Your will receive your checks and vouchers at your local WIC clinic. Checks can be redeemed at WIC approved grocery stores and at WIC-approved farmers markets. Below is everything you need to know about checks, vouchers and how to use them.
All of the foods you can buy will be listed on the front of the WIC check. You will be given an ID card that shows you are a paraticipant in the WIC program. You must show the ID to the cashier in the store when you use your WIC checks.
How to use WIC checks
Here’s what a typical check looks like:
- Space 1
- Shows the name of the person who is on the WIC program. The foods listed on the check are for this person only.
- Space 2
- Shows the first day you may spend your WIC checks. Do not spend your checks before this date.
- Space 3
- The last day you can spend your checks is listed in space 3. Do not make any changes to these dates. Each check is good for only one month and will not be accepted by the store after the day listed in space 3.
- Space 4
- Tells you what foods you can buy with your check and how much you can buy. The amount and types of food listed on each check depend on the age and nutrition needs of the person enrolled.
- Space 5
- When you go to the check-out line, tell the cashier that you will be using WIC checks. After the cashier rings up the foods, he or she will write the total of your purchase in space 5. Make sure that the cashier has written the correct amount on the check. The check is good only for the actual cost of the foods you buy. You will not get any change back, and you will not have to pay anything.
- Space 6
- After the cashier has written the correct dollar amount in space 5, sign your name in space 6 while the cashier watches. Do not sign in this space before you go to the store. Do not let anyone else use your WIC checks without permission from the local WIC office. Be sure to take your WIC ID card with you when you go to the grocery store. The cashier will not accept your WIC checks without a valid WIC ID card.
As you shop, separate the foods you are buying with WIC checks from the other foods you are buying.
You may not want to use all of your checks at one time because foods such as milk may spoil or go bad before the end of the month.
Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers
As part of WIC, you will receive a voucher to purchase certain fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables at a WIC approved grocery store.
Here’s what a typical voucher looks like:
Framers‘ Market Coupons
In addition to the fruit and vegetable voucher, fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased from authorized farmers at selected farmers’ markets. The program is called the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). A farmers’ market is a group of farmers who sell their crops directly to consumers. Your local WIC office can give you a list of farmers’ markets in your area that participate in the program. This program is available through certain clinic sites during the summer months.
Who qualifies for FMNP?
Pregnant, postpartum or breast feeding women and children between the ages of 1 and 5 who are enrolled in the WIC program in in certain counties that participate in the program.
If you qualify you will receive:
- FMNP coupons from the WIC clinic in which you are enrolled.
- Information about the nutritional importance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- A list and map of participating farmers' markets in your area. FMNP coupons may only be used at these authorized markets.
- FMNP checks may not be used to purchase baked goods, seafood, milk, eggs, peanuts, nuts, or processed food such as jams, honey, apple cider, fruit juices, pickles, or cane syrup.
How to use the FMNP coupons
- Go to the participating farmers' market in your area.
- Look for farmers at the market displaying an FMNP sign stating "Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Coupons Accepted Here".
- Choose from the locally grown FMNP approved produce available. A list of the fruits and vegetables that can be purchased appears in the brochure you received with the FMNP coupons or you can view a fruits and vegetables list here in the website.
- Show the farmer your WIC ID card.
- Sign your name on the coupon and give the coupon to the farmer.
Remember you must use your Farmers' Market coupons to buy only locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
Farmers often sell all of their produce before the end of the market hours, so arrive early for the best selection.
You will not receive any change back if your purchase is less than the amount of the coupon. Ask the farmer if you can receive additional produce to make up the difference.
You must use your coupons prior to their expiration date. Farmers will not accept coupons after this date.