Vendors

Massachusetts WIC Nutrition Program has approximately 1000 authorized vendors, statewide, to process WIC transactions. These stores include large chains, medium independents, chain pharmacies, independent pharmacies, commissaries, and small neighborhood grocery/convenience stores.

WIC vendors ensure that WIC participants receive the correct type and amount of food in the month it is intended to be received. The vendor's role is critical and essential in making the Massachusetts WIC Nutrition Program successful.

The New WIC Card

The WIC Card is the new way of delivering benefits to WIC participants in Massachusetts. As of October 2014, the WIC Program completed the WIC Card rollout and all local WIC offices are now issuing benefits electronically to WIC participants! Remember WIC checks will be in the system until January 2015.  

Advantages for participants and cashiers include:

  • Benefits for all family members are aggregated into one household account using a single card.
  • The system determines the valid use dates for benefits and whether food items are approved for purchase.
  • In most cases, WIC items do not need to be separated from other purchases.
  • WIC customers can purchase any number of items as long as they are in their available balance.  
  • WIC customers can obtain their most up to date benefit balance at any WIC authorized retail store.  

How does it work? When a food item is scanned into the cash register system, the UPC (the bar code on the food) is checked against the Massachusetts WIC Approved Product List (APL). The system then determines if the household has that food item available for the current benefit period. This happens automatically in less than a second. The food purchased is removed from the account and the remaining items are saved for purchase at another time. Based on the experience of other states which have already implemented similar WIC electronic benefit transactions, using the WIC Card takes less time at the register and is more pleasant for participants and store staff.

We are confident that the transition to the WIC Card will be smooth and result in better, more effective services for you, as a vendor, and our shared WIC customers. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call the vendor staff at 1-617-624-6100 or the WIC Retail Store Hotline at 1-800-552-9425.