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Will you give your Vote to allow a Megastore TO REJECT Food Stamps ?

Community leaders are pushing wholesale grocery giant Costco to change its no-food-stamps policy, saying needy New Yorkers deserve access to cheap, fresh grub.

Food stamps aren't accepted at Costco clubs nationwide - which means that residents within walking distance of a branch have to travel to a retail grocery store if they want to use their government aid.

"In tough economic times, more and more people are relying on food stamps," said City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens), part of a community group that's challenging Costco to accept food stamps.

"Costco is leaving a lot of people stranded," said Gioia, who is urging Costco to start a flagship food-stamp program at its newest branch in East Harlem.

Gioia and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum are putting the pressure on Costco to join competitors like BJ's and Sam's Club, which now accept food stamps as a method of payment.

Because they are clubs, Costco, BJ's and the lik


Asked by Anonymous at 7:01 AM on May. 4, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (62)
  • I hate places like that anyways. Never been to a Costco's 'cause we don't have them down here, but I REFUSE to join Sam's Club. I think it is stupid to have to PAY a membership to shop at your store. I can understand them not taking food stamps though b/c you'd think the people on food stamps can't afford their membership. I'll admit my family is on food stamps and we couldn't afford that extra cost. Sam's Club is actually the closest store to where I live, but I'd rather drive 1/2 a mile farther to go to Wal-Mart of a mile and 1/2 farther to go to my favorite grocery store, Kroger, than ever shop at Sam's Club.

    Answer by ABPeterson at 7:43 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • cont
    BJ's and the like also charge members an annual fee for the privilege of shopping for their wholesale-price goods and services.

    "A lot of people in neighborhoods like mine could really use the help," said Viveca Diaz, an East Harlem resident.

    "This could change a lot of people's lives, if they were able to buy in bulk on food stamps," Diaz said.

    Over 1.2 million New Yorkers use food stamps - including nearly 200,000 who enrolled in the program last year alone. Accepting food stamps as payment for groceries comes at no cost to stores.

    Gioia said he was told by Costco that stores wouldn't accept food stamps because they lacked the "technology" for the program.

    Costco officials didn't immediately return calls for comment.

    Read more:

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:05 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Costco is a business and should be allowed to run it the way they wish. If that means they don't want to accept food stamps, then so be it. However, I'm sure they will probably be "pressured" into it, lest they end up having to deal with being smeared and called racist or classist.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:24 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • "Gioia said he was told by Costco that stores wouldn't accept food stamps because they lacked the "technology" for the program."

    If they already accept credit and debit cards, they already have the technology. Is Costco a cash only place??

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:34 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Soo, these people can't afford to buy their own food, but they can afford the membership to costco? Yep. Sounds like typical food stamp thinking at it's best. It they don't wanna accept food stamps, they shouldn't have to.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Walmart owns Sam's club.

    So what other store is Costco assosiated with?

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:46 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Buying in bulk doesn't save enough to fool with at the "club" stores.

    If it did, I would be doing it as I attempted it years ago.

    They're not missing much, anyways.

    Costco should be allowed to sell to whomever it wants.

    People on foodstamps shouldn't be buying "luxury" restaurant quality food anyways.

    Nutritional needs can be met in other, more frugal ways.

    But I see lawsuits mounting.......................

    Answer by mustbeGRACE at 7:55 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • No. They should not be forced to accept all tenders. I know the Costco's here only accept American Express, Debit Cards or Cash. No other credit cards. If they want to risk losing the business of those who would use foodstamps, then that's a business decision.

    Answer by Bezu at 8:07 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • No, they shouldn't be forced or pressured into it. It's become painfully clear that many Americans think they are entitled to whatever they want. If people don't like their policy, they can keep their membership dollars and join Sam's or shop anywhere else (like a normal grocery store). We are not guaranteed convenience. Many other parts of the world you can't just expect other's to change the way they do business to suit a few. This entitlement attitude is out of control.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 8:17 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • If you need aid to buy foodstamps you can't afford a costco membership. It is their choice to accept or not accept. More evidence of government trying to take over our choices and how we run our lives.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:33 AM on May. 4, 2009