WIC Vendors are an important part of the WIC Program, ensuring that participants buy WIC-approved foods.
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) WIC Program has moved from a paper-based method of WIC benefits issuance (checks) to a plastic EBT card method known as eWIC. The Rhode Island WIC Program began the pilot for eWIC in January 2020 and went statewide in September 2020. Currently, all WIC transactions statewide are completed using eWIC cards.
Register for Mandatory Vendor Training
Please contact the Rhode Island WIC Vendor Unit at 401-222-4637, 401-222-5939, or 401-222-4633 to register for one of the sessions.
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 the new eWIC system only permits purchases of WIC-approved items currently available to the participant.
- Offer to help the shopper find approved foods.
- If a food is not eWIC approved, but seems like it should be approved, submit a request to have the food item added to the Approved Product List using the WIC Vendor Product Approval Form or the WIC Shopper app.
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 has an incorrect PIN number
- Instruct them to call the phone number on the back of their card to update their PIN number
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 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.
- 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.