RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - CVS, 7-Eleven, even Target are all part of a trend. An increasing number of retailers nationwide are now accepting food stamps. A move this Family Dollar store on Midlothian Turnpike in Richmond is advertising. It began accepting the cardinal card or food stamps as a form of payment last month.
The manager wouldn't speak on camera, but she did say the move is good for business in this tight economy. More people are relying on government aid to help keep food on the table. It's a reality Angelique Herring knows firsthand:
"Then when I lost my job I was like it was like 'Durn. How we going to pay for this? How we going to pay for that?'" said Herring.
Herring says an increase in stores taking the card equals an increase in places to shop and an increase in convenience.
"It's just easier for me to come here and get my kids like milk and bread and stuff like that we need rather than having to find a ride to the Food Lion over there," said Herring.
39 million Americans received food stamps in April. That's a 20 percent jump over a year earlier.
In Richmond, the Department of Social Services is processing double the number of food stamp cards monthly - when compared to the same time period last year.
"That's about 5.3 million dollars in the month of June alone for Richmond for food stamp benefits circulating through the economy," said Beverly Wyn.
And some of that money is landing at these stores who are now saying yes - to this card. A store must meet certain standards before it's allowed to accept food stamps. It's also worth noting that a growing number of farmers' markets are being outfitted with terminals so that food stamp cards can be used.