Does Trader Joe’s accept WIC EBT debit card?

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Things are changing by the hour in these times of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 otherwise known as COVID-19 and we’re learning a lot about ourselves, our healthcare system, how our government works when it comes to bailouts, State-level vs. Federal mandates and other government programs that are being highlighted in this global crisis.

Don’t Buy WIC-Approved Items

Speaking to that, one of the government programs we’ve learned more about, thanks to social media, is the WIC program. The Federal assistance program of the FNS provides money to low-income women, infants and children for health care and nutrition. WIC only allows the member to buy specific approved items (usually marked with a WIC sticker.

That’s why it’s important for those of us not that do not rely on that program help those in need by not purchasing WIC-approved items when we are grocery shopping.

As of this post, the photo/meme has been shared thousands of times across several social media platforms boosted by celebrities Kerry Washington and Janelle Monae.

Does Trader Joe’s Accept WIC?

Depending on whether you are considered an essential worker, the only time most people leave their house is to exercise and grocery shop. The latter so we can not only grab the necessities, but also get some fresh air — even if it’s for 30 minutes.

Like all grocery stores during quarantine, Trader Joe’s is directly benefiting from the pandemic (and that’s okay!). That brought up a question on whether the popular, healthy, and relatively-inexpensive grocery store is on the USDA’s list of approved stores.

Like members of the program, we were interested in knowing whether TJ’s was on the list and rather than look through that list, we searched the internet answers. Unfortunately, this is one of those topics that has bad information at the top. Take a look at this thread from Smart Mom where several people say that WIC is accepted at Trader Joe’s.

We know that this is outdated/false information because we took the step to contact Trader Joe’s directly to see if they were WIC-approved and this is how their customer relations responded:

Thank you for reaching out to us.  We are sorry to inform you that we are not approved for the WIC program and unable to assist.  Please note we do accept EBT in our stores and current limit standards apply.

Hopefully this helps out WIC users curious if they can use their EBT cards at Trader Joes. File this under important information created out of necessity of this surreal situation.

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