Colorado WIC Retailer Training Video – WIC: Simplified

Welcome to WIC. The WIC program partners with Colorado families
and grocery stores like yours to promote healthy active kids. This partnership works. Families receive nutrition counseling, breastfeeding
support and a selection of healthy foods. Children who are a part of the program are
healthier. This saves money because these children don’t
need to go to the doctor as much. Plus families support the local economy. WIC families usually spend three or four dollars
of their own money for every dollar of WIC food they buy at your store. Cashiers play a major role in this partnership. You are ambassadors for WIC and are the face
families see when purchasing their WIC foods. You are a resource they depend on. The more familiar you are with WIC, the more
you can share that expertise and offer the best customer service. The Colorado WIC Allowable Foods List shows
the brands, sizes and varieties of WIC foods provided. Before coming to the store, the WIC family
is given a list of foods tailored to their needs and made up of foods from the Colorado
WIC Allowable Foods List. This personalized list is called a family
food benefits list. Each family also receives an eWIC card that
they can use to purchase foods from their family food benefits list from any Colorado
WIC authorized grocery store, commissary, pharmacy or farmer. The family can allow someone else to use the
card to do their WIC shopping for them. They can buy as little as one WIC item or
all their items for the month at one time. But only items on the family food benefits
list will show as approved when paying with their eWIC card, even if the food is on the
Allowable Foods List. The WIC shopper can check the monthly balance
of their family food benefits by calling the phone number or visiting the website on the
back of the eWIC card. If they forget their PIN the shopper can call
the phone line and change their PIN. If a shopper is having a difficult time remembering
their PIN, you might suggest that they call the automated phone line shown on the back
of their card and change their PIN before the fourth attempt. If a WIC shopper enters the wrong PIN four
times in a row, their account is locked until midnight that day. Stores have different point of sale or POS
systems, so WIC purchases can look different based on your store’s POS. Your store manager is responsible for training
you to be able to successfully complete a WIC purchase. In a typical WIC purchase, the cashier rings
up a shopper’s order of WIC and non WIC items. The WIC shopper swipes the eWIC card first
before any other payment type and then enters their PIN. The POS system identifies the foods that WIC
will pay for. The POS system is making sure the account
and pin match, checking the balance of the shopper’s food for that month and identifying
which items are WIC approved for that shopper. The system keeps track of all this so you
don’t have to. The system will then either allow or deny
an item to be paid by WIC. It then asks the shopper to approve the purchase. When approved, the foods are taken off the
shopper’s family food benefits balance and the POS sends the request for payment for
the approved items to WIC. The shopper may pay for the rest of their
purchase with another form of payment, such as cash, SNAP or credit card. Or the shopper may ask to void these items. The shopper should always get a receipt after
the purchase. Your cash register receipts provide lots of
information. They list the WIC items purchased, the quantity
sold, the amount WIC paid, as well as the payment due for non-WIC items. The receipt also shows how much food the shopper
has left in their family food benefits balance for that month and the last day they can buy
those foods. There are a small number of stores that use
a separate device to scan WIC purchases. If your store uses this kind of device your
manager will give you instructions on how to ring up a WIC order. WIC foods include a variety of fruits and
vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, whole grains, beans, peanut butter, baby foods and
infant formulas. WIC nutrition consultants select the best
food for each WIC family member to promote healthy birth and growth. Peanut butter, dry and canned beans, and fruits
and vegetables can be purchased in any brand. Cereal, grape juice, yogurt, tortillas and
baby food are limited to specific brands. Cheese, orange and grapefruit juice are limited
to store brand only. Milk and eggs are purchased in store brand
if available. National brands are allowed if the store brand
is not available. The Allowable Foods List also explains the
sizes of allowed items. For example, soy beverage is provided in quart
or half gallon containers. Cheese is provided in one, two or three pound
packages and eggs are provided by the dozen. The sizes are specific so that WIC shoppers
can get the most value out of their WIC foods. The Allowable Foods List also clarifies what
variations of foods are allowed. For example, it’s okay to buy crunchy or creamy
peanut butter but not peanut butter with added jelly. When buying fruits and vegetables, the family
has a dollar amount to spend. If the cost of the produce is more than the
amount in their balance, they simply pay the difference. Let’s face it, selecting WIC allowed foods
can sometimes be complicated. WIC customers may need your help. The Allowable Foods List and WICShopper app
can help shoppers and you understand what choices are available. This is why it’s important to keep a copy
of the Allowable Foods List near your register. For example, a shopper may select a food that
is not scanning as a WIC purchase. Keep in mind that only the foods and the shopper’s
family food benefits list are approved for payment by eWIC. The cashier cannot override an item that is
denied. If you find that items don’t ring up as WIC
foods, check the Allowable Foods List to determine if the item that the shopper is trying to
purchase is WIC approved. Share the Allowable Foods List with a shopper
to review the approved brands, varieties and sizes. Help the shopper identify another approved
option. Check the receipt to see if the item is including
the shopper’s family food benefit list or suggest the shopper look at the receipt. A common mistake is a shopper trying to purchase
2% milk when their family food benefits list specifies one percent or skim milk. Let them know about the WICShopper app, which
allows them to scan the barcode from a smartphone to see if it’s an eligible food and if it’s
available on their food balance. Look at a shopper’s family food benefits
balance on the receipt to see if there is enough for the purchase. For example, they may be trying to purchase
two pounds of cheese when they only have one pound of cheese left in their family food
benefits balance. Encourage the shopper to check the receipt
which shows the number and description of foods available in their account or their
WICShopper app, which shows their family food benefits list and the balance for the month. WIC shoppers should take any remaining questions
to their WIC clinic, including if their card is damaged, lost or stolen; if they have questions
about WIC eligible foods; if they think a food is WIC eligible but the barcode scan
says it is not, the shopper can provide the item details or pictures to their local WIC
clinic. WIC sends your store’s POS a list of the thousands
of WIC items and their UPC barcodes which are continuously updated. It is called the approved product list or
APL. Your store system uses this APL to scan foods
at checkout. While not very common, if you or the shopper
think there is a mistake in the barcodes please let us know. Report the missing barcode, UPC and item details
to your store manager or chain representative to send to Colorado WIC. A picture of the label and a barcode can be
sent to (720) 630-3391. If you are experiencing issues with your POS
system, contact your system provider or call the service number that is printed on the
back of your POS system. Once all items are paid for it and the transaction
is complete, you cannot void the WIC items and put benefits back on the shopper’s eWIC
card balance. Never give a customer cash back for a WIC
transaction. Unless defective, WIC items cannot be returned
or exchanged. Rain checks are not allowed. A WIC shopper should never be asked for additional
ID for a WIC purchase. Never ask for the card number or PIN. Some stores use shelf tags to label WIC items
for their shoppers. If your store’s management decides to use
shelf tags, please be sure they are correct and based on the guidance in the WIC handbook. The WIC retailer handbook has many how to’s,
guides and answers to questions including details on how prices are determined, required
resources for WIC foods and formula, rules and processes on claims and incentive items
and lots more. To track policies, materials, resources and
store training documents, keep them together in your WIC manual. Many of the shopping rules are also detailed
in the WIC retailer handbook. Coupons, buy-one get-one offers, loyalty cards
and other promotions must be honored. If an item is defective, please exchange the
item for the same item. Grocery stores are not required to stock all
flavors and brands of WIC items, but are required to stock certain items like cheese, juice,
milk, beans, cereal and formula at all times in sufficient quantities to meet WIC demand. Check out your WIC handbook for more details. WIC authorized stores, as well as WIC shoppers,
may be penalized, or sanctioned, if found to have committed violations of the WIC program. The sanctions range from a corrective action
plan to disqualification. WIC will monitor your store to ensure it is
in compliance with the WIC handbook and agreement. WIC conducts compliance checks on some stores. These can either be secret shopping or audits
of the store’s inventory and purchase receipts. The WIC handbook available in your store details
store violations, which include charging tax on WIC purchases, failing to train cashiers,
failing to provide receipts, stocking formula past the expiration date and charging unapproved
foods to WIC. If your store is disqualified from either
the WIC or SNAP program, it may automatically be disqualified from the other program for
an equal period of time. Even experienced WIC shoppers may make mistakes. However, if you identify a WIC purchase that
is believed to be inappropriate, contact your manager, who can contact the local WIC clinic. You can help us resolve the issue by providing
as many details as possible. Buying, selling or otherwise misusing WIC
benefits is a crime. To report suspected abuse, please call (800)
424-9121, visit or email [email protected] There are several resources available to assist
WIC authorized stores. Each store is assigned a local agency retail
coordinator, or LARC, to guide you through the process. Your LARC is responsible for preparing and
monitoring your store. During a monitoring visit, your LARC will
meet with store management to assist them with issues, questions and staff training. Your LARC inspects the manual during the monitoring
visit to ensure everything is going well and they’re glad to hear from you and gather your
input. The WIC’s World newsletter is routinely
sent to your store manager and includes changes important for you to know. Contact your chain’s WIC representative
or store manager if you want to share information, join a conference call or volunteer to help
make the Colorado WIC program better. If you have additional input or questions,
please contact the Colorado WIC program or your chain’s WIC representative. We value your comments. We’ll wrap up with a very large thank you. As a WIC approved grocer, you are a valued
partner with WIC and provide a high level of customer service to your WIC shoppers. You are essential to keeping Colorado’s families
healthy. Thank you, we couldn’t do this without you.

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