According to Jennifer 8. Lee of the New York Times, Costco—which has a well-deserved reputation as a progressive, worker-friendly company—doesn't take food stamps. This makes no sense.
Lee reports that Costco offered three reasons for this:
1. They did not think they would qualify based on the federal government requirements.
2. It was too expensive to adapt their equipment to accept food stamps.
3. With their annual fee/bulk-purchase model, people on food stamps probably could not shop there anyway.
Lee's story painstakingly refutes each of these rationales. The fact that this policy continues in the midst of our economic meltdown seems particularly cruel and nonsensical.
And given Costco's progressive reputation, it's ironic that the Times is also reporting today that "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to give more than 90 million pounds of fresh food annually to the nation’s largest nonprofit organization addressing hunger, Feeding America."