Finally following the lead of its competitors, Costco will accept food stamp cards. For core food items, not other merchandise. Two New York City stores, in Astoria, Queens, and in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will serve as test sites because of the high numbers of food stamp recipients nearby. If the program is successful, Costco will expand it to all other New York City stores, but there are no plans to expand the program to other cities or states.
In a statement, Costco CEO James D. Sinegal explained the reason for the trial run:
In the past, we have not been convinced that there was sufficient demand among our membership to justify the expense and possible inefficiencies associated with accepting food stamps. However, we are mindful that many of our fellow citizens are facing unprecedented economic challenges at this time, and it seemed to us that it was worth reconsidering our position in that light.
Smart choice, as many previously middle-class families find themselves relying on food stamps. Let’s hope this works out, and is expanded to the rest of the chain.
Costco Will Accept Food Stamps at 2 Stores (Thanks, Jorge!)