. Thank you for your interest in serving the residents of Connecticut and those participating in the Connecticut WIC Program.

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Krusz, WIC Vendor Monitor, at Kevin.Krusz@po.state.ct.us or (860)509-8084.