Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bill Thomspon statement on Costco accepting Food Stamps

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. issued the following statement after Costco Wholesale Corporation announced that it would begin accepting Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) payments, commonly referred to as food stamps, at two of its New York City locations:

“I applaud Costco for responding to concerns about its policy to not accept food stamps. Today’s reversal of that flawed policy is good news for thousands of New Yorkers. I am hopeful that Costco will soon realize the value of this change, and expand this pilot program to include other facilities.

With the upcoming addition of a Costco branch in East Harlem, where tens of thousands of residents currently receive SNAP benefits, Costco’s new policy would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Having more options and being able to buy in bulk will allow financially strapped families to stretch their dollars further.

Further, its corporate reputation will surely be improved as it is now joining its competitors in accepting food stamps. This is a win-win for all involved.”

As Chief Investment Officer of the New York City Pension Funds, who collectively hold 1.5 million shares in Costco, Thompson sent a letter to Costco Wholesale Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer James Sinegal calling on the company to accept SNAP payments. Thompson cited the potential reputational risk for Costco and its investors among the reasons to reverse its policy. To view Thompson’s letter, visit
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