Vendors may apply through month of January; vendors needed in rural areas of state
January 9, 2012 William Gerrish
Hartford – The Department of Public Health (DPH) 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 is significant.
“For families living in certain parts of the state, especially in the Northeast and Northwest corners of Connecticut, finding a store that accepts WIC benefits can be difficult,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “The WIC program provides a win-win situation for both clients and vendors, increasing access to nutritious foods for low-income families and expanding retailers’ customer base to 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.
Information needed to apply for participation in the WIC program is available on the DPH website at www.ct.gov/dph/wic. The website provides information on the application process, criteria for eligibility, and links to register for required training sessions. Vendors may apply through January 31, 2012.
The WIC program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered in Connecticut by DPH. The program serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care. For more information on the DPH WIC Program, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/wic or call (860) 509-8084.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.