WIC Information for WIC-Approved Vendors

WIC Vendors are an important part of the WIC Program, ensuring that participants buy WIC-approved foods.

Important WIC Vendor Notice: June 25, 2019

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), WIC Program is moving from a paper-based method of WIC benefits issuance (Checks) to a plastic EBT cards known as eWIC. The RI WIC Program will begin an eWIC pilot on October 1, 2019. Pilot will last through December 2019. Statewide roll-out is expected to happen January through February 2020. Checks will remain in circulation potentially through May 2020.

Register for Mandatory Vendor Training

The mandatory eWIC vendor trainings have been scheduled for all WIC-authorized vendors in July 2019. Please contact the RI WIC Vendor Unit RI WIC Vendor Unit at 222-4637, 222-5939, or 222-4633 to register for one of the following sessions:

  • July 22 (Monday): English 9 AM - 12:30 PM Spanish 1 PM - 4:30 PM
  • July 24 (Wednesday): Spanish 9 AM - 12:30 PM English 1 PM - 4:30 PM
  • July 25 (Thursday): English 4:30 PM – 8 PM

Please note, during the transition from checks to eWIC, the State WIC office will not accept applications from prospective new vendors. RI WIC will stop accepting new store applications on 10/01/19 and will resume accepting new store applications on 3/01/2020. Any exceptions to this rule will be determined by State WIC Office on case by case basis.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the RI WIC Vendor Unit at 222-4637, 222-5939, or 222-4633 or email at DOH.wicvendorsupport@health.ri.gov.

What WIC Vendors should do

If a customer tries to buy non-approved food

  • Explain that the WIC Program requires that only approved foods can be purchased.
  • Explain that your store could be penalized for accepting WIC checks for any non-approved items.
  • Offer to help the shopper find approved foods.

If a WIC shopper gets upset or angry with you

  • Remain calm and explain the situation politely.
  • Contact the store manager for support.
  • Contact WIC Vendor Support and we will discuss the situation with the WIC participant.

If a customer does not have an ID Folder

  • Explain that you cannot complete the transaction without the ID Folder to protect the participant from lost or stolen checks.
  • Refer the WIC shopper to their local WIC agency.

If you are out of the "lowest price" items, such as eggs, regular or evaporated milk, cheese, or canned fish

  • Allow the participant another brand at the approved price.

If you need to replace a WIC Vendor Stamp

  • Contact WIC Vendor Support with your name, address, and vendor stamp information to request a free replacement.

If there is a price increase

  • Contact WIC Vendor Support for assistance. (You may not change prices until approved by the WIC Program.)

If a WIC shopper wants to use coupons or other discounts

  • If your store accepts these for other customers, you must also accept them for WIC participants. You must write in the price after the discount on the check.
  • WIC shoppers are entitled to any free promotions offered to other store customers (e.g., "buy one get one free").
  • Do not refund money back to shopper.

If a customer tries to use a WIC check that has already been signed

  • Explain that the store can only accept checks that are signed at the register.
  • Refer the WIC shopper to his or her local WIC agency to request a reissue of the previously signed checks.