Wholesale grocery giant Costco needs to change its no-food-stamps policy so New Yorkers on food stamps have access to fresh food. Since food stamps aren’t accepted at Costco clubs nationwide, residents within walking distance are forced to commute 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.
“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.
“Gioia and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum,” writes Caitlin Millat, with NY Daily News, “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”.