WIC-authorized vendors play an important role in helping to improve the health of South Carolinians.
The WIC Program provides specific nutritious foods in quantities tailored to meet the needs of each participant. Participants purchase recommended foods using negotiable WIC checks in grocery stores, military commissaries and pharmacies that are approved to accept the checks.
Through its vendor selection process, the S.C. WIC Program is committed to providing adequate service to participants at the lowest possible cost. The program authorizes only a sufficient number and distribution of vendors to assure reasonable participant convenience and access and permit effective management of the program.
The criteria for a vendor to be authorized include:
- Submission of a vendor application
- Meeting all selection criteria
- Stocking the required WIC foods and/or infant formulas (see below)
- Selling the required WIC foods and infant formulas at competitive prices
For more information about these and other requirements, policies and procedures, download the WIC Vendor Manual (pdf) or call (800) 922-4406.
Each year, DHEC uses federal requirements to develop a list of foods that WIC participants can select and purchase using their WIC checks.
The WIC Food Products Specifications brochure contains the criteria and guidelines used to approve WIC foods.
The WIC Food Guide is a brochure that outlines the foods authorized by the South Carolina WIC Program. However, we've updated the food list some since publication of the brochure. View our Eligible Foods page .
- March 1 - Deadline to submit food products for consideration. Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
- May - DHEC conducts the food product review and evaluation
- October 1 - WIC Food Guide containing the approved food items becomes available.
Remember, Food Must Meet Requirements
- Food products must be commercially available in South Carolina for one year prior to eligibility consideration with no distribution, recall or documented health problems.
- Food products must comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
- All foods must comply with FDA Standards of Identity as explained in the Code of Federal Regulations.
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) is an electronic system that replaces paper checks with a card for food benefit issuance and redemption at authorized WIC stores. The benefits of WIC EBT include:
- It's easier to use and more secure than paper checks
- Only one card is needed for the entire family group
- The store checkout process is faster
- Vendor staff training is reduced as WIC approved foods are identified by UPC/PLU codes
- It provides faster payment to the vendor
August 2017 Update:
South Carolina WIC is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the Approval Phase of the SCWIC/eWIC Implementation Project. SCWIC refers to the newest version of the system originally implemented in Maryland and now operating with WIC Electronic Benefit Transfer (WIC EBT) in various other states. SCWIC will replace two current systems: 1) the WIC module of the in-house developed clinic management system known as the Client Automated Record Encounter System (CARES) and the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) developed Vendor Management System and enable the implementation of WIC EBT. South Carolina WIC EBT will be known as eWIC.
We are now in the Procurement Phase of the project, soliciting contract services needed for the implementation. We anticipate that the Procurement Phase will extend from August 2017 through April 2018 with a kick-off of the Implementation Phase in May 2018.
During the Implementation Phase, our key objectives include conducting a required Pilot in Kershaw County beginning in the second quarter of 2019, and, with USDA/FNS approval, a Statewide Rollout beginning in the fourth quarter of 2019. The rollout schedule will be coordinated around the year-end holidays to limit the impact to WIC authorized vendors and clinic service delivery staff.
In the coming weeks, we anticipate testing our UPC/PLU collection process in selected stores. This test will help us refine the UPC/PLU collection procedure that will be used to establish the WIC approved product list needed for EBT.
April 2017 Update:
The pilot for EBT is planned to begin in the second quarter of 2019 with statewide implementation planned to begin in the 4th quarter of 2019 and complete in the first quarter of 2020.