Low-income families can receive financial support to cover the cost of household expenses from two federally-funded health and nutrition programs: the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the EBT food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Both programs are designed to support nutrition but they focus on different things.
WIC gives parents and families access to resources like nutrition education, breastfeeding support and certain nutritious foods to support a specific situation (pregnant, breastfeeding, postpartum woman, infant or child). WIC recipients will be given a WIC card which they can use like a debit card to pay for certain WIC-approved products.
The SNAP benefits are distributed in the form of a monthly dollar value which is added to the recipient’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Known colloquially as ‘food stamps’, each family is given a monthly amount based on the household income.
Average benefits for U.S. food stamps – also know by the acronym SNAP – will permanently rise more than 25% above pre-pandemic levels in October. It is the largest single increase in the program’s history. https://t.co/7sUHeNx11Q
You can find out which stores near you accept these support programs by using the WIC Store Locator or SNAP Retailer Locator.
Both forms of federal nutrition support are allocated to families on a pre-loaded card and can only be utilised at specific retailers, or to purchase specific items and services. WIC and SNAP benefits are among the most widely used nutritional support programs, but can they be used at your local pharmacy?
Although Walgreens has outlets all across the United States, each individual state designates its own WIC-approved retailers. Walgreens stores have the capability to accept the WIC cards but the rules will vary in different states. Likewise with SNAP benefits, most Walgreens stores will let you use an EBT card but not all.
The best way to check is to use the Walgreens store locator to identify your nearest store, and use the contact details provided to get in touch and check if WIC or food stamps are accepted at Walgreens in your state.
DHS and other government agencies do not and will not send text alerts regarding EBT, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or any other public assistance programs, Acting Secretary Meg Snead said. https://t.co/MvGTjyvnTK
Most CVS stores allow WIC recipients to use their pre-paid card to purchase nutritional items.
In 2022 CVS accepts EBT cards for payment at over 6,900 stores, but there are some that do not so it is recommended that you check with your local CVS before visiting. You can do so using the CVS store location finder.
Rite Aid pharmacies do accept payment from the EBT cards used to administer the SNAP and WIC nutritional support programs. The majority of pharmacies will therefore allow you to use either for payments, but you should check if Right Aid is a WIC-approved retailer in your state.
“One-in-eight Americans are receiving food assistance through SNAP, according to the USDA,” said Brian Fiala, Rite Aid EVP store operations. “With nearly 4,800 Rite Aid stores nationwide offering assorted groceries, accepting EBT cards is just another convenience we can offer to our customers and help make their lives a little easier.”
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