Does Walgreens Accept WIC? Does Duane Reade? Answered

Walgreens sign on the side of a building

Some Walgreens stores take WIC benefits — but not all of them. About 50% of the Walgreens locations we called in various states accept WIC, while none of the Duane Reade locations we checked in New York or New Jersey accept it. States assign WIC-approved retailers and while many Walgreens locations do accept WIC, the Walgreens down the street from where you live might not be on the list. (Fun fact: It’s very likely there is a Walgreens down the street from where you live. According to the company’s website, approximately 78% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Walgreens.) Below, we answer more questions about using WIC at Walgreens.

Does Walgreens Take WIC?

Walgreens — which has stores in all 50 states — takes WIC benefits at some locations. But, because individual states assign WIC-approved retailers, not all Walgreens stores accept WIC. We called Walgreens stores in several states to get a better understanding of how many Walgreens take WIC. We called stores in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. 50% of the locations we called told us they do accept WIC. To find out if your local Walgreens takes WIC, check your state’s database or contact your nearest Walgreens.

Walgreens does accept Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, according to our communications with the company — and WIC benefits are sometimes added to EBT cards.

We also looked into whether Duane Reade accepts WIC. Walgreens owns Duane Reade, a chain with stores primarily in New York City and the surrounding area. None of the Duane Reade stores we contacted accept WIC; Duane Reade also does not appear on New York’s list of approved WIC vendors or in New Jersey’s WIC-approved store map.

The USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) helps low-income and nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, breastfeeding women and then children up to age 5. If you want to consider other stores beyond Walgreens, see our article: These Are the Stores That Let You Buy Groceries with WIC.

In Summary

Does Walgreens take WIC? Many Walgreens store locations accept WIC — about half, according to our research. We were unable to find any Duane Reade locations (owned by Walgreens) that accept WIC, however. For more on Walgreens’ store policies, see our articles: Does Walgreens Cash Checks? and Walgreens’ Cash Back Limit and Is Walgreens pet-friendly?

Want to go with a different but similar store? See our WIC article about CVS.

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