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DC WIC Vendor Training Newsletter June 2020

Dear DC WIC Vendors, DC WIC recognizes the dedication of your frontline grocery workers, working tirelessly to feed the public. You play a critical role in helping people have access to fresh, affordable food. From the entire DC WIC State Agency, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

DC WIC stands united with those on the frontlines fighting for racial justice. Racism is a public health issue, and DC WIC is committed to serving and supporting our WIC families in an effort to build a more equitable, safe, and healthy community. Black Lives Matter.

Over the Max on Cash Value Checks

Cash Value Checks (CVCs) are issued with an actual dollar amount on the check to be used for fresh, frozen, canned, and/or dried fruits and vegetables.

The DC WIC State Agency is seeing a large amount of vendor revenue lost due to cashiers allowing CVCs over the max amount. The bank will only reimburse the vendor up to the amount issued on the check.

Using the example below, if a CVC is issued for $9.00, the cashier should not allow for the CVC to be redeemed for more than $9.00. Here the total was $19.90, so the participant should have paid the difference of $10.90 after the transaction exceeded the max amount of the CVC.

Vendors must allow WIC participants to use SNAP benefits, cash, debit card or credit card to pay the difference in price when they are using CVCs. This is called a "split tender". Split tender transactions may only be used with CVCs, and are not an option for other WIC check transactions.

The receipt must show the CVC and the different types of tenders used, if applicable.

48 Hour Special Formula Ordering

DC WIC Authorized pharmacies are required to obtain special formulas for participants within 48 hours of the participant placing an order. This requirement includes pharmacies that are co-located in grocery stores.

24 Hour Standard Contract Formula Ordering

DC WIC Authorized Vendors are required to secure “out of stock” standard contract infant formula (Similac Advance and Similac Isomil) requested by a WIC participant within a 24-hour period. Attempts should be made to work with the participant so the product is provided as soon as possible during this time.

The required standard contract infant formulas are pictured below. The required standard contract infant formula is required at stores at all times, in the required minimum stock levels.

Stop Payment on Checks

When a participant has reported their WIC or CVC checks as lost or stolen, a "stop payment" is placed on the check(s). If these checks happen to be redeemed after the stop payment has been placed, the check will be rejected by the bank.

The State Agency will re-validate most checks that were rejected due to stop payments, as long as there are no other check errors on the check.

Please contact monica.tomasso@dc.gov if you have any questions.

Fraud

During the COVID-19 emergency, states are witnessing a higher rate of fraud and abuse involving WIC and CVC checks. Please hold on to the fraudulent checks and email a photo of the check to the State Agency a picture of the check to the state agency. Do not return the fraudulent checks to the participant.

Types of fraud include: 1) altered check dates, 2) altered check food items.

Please hold on to fraudulent checks and email a picture of the check to the state agency at info.vendor@dc.gov. Do not return them to the participant.

Dannon 32-ounce Yogurt Package Changes

The 32-oz Low Fat and Non Fat Dannon yogurts have package changes. The ingredients, UPC codes and prices have not changed.

If you don't already see the new packaging in your stores, it will show up in your stores very soon.

Frozen Vegetables with Cheese

Frozen vegetables with cheese is NOT a DC WIC approved item, nor are they on the COVID-19 Expanded Food List.  Do not allow the purchase of ANY produce product with cheese sauce, butter, etc.

Refer to the list below from the WIC ID folder for additional produce that cannot be purchased with WIC and CVC checks.

USDA COVID-19 Expanded Food List Waivers

In March 2020, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act granted USDA the authority to waive certain federal WIC requirements, giving States the ability to temporarily expand their authorized WIC Food List. Beginning in June, States are applying on a monthly basis from June through September for a range of waivers related these requirements. At the time of this newsletter, DC WIC is reaching out to our vendors to assess the need to continue waivers regarding the Expanded Food List. We will update our vendors as soon as we: 1) decide to discontinue the Expanded Food List or 2) are denied a waiver related to the Expanded Food List by USDA. All waivers are set to expire September 30, 2020.

e-WIC Update

The DC WIC State Agency is hard at work planning the District's e-WIC roll out. We are about a year away from the start of implementation. As we get closer to implementation, the roll-out schedule will be shared with you. Extensive training and technical assistance will be provided to your teams.

Friendly Reminders

Treat WIC participants with the same courtesy and respect as other customers. We urge everyone to be kind and gracious toward WIC participants.

Cashiers must ask WIC participants to see their WIC ID folder upon checking out. This is a mandatory state requirement to verify identity.

Print and share this training newsletter with your staff.

High Risk Vendor Monitoring began in February 2020. Necessary follow up visits were postponed due to COVID-19 public health emergency. High risk monitoring will resume this summer.

WIC IS HERE FOR YOU!

If participants have questions about the DC WIC Approved Food list or the COVID-19 Expanded Food List, please encourage them to contact their WIC Local Agency. If you have any questions or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Monica Tomasso at monica.tomasso@dc.gov or 202-236-6313.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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