Since I've been buying my own grocieries, I've had a policy.
If someplace won't accept food stamps, I won't shop there.
This policy started the first time I lived alone, which was in New Orleans. Metairie, actually, if you know the area. I lived close to a large, somewhat dirty supermarket with a French name that oozed local charm. I went there a few times, until Katy-the-Wise pointed out the food stamp policy, explaining that part of local charm was discouraging some of the locals who were percieved to be less charming from shopping there.
The fact that I was living at the poverty line didn't really play into it. I was a grad student. I was just visiting the poverty line and was free to leave it on my next turn. That said, I do have a mom who works in low-income housing and has for most of my life. Various realities about poor people, at least the ones my mother works with in Anacostia, were dinnertime conversation for my entire childhood. (Though once or twice, I was informed in hushed tones that there was a gang war going on, but that I shouldn't inform my father because "it might upset him.")
Anyway, I formed a policy, left local charm behind and started shopping at the Kroger with the hoi polloi.
Years later, I would see with annoyance that my local supermarket here in Northern Virginia had suddenly stopped taking food stamps. I asked the manager about it, and he showed me the paperwork. Nobody had used food stamps at that location in the last year, and the government had removed my supermarket from the program. Wasn't even their decision.
OK, fine. I still shop there.
But I also sometimes go to Costco. Indeed, at this very second, I am typing this while lying on a mattress that was purchased at Costco.
And now I read on the Consumerist.com that they don't take food stamps.
To be honest, rationalization was my first reaction. It's Costco, I thought. They treat their workers well, they have cheap stuff and the return policy of the gods. I really like Costco and always have.
I had about convincd myself that the occaisional trip might still be OK, when I started to check out the comments on the story.
...Reduce Government involvement and complexity. Keep distance from entitlement recipients. Remain profitable. This is why Southwest Airlines doesn't accept foodstamps either...
...I am not trying to be a hard ass here but what business does someone drawing government assistance (READ: OUR TAX DOLLARS) have shopping at a pay-to-shop membership club?
...Apparently Sam's Club does not accept food stamps either, and only some BJ's locations do. I wonder what percentage of folks on food stamps have huge freezers?...
...It seems like anyone on food stamps smart enough to stretch a dollar, find the best deals, figure out if cost's fee is worth it, etc. Would be smart enough not to be on food stamps...
...While there are some exceptions, I don't think most poor people remain poor because they are smart and disciplined...
...the lines at that place are already insane, do you really want to be 3rd in line behind some heifer with 100+ items which are 50% food stamp and 50% not food stamp, but 100% mixed together? Even they manage to integrate the check out, I've been in line at the grocery and had to watch the idiots put back piles of non-edible stuff that they suddenly realized is not covered and that they have no way to pay for. ...
...the poor with food stamps bring more trouble than any lack of fees is worth. whether it is shoplifting or purchasing of only low margin items/ghettoizing the atmosphere of the store..its just not worth it. if it were, they would have accepted them from day one...
And I'm realizing, I don't want to shop with these people.
who cherrypicked some of the nasty comments, but there were lots and lots to choose from.