Applying For Rhode Island WIC

Rhode Island WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is handled by the Rhode Island Department of Health. They are responsible for determing the eligibility requirements, application process and are in charge of providing the benefits and services to WIC participants. The Rhode Island WIC program aims to protect the health of low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to the age of 5 who are at a nutritional risk. This is done through WIC approved nutritious foods you can purchase using paper vouchers/checks, or in some states your WIC EBT card.

Nutrition Risk Requirements

Anyone who applies for Rhode Island WIC benefits must be seen by a health professional such as a physician, nurse, or nutritionist. They must determine whether the applicant is at a nutrition risk. In most cases, this can be done at a local WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. However, if need be, this information can be obtained from another health professional such as the applicants doctor. Being a nutrition risk means that an individual has a medical-based or dietary-based condition.

For medical-based condition it could be anemia, underweight or a history of poor pregnacy outcome. For a dietary-based condition, this could include having a poor diet. At a minimum, the applicant's height and weight must be taken and bloodwork drawn up to check for anemia. An applicant must have at least one of the medical or dietary conditions listed on the state's list of WIC nutrition risk criteria.

WIC Prescreening

Before applying for the RI WIC program, you can see if you are potentially eligible through the online Prescreening Tool. Please note, this tool is not considered an application. You still need to follow the application process for this state. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

The Rhode Island WIC program can help:

  • Learn healthy choices and lifestyles
  • Connect with needed services and medical care
  • Support with breastfeeding
  • Understand making healthy food choices for your family
  • Screen for health, growth, and development
  • Prepare your child for life long success

Rhode Island WIC Eligibility

Eligible women who are pregnant, breastfeeding a child under one year old and postpartum women who delivered a baby within six months, children birth to five years old and their caregivers (moms, dads, grandparents, foster parents, or guardians) whose household meets income guidelines. View the Rhode Island WIC Income Guidelines.

Rhode Island WIC Application

To get the application process started for RI WIC benefits, call the WIC clinic closes to you from the list below and schedule an appointment. At the appointment the WIC staff will determine if you are eligible to receive Rhode Island WIC benefits.

County Clinic Address Phone
Bristol East Bay Community Action Program 150 Franklin St 401-253-7577
Central Falls Childrens Friend Family Support Center 621 Dexter St 401-752-7827
Coventry Family Health Services of Coventry 191 MacArthur Blvd 401-589-2610
Cranston Family Health Services of Cranston 311 Doric Ave 401-946-4650
East Providence East Bay Community Action Riverside 100 Bullocks Point Ave 401-437-1007
Hopkinton Wood River Health Services Hope Valley 823 Main St 401-387-9638
Johnston Tri-County Community Health Center 1130 Hartford Ave 401-351-2750 Ext: 6
Newport East Bay Community Action Program 6 John H. Chafee Blvd. 401-619-5970
North Kingstown Thundermist Health Center of South County 650 Ten Rod Road 401-360-1528
North Providence Tri-County Community Health Center 33 Maple Street 401-351-2750 Ext: 6
Pawtucket Children's Friend 500 Prospect St 401-721-6416
Providence Children's Friend Berkshire 99 Berkshire Street 401-752-7590
Providence Children's Friend Friendship Center 350 Point Street 401-752-7781
Providence Childrens Friend Hartford 550 Hartford Ave 401-752-7920
Providence Meeting Street 1000 Eddy Street 401-533-9145
Providence Mt. Hope Neighborhood Association 199 Camp Street 401-521-8830
Providence Scalabrini Dukcevich Center 300 Laurel Hill Ave 401-632-4770
Providence St. Josephs Health Services 21 Peace St 401-456-4045
Providence West Elmwood Housing Development Corp
(Sankofa WIC Clinic)
224 Dexter Street 401-453-3220
Providence Women & Infants Hospital
(Outpatient Nutrition Services)
2 Dudley St. MOC Suite 550 401-274-1122 Ext: 42768
South Kingstown Thundermist Health Center of South County Wakefield 1 River St 401-360-1528
Tiverton East Bay Community Action Program 1048 Stafford Rd 401-625-1364
Warwick West Bay Community Action 205 Buttonwoods Ave 401-732-4660
West Warwick West Bay Community Action 145 Washington St 401-826-3230
Westerly Wood River Health Services 93 Tower St 401-387-9611
Woonsocket Thundermist Health Center 450 Clinton Street 1st Floor 401-767-4109

If you miss or need an appointment, or have a question, call your local WIC Office listed above or call the RIDOH Information Line 401-222-5960.

Use your WIC Approved Food Guide/ID Folder when shopping to help you choose WIC-approved foods.

WIC Breastfeeding

Research has shown that breast milk is the best food for the baby's first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional and economical benefits to mother and baby. Since a major goal of the Rhode Island WIC program is to improve the nutritional status of infants, RI WIC encourages participating mothers to choose breastfeeding in the following ways:

  • Mothers are provided with breastfeeding information and support
  • Breastfeeding mothers are eligible to participate in Rhode Island WIC longer than non-breastfeeding mothers
  • Mothers who exclusively breastfeed receive a larger amount and variety of foods
  • Mothers can receive a pump and other breastfeeding items if needed to help support the initiation and continuation of breastfeeding

Length of WIC Participation

Rhode Island WIC is considered a short-term program. A participate "graduates" at the end of one or more of their certification periods. A certification period is the length of time a RI WIC participate is eligible to receive benefits. Depending on the persons condition, either pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding, an infant or child, an eligible person usually receives benefits from 6 months to a year, at which time they are required to re-apply.

The WIC Waiting List

In some situations, WIC agencies may not have enough financial backing to serve everyone who qualifies for the Rhode Island WIC program or those who call to apply. At this point, the WIC agencies must keep a list that is referred to as the "waiting list". It contains all of the individuals who want to apply for the Rhode Island WIC program and are likely to be served. From there, the WIC agencies use a special system called a "Priority System". Based on conditions like most serious health conditions (anemia, underweight, pregnancy problems), this system will determine who will be served next to receive RI WIC benefits. There are 7 priorities used in this priority system, the details for each priority and how they are determined are listed below.

Priority 1
The following applicants with nutrition-related medical conditions such as anemia, underweight, overweight or pre-term birth:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women
  • Infants

Priority 2
Infants up to 6 months of age whose mothers participated in WIC or could have participated and had nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 3
Children with nutrition-related medical conditions.

Priority 4
The following applicants with dietary problems, for example a poor diet:

  • Infants
  • Pregnant Women
  • Breastfeeding Women

Priority 5
Children with dietary problems, for example a poor diet.

Priority 6
Postpartum (non-breastfeeding) women with nutrition related-medical conditions or dietary problems.

Priority 7
Current WIC participants who without providing the WIC supplemental foods could continue to have medical and/or dietary problems.

Please note, state agencies can decide to place homeless and migrant participants in Priorities 5 through 7. At the state agencies option, postpartum women may be placed in Priorities 3 through 5. Any priority can be subdivided into subcategories of risk, using factors such as income or age.

WIC Participants who are Moving

If you are receiving Rhode Island WIC benefits and are moving from one area or state to another, then you will be placed at the top of a waiting list when you move and are also served first when the WIC agency can serve more individuals. While moving, you can still continue to receive your benefits until your certification period expires as long as there is proof that you are receiving WIC benefits in another area or state. Before you move, you need to contact your local WIC clinic and let them know.

In most cases the staff will give you a special card, Verification of Certification Card (VOC), which will prove that you are receiving WIC benefits. After you do move, you will then need to call the WIC clinic in your new area to schedule an appointment. When attending your appointment, make sure to take the VOC card that was given to you to show proof that you were participating in the RI WIC program.

If you still have questions or issues about the program, then you can contact your local Rhode Island WIC program that manages these benefits and services.

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