The Massachusetts WIC Nutrition Program has approximately 1,000 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. The vendor's role is critical and essential in making the WIC Program successful.

The WIC Card

The Massachusetts WIC Nutrition Program issues food benefits through Electronic Benefit Transfer system called the WIC Card.  WIC participants use a WIC Card to purchase WIC approved foods at authorized grocery stores and pharmacies. The WIC Card benefits both the retailer and the WIC participant by delivering seamless transactions at the cash register, making the transactions like other debit or credit card transactions.

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 participants can purchase any number of WIC approved foods as long as they are in their available balance.  
  • WIC participants can obtain their most up to date benefit balance at any WIC authorized retail store.  

How does it work? When the WIC customer swipes their WIC Card and enters their PIN, the system will obtain the benefit balance for the household and match the scanned food items against the Approved Product List (APL). The system then determines if the household has that food item available in their benefit balance for the current benefit period. This happens automatically in less than a second. The food purchased is then removed from the benefit account and the remaining items are saved for purchase at another time.

The WIC Program is confident that the WIC Card offers an effective service for retailers 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.