Your California WIC Card You will receive a California WIC Card to shop for your WIC foods. Every 1 to 3 months you will visit your WIC office. At your WIC appointment you will receive your WIC food benefits and attend a group class or get one-on-one nutrition education. Always bring your WIC Card and identification to your WIC appointments. Your family’s WIC food benefits will be together on one WIC Card. It is important to remember that this is a reusable card. Never throw your card away. Keep your WIC Card safe. You will need it for your WIC appointments and to shop for your WIC foods. When you get your WIC Card, you will be asked to choose a Personal Identification Number, or PIN. A PIN is a private 4-digit number. It is best to choose a PIN that is easy for you to remember, and hard for others to guess. You will use your PIN with your WIC Card every time you shop. Make sure to keep your PIN safe and do not write your PIN on your card. If someone gets your WIC Card and knows your PIN, they could get your WIC foods. Sometimes you may need to ask someone to shop for you. Be sure you trust that person to keep your PIN safe. Before Shopping with your California WIC Card You can use your WIC Card only at stores authorized to accept California WIC benefits. There are many ways to find a WIC authorized store. You can use the free WIC phone app on your smart phone. You can go online to the website, myfamily.wic.ca.gov. You can ask your WIC office for a list of authorized stores in your area. Or, you can look for the WIC logo near the front door or window of the store. Before going to the store, it is important to know your WIC Food Balance. Your Food Balance is the foods and the amounts available to your family between specific dates. Be sure to shop for all the foods in your WIC Food Balance within the allowed dates. There are many ways to find your WIC Food Balance. You can use the free WIC phone app on your smart phone. You can get a printout at your WIC office. You can look at your store receipt from your last shopping trip. You can ask the cashier or customer service desk at the store to print your WIC Food Balance. You can call the toll-free number on the back of your WIC Card, 1-844-4MY-FAMILY. Or, you can go online to myfamily.wic.ca.gov Using your California WIC Card at the Store With your WIC Card you can get just what you need at each shopping trip. To find WIC authorized foods, you can use your WIC Shopping Guide or the free WIC phone app on your smart phone. You can use the phone app to scan the package barcode to see if items are WIC authorized. The app will also tell you if the food is in your WIC Food Balance. At the store, separate your WIC foods from your non-WIC items as you shop. Keeping your WIC foods separate will make checking out easier. Tell the cashier you are using your WIC Card. There are slightly different store checkout systems for WIC. Follow the instructions from the cashier at your store. Some stores may have to scan your WIC foods first. The cashier will let you know when to swipe your card and enter your PIN. With either store system, always use your WIC Card first before using other forms of payment. Pay close attention as the cashier scans each WIC food! Some stores will ask you to approve your WIC purchases before your sale is totaled. The cashier will give you a receipt showing your WIC food purchases. If everything is correct, you will need to confirm the items being purchased using the PIN pad on the card machine. Any foods not authorized by WIC can be put back or bought with another form of payment such as your CalFresh card or other debit card. Also, check your WIC fruit and vegetable cash value benefit amount. If you go over your family amount, you can pay the difference using another form of payment or put something back. You will need to tell the cashier if you want to put something back before the cashier gives you the final receipt. Give the cashier your store loyalty card and any coupons you may have. The cashier will complete the sale and give you a final receipt. The receipt will show the WIC foods you purchased and your remaining WIC Food Balance. The Food Balance includes the WIC foods and the amounts you have left. The receipt also will show the date your benefits expire. The expiration date is the last day you can get the rest of your WIC food benefits. Food benefits expire at midnight on that day. Keep this receipt and your WIC Card. You will need them for your next shopping trip. Remember, the free WIC phone app and WIC Shopping Guide can help you choose foods your family likes. Taking care of your California WIC Card and your PIN It is important to take care of your WIC Card. The magnetic stripe on the back of the card contains important information about your WIC benefits. Your card is reusable, so do not throw it away. Keep your card in a safe place, such as your wallet. Do not bend the card. Keep it away from direct sunlight and heat. Too much heat can damage the magnetic stripe on the back of your card. Also, keep your card away from items that can damage the magnetic stripe. These items include magnets, cell phones, TVs and microwaves. It is equally important to be careful when using your PIN. You will enter your PIN each time you use your WIC Card at the store. You have 4 chances to enter your PIN correctly. After 4 tries, your card will be locked. You will not be able to get your WIC foods. Locking the card protects you from someone trying to guess your PIN and getting your food benefits. To unlock your card, call the phone number, 1-844-4MY-FAMILY, on the back of your card. Or, you can wait until after midnight for the PIN to reset. If you simply forget your PIN or want to change it, call the same number. How to get help with your California WIC Card The toll free phone number, 1-844-4MY-FAMILY, on the back of your WIC Card is available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is a good idea to keep this phone number separate from your WIC Card in case your card is lost or stolen. Call this phone number to report a lost, stolen or damaged card. Then contact your WIC office to get a new card. You will not lose your WIC benefits. You can also call this toll-free phone number when you have questions or problems with your PIN. Your WIC office can answer specific questions about your WIC benefits and shopping with your WIC card. If you have trouble buying any WIC foods that you think are authorized, check with your WIC office. The reason may be that your WIC Food Balance does not have the food item you were trying to get. Or, perhaps the specific size or brand of the food item is not WIC authorized. Contact your WIC office for help. The California WIC Card makes shopping fast and easy. Families grow healthy with WIC!