WIC Information for WIC-Approved Vendors

COVID-19 Alerts

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 is moving from a paper-based method of WIC benefits issuance (checks) to a plastic EBT cards method known as eWIC. The Rhode Island WIC Program began the pilot for eWIC in January 2020. The eWIC pilot will last through July 2020. Statewide roll-out is expected to happen from July through October of 2020. Checks will remain in circulation potentially through December 2020.  Due to COVID-19, this estimated rollout date is tentative and will be updated as circumstances change. 

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 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.