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Costco to Begin Accepting Food Stamps

By Ann Zimmerman

Costco Wholesale Corp., one of the country's largest warehouse-club chains, said it will start accepting food stamps at its 420 stores nationwide, as the number of Americans receiving government assistance continues to soar.

Under pressure from politicians, Costco began accepting food stamps at six New York City stores earlier this year and was surprised to discover that this led to a rise in memberships and sales. Other warehouse-club chains began accepting food stamps within the last year.

"Given the economy and layoffs, this was a positive for our members and the right thing to do," said Richard Galanti, chief financial officer of Costco, which is based in Issaquah, Wash.

More than 35 million people received food stamps in June, the most recent month for which data is available, a 22% increase over the previous June, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was the seventh consecutive month that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program increased.

Costco joins a growing number of competitors that have embraced the program during the recession, including BJ's Wholesale Club, Target Corp. and Sam's Club, the membership club unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which began accepting food stamps late last year and rolled it out to all of its 600 stores by March.

Costco was concerned that accepting food stamps, which can be used only for certain purchases, would slow down check-out lines. But that proved not to be a problem, in part because food stamps are now delivered via plastic cards similar to debit cards, the company said.

Dollar stores began implementing the technology to accept the cards several years ago and attribute their strong sales gains during the recession, in part, to food stamps. Family Dollar Stores Inc., which posted record profits last year, accepts the cards at about 80% of its 6,500 stores.

Costco also thought that its relatively well-to-do members wouldn't utilize the food stamp program.

"I think that was probably a little bit arrogant on our part." Mr. Galanti told Wall Street analysts during a conference call in early October.

Copied this from news article. What are your thoughts on this, food stamps, paid membership only store? :scratch:dunno:
 

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wanna be prepared
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Canada should have food stamps! Instead they have the foodbank which gives you food instead of a choice to buy the food you actually agree with.....
What could you even afford with foodstamps at costco? a case of something? lol
 

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If you haven't heard the stories of what people buy on FoodStamps in the US - it is absolutely asinine. Some of the reported things purchased on FoodStamps include everything that is required for a house-party like chips, dips, salsa's, pop, quickie-foods - etc ... the kind of crap-food you can purchase at the local Seven-11 .. convenience items.

Our food-bank supplies people with the actual good-to-eat with lots-of-nutrients kinds of foods that might take a bit more time to prepare, but, they are also much healthier for the body.

I think that I prefer the Canadian method of helping to feed people
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Our food-bank supplies people with the actual good-to-eat with lots-of-nutrients kinds of foods that might take a bit more time to prepare, but, they are also much healthier for the body.

I think that I prefer the Canadian method of helping to feed people
I go to the food bank here, as I've said before. I pay a fair price for the amount of food I get and it is above average, some even gourmet and premium brands. They also give it free to the needy.
 

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If you haven't heard the stories of what people buy on FoodStamps in the US - it is absolutely asinine. Some of the reported things purchased on FoodStamps include everything that is required for a house-party like chips, dips, salsa's, pop, quickie-foods - etc ... the kind of crap-food you can purchase at the local Seven-11 .. convenience items.
Some years back I was in line behind a women using food stamps. She bought a pint of milk with a $5 stamp and received $4.50 in cash as change. Where do you think that $4.50 went? :dunno: I'll bet it wasn't for food.
At least the process has changed recently. Now they have a card to swipe so you don't get cash back, but you can still buy junk instead of real food. :nuts:
 

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If you haven't heard the stories of what people buy on FoodStamps in the US - it is absolutely asinine. Some of the reported things purchased on FoodStamps include everything that is required for a house-party like chips, dips, salsa's, pop, quickie-foods - etc ... the kind of crap-food you can purchase at the local Seven-11 .. convenience items.

Our food-bank supplies people with the actual good-to-eat with lots-of-nutrients kinds of foods that might take a bit more time to prepare, but, they are also much healthier for the body.

I think that I prefer the Canadian method of helping to feed people
I much prefer the Canadian idea! This reminds me of what my father-in-law does: When he sees a "homeless" person begging for food, he offers to buy them a sandwhich. 99% of the time, they tell him point blank, "Nah, I just want the money."

Perhaps people wouldn't be abusing the system if it were harder to abuse. I've also heard stories of people spending $100 in foodstamps and then standing outside the store and selling it for $50 just to get the cash. I have no problem with people who are in genuine need, but the vast majority of people that I have encountered who are on some sort of government assistance do not need it and are simply being lazy. I once had a girl who worked for me tell me that she couldn't work more than fifteen hours a week, or she would lose her welfare check. I asked how much the check was for, she told me, and I told her that she could easily make that much or more if she worked full-time . . . her response? "Uh, yeah, but then I'd have to actually WORK for it!"
 

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There's always going to be flaws in the system. I don't know if I like the Canadian Idea. Wouldn't you be using more resources running the food bank with employees, electricity, building issues, then forking over food stamps and letting people get what they want? I don't know.

By the way Vance, 7-11 now takes food stamps. They have signs in every store.
 

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wanna be prepared
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Well I guess I might be the only one who actually buys healthy food with food stamps..lol
I was thinking damn, when i have received the foodbank before i even told them i was vegetarian and tehy gave me an assload of canned meats and other disgusting stuff like that ....sheesh i know, what a complainer!
But seriously, half the stuff i got WAS junk food! kraft dinner,canned meat,stuff that I wouldnt eat even though i was starving... I donated it all back .
If i had food stamps I would buy produce and stuff the foodbank doesnt give. I guess Im probably the minority..haha
 

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We don't have Cosco in our area but we do have Sam's Club which I imagine is run similarly.

I know that there are frequently "family and friends" passes that circulate or free week memberships. Also, if you are a Sam's employee you and your spouse or domestic partner get memberships. So there are a lot of ways that you could be poor enough for food stamps and have the option to shop at a membership store. Oh, and when I worked for a small mom and pop restaurant I was on the cooperate account to Sam's, so one more way.

I think the FS system in the US if pretty busted. I think it's because I know people who outright abuse and work the welfare system. :( I try not to throw out the baby with the bath water on that one. I also know that there are many more people who use them correctly.
 

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I'm amazed that my country exports all of our jobs and then pays us not to work with section 8 housing and food stamps. How much more stupid can we get?:nuts::scratch:dunno:
 

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In Florida, the food stamp benefits are put on a bank card type method. When purchasing food items at the grocery store, the store's computers decide which items are eligible for food stamp assistance. When it's time to pay, the customer has to pony up for the non- eligible food items. this eliminates buying tobacco, alcohol, and other junk food items. The clerk doesn't have to figure out what's eligible or not eligible. Much simplier, and prevents in store fraud.
I'm sure some of the cards are still sold for cash to buy drugs, but no system is perfect.
 
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