5 Surprising Things You Can Buy With Food Stamps

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Reductions in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, automatically kick in today as a result of the expiration of provisions the 2009 stimulus bill. Meanwhile, Congressional leaders are debating what further cuts will be made to the program as part of negotiations over the farm bill. Republicans are pushing to make benefits less generous and to increase work requirements; Democrats disagree.

An issue that hasn’t gotten as much attention during these debates is what food-stamp recipients are able to buy with their benefits. Public health advocates like Michele Simon have long argued that the lack of restrictions on the types of food aid-recipients can buy has helped fuel an American health crisis caused by unhealthy eating. Writes Simon:

“Much attention has focused on how agricultural subsidies fuel our cheap, unhealthy food supply. In reality, the largest and most overlooked taxpayer subsidy to Big Food in the farm bill is SNAP, which now represents more than ten percent of all grocery spending.”

So what exactly can SNAP recipients buy with their benefits? There are a few restrictions, against alcohol, and tobacco for instance. But curiously, most junk food is fair game, calling into question whether the “nutrition” in SNAP means much to lawmakers at all. Here are just a few of the items one can buy:

  • Red Bull
  • Sugary Soda
  • Candy
  • Mixes for alcoholic beverages
  • Artificial sweetener

Of course, big agribusiness is complicit in the structure of the food stamp program. Simon gives the example of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to bar food-stamp recipients from buying sugary soft drinks with SNAP dollars. Big companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola fought back against the measure, which was ultimately vetoed by the Department of Agriculture, saying that the measure would be unworkable.

But take a look at the current restrictions the Agriculture Department places on food stamp use, and it’s difficult to understand why proscribing junk food purchases would be all that difficult. The list of items that one can’t buy with food stamps but that are also commonly found in supermarkets is extensive, including the aforementioned alcohol, but also pet food, ornamental gourds, and prepared foods. Why would barring junk food be functionally different than barring alcohol?

Hunger advocates have pushed back against food-stamp restrictions. But as Simon points out, Walmart and other corporate beneficiaries of SNAP spend millions of dollars each year funding anti-poverty groups. This is laudable, but it is also perhaps a way to fund advocacy initiatives that dovetail with these corporations profit motive as well.

1261 comments
mayjane
mayjane

okay, so only rich people are allowed to buy "junk food" or sweets? why don't we just take them all off the shelves and save everyone the trouble of spending any kind of money "unwisely" along with also ensuring that the government doesn't cover anyone's medical bill for diabetes and heart disease.

LeoMauler
LeoMauler

One category you can buy with food stamps that many people find surprising, but probably shouldn't find surprising as it is a part of the Farm Bill, is seeds and bedding plants used to produce food for the household.  I am frequently surprised as to how many people do not know that folks receiving SNAP can grow their own food using seeds and plants purchased with SNAP benefits.  I imagine any moderate Republican having a tough time defending SNAP to his constituents should emphasize that SNAP can be used to assist in self-reliance through growing your own food, then promote this aspect of SNAP like crazy through information and links to frugal gardening and the like.  Even a 5' x 5' growing space in a patio or balcony can grow a few hundred pounds of food a year.

CamilleKnappMcCabe
CamilleKnappMcCabe

So what if you can buy that stuff, half the stuff you are buying from the store that says its low fat has sugar in it and the food you think is good for you is not anyway........seriously,   over half the nutrition is taken out of all the food in the store including meat, so don't  even go there.  yes diet is worse for you but if you can't go to the store and get a few comfort foods while being broke and not being able to go anywhere....besides food stamps doesn't give you enough money to survive off of anyway.....I work full time and I don't use snap, but I have used it in the past......so, please leave well enough alone.

mikhail_lewis@yahoo.com
mikhail_lewis@yahoo.com

Instead of five things, this article presented one thing: sugar. I'm pretty sure rich people also eat sugar, despite not getting SNAP.

BethannyParker
BethannyParker

What's wrong with buying artificial sweeteners on food stamps? My husband is diabetic and it is healthier for him to use artificial sweeteners in his tea than real sugar.

tonic
tonic

I have paid taxes since I was 14 and have never recieved a tax refund although, I am hoping to this year (if so it only took over 10 years). Why stress about what 10% of consumers are doing with their ebt cards?? Lets just take the ebt card away all together. People will just go hungry and uncle sam is still going to take his cut. I mean do you think if people are limited it will put money back in your pockets?? Silly rabbits!! The government uses so much of our money on so much other bs that I am sure a bag of chips or can of soda is the least of our worries. I do believe that parents should make better choices, but hey if you dont care if your little billy develops type two diabetes at 8 then why should I stress. Im not a doctor nor social worker, in other words I dont get paid for that. I hope people arent really buying carts of ice cream and soda as one person said they saw but maybe they bought all of their real food and went and bought junk with whatever their balance was. Maybe the mom just came out of an abusive relationship and just wanted to see her kids smile for the first time in months, i dunno. Either way who cares? Are you all putting the same amount of stress on the kids who cut school all day?? Thats "your money" too being wasted. How about wars that didnt need to be? Keeping prisons full?? I mean come on, a bag of chips and a twinkie is worth all this commotion?? As long as I have paid taxes and hospital bills if I ever need assistance I wish someone would tell me im spending "their" money, thats "our" money, REEEEEELAX!! It would be from the $5000 + a year I have been paying in taxes for the past 10 year. Hopefully I wont need "mines" and hopefully you wont need "yours" however I hope its there without a million stipulations shall you or your family memebers ever need it. If your that tight on cash you would have to be stressed and since you wont be able to buy smokes or a drink I hope you can at least have a small dessert to add some sweetness to your day. A slice of cake, popcorn yo habe with a movie, a coke and a smile perhaps.

kittlesnickle
kittlesnickle

Sweeteners shouldn't be a problem in the first place. Does no one know that it requires sugar to make a loaf of bread? Also just because you have food stamps doesn't mean you don't have a job. Minimum wage jobs are NOT enough to pay the bills and buy food. Why punish people with minimum wage jobs who can't get a better job because corporate figures are greedy and want a huge paycheck for doing the same or possibly less the amount of work than someone with a minimum wage job? 

MP07
MP07

I would just like to point out you CANNOT buy red bull or alcoholic mixers!!!!!!

nayroo
nayroo

I am on food stamps and I am surprised by the items I get away with buying. I think the government should def tighten up the list of "allowed" food items. I feed my family a whole foods diet but use the snap card for hosting parties too. 6 cases of Mt Dew? CHECK.(I just go down the self checkout if I'm embarassed) EZ Bake Oven mixes from the toy aisle? YUP! Fancy pregrown herb pots in produce aisle that'll look cute on my kitchen window? YOU BET! Gallon bucket of Dailey's frozen "add your own alcohol" strawberry daiquiri mix? NO PROB! Expensive beautiful Tuna Steaks from deli? YES PLEASE! A fully decorated Ninja Turtle cake with my son's name on it?! ABSOLUTELY! Every bottle of Smart Water on the shelf? YES!

I am not your typical "american snap recipient", I have enough sense to keep corn syrup and anything premade w more than 4 ingredients out of my home. 75% of my $670 monthly snap budget goes to organic produce.My grocery bill is expensive.

Junk food is cheaper and if i go back to work I'll have to eat it. I have been spoiled by the government. I won't have enough paycheck.

I hope the government keeps ignoring the problem bc I like this lifestyle and don't want it to come to an end.

WE
WE

NOTICE TO TIME:  STOP!!!!! RIDING THE LEMMING-WAVE OF ALLUDING TO PORN AS IF A TOPIC NEWSWORTHY, OR INDUSTRY OF SOME SORT!

THESE ARE CRIMINAL TOPICS:  I WOULD NEVER HAVE ENTERED THIS FORUM IF I HAD SEEN THAT TITLE ALONGSIDE THIS ARTICLE TOUTED AS NEWS!  STEER THE WAVE OF PUBLIC OPINION RATHER THAN KOWTOW TO THE LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR OR BE IT!!!  REMINDER:  YOU WOULD BE BANNED FROM MANY A COMMUNITY, PERHAPS JAILED...AIRING SUCH.+<3

WE
WE

This is ridiculous; this is CONTROL; THE ITEMS MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO THE OVERALL AMOUNT.+<3

JerricaRose
JerricaRose

Also, the stupid excuse that rich people who "had to eat Hamburger Helper without Hamburger" for years because they were 'so poor', I don't care. I guess they don't realize that some of us had to eat saltine crackers on the days we actually had them in the house and starve for the next week or so until our single parent got his or her paycheck so they could buy us some Ramen. What is wrong with you filthy snobs? The only problem with this country is that you're worrying too much about what poor people (who are just as much people as you are, regardless of our financial status! Don't forget this.) are doing with our EBT cards- We're not buying alcohol and we're not smoking cigarettes. (Which is more than I can say for most rich people who spend a half or two thirds of their lives smoking those nasty coffin nails.) When, instead, they should be cutting back on their stuck up habits of getting their hair and nails done and buying $500 heels so that maybe, some of the money they are so-called 'earning' go to organizations that help people who are struggling to eat, cloth themselves and get around. I'm riding three buses to work, while you're in your cozy jaguar sitting in traffic wondering what people with food cards can or cannot buy. Seriously- Because if your flipping 'tax dollars' didn't go to my refrigerator, they still wouldn't be in your pocket smart ass, they'd be in one of the copious amounts of different construction projects going on all over the state- Like a bridge, or a road with pot holes, so honestly maybe what you should do is get a conscience and some counseling because you're no better than the school yard bullies who yes, do actually make fun of people who get assistance so they can get free lunch at school- Believe it or not, that DOES happen! And for you to say, "Oh no it doesn't, that's b.s."- It doesn't change reality and all of a sudden make a fact disappear from existence. Obviously you're insecure about something, go take it out on someone else because when somebody is poor, that doesn't mean it's their fault, and that doesn't make you any better than them! Your attitude, it's pathetic, honestly- And that's coming from a girl who grew up poor, with hand-me down clothes and a single Dad. Obviously, you've got some problems that need serious attention, and I doubt it has anything to do with where your "hard-earned" tax money goes.

Tyreka
Tyreka

I've been on SNAP for a short time after graduating college and not having a job. Though I try to stay away from unhealthy types of food, it is still nice to be able to make desserts or have a favorite snack here and there to reward yourself. With having no income my food came completely from food stamps (coupons helped). Really it is up to the individual to make decisions to eat healthy and to make good decisions. It helped me get through a rough patch in my life and let me focus on getting the correct job for me while not having to worry that I was eating gas money to go to job interviews, which may or may not get me a job, from my emptying savings. Now I have a job that I love and in my degree to progress that I would not have had if I didn't have SNAP to get me through. I would have had to just accept a call center or fast food job to not starve. A lot of people on SNAP do not get on it for the fun of free money to blow. The goal is to boost someone to get to a better place. They are restricted on many things as is, don't squish them down further.

Prosperityminded
Prosperityminded

What most people do not realize (including the author of this article) how much it would cost to implement a program to restrict what people can buy with food stamps.....it would cost taxpayers millions of dollars to implement that program....and people would not be happy about that...and complaining. The food stamp program is underfunded the way it is. Wouldn't it be better to just feed people instead of being concerned what they are buying? I agree people should make better food choices, but this is supposed to be a free country. However, I find it interesting that most of the people complaining about their freedoms being taken away want to control other's choices. There are people that "fraud" or lie what they make to make themselves eligible for benefits, but this does not represent all food stamp recipients. Food stamps do not give out that much money to buy groceries for the month. There are many government subsidies given to farmers to make cheap "high fructose corn syrup" to drive down the costs of many junk foods. Why not drive those subsidies (aka taxpayer money) to healthy foods such as organic vegetables? Michele Simon is an attorney that fights against corporations and she strongly believes corporations are profiting off of food stamps...that's her beef! She doesn't take issue with food stamps recipients but with corporations, although the author of the article makes it sound like it's the recipients that are the problem. 


Controlling and restricting people's choices does not inspire them to eat healthy. People eat crap food when they don't like themselves....whether they are on food stamps or not. Once people start valuing themselves, they start making more money and eating healthy....because they want to.

Many people are speaking out of ignorance and need to read up on the rules and regulations instead of making assumptions. I speak from experience because I have been an eligibility supervisor that has authorized thousands of cash aid, food stamps, and medicaid cases. The administration of the program costs more than the actual benefits people receive. I'm horrified to see such judgment from people and hope many of you full of judgment do not find yourself on food stamps and get a rude awakening....then find yourself being judged for being poor and on food stamps....and be accused of being a taker.

icsunonove
icsunonove

P/S I have paid TAXES to this GOD forsaken country since I was 14 years old. Why the HELL can't I use my food stamps for what "I" want??? The government used my taxes to fund wars that "I" didn't agree with. See my point?

icsunonove
icsunonove

SO WHAT??? Can't us poor folk enjoy treats too? Why should poor kids get picked on in school because they have apples instead of Twinkies. You all need a reality check who think this is wrong. The President of the United States jets around in a fuel guzzling airplane with money that could feed/house the homeless poor Americans he thinks he represents. But no one is upset about that right? You are upset I can buy SUGAR with my food stamps??? 

Do you hear yourselves? Righteous snobs!

amyas80s
amyas80s

@BethannyParker Because you don't "need" it to eat and drink. It's a want if you want something work for it.

SallySmithers
SallySmithers

@MP07  Sorry....it's very true. And if you as a clerk refuse...your store loses the SNAP machine. Because you are discriminating against their rights. Clerks are forced to watch a video and know what items are on or not on the SNAP/Direction card list. More responsibility than just carding for cigarettes and alcohol...with the same jail penalties for messing up. Clerks that work where the SNAP card is accepted should make 20 bucks an hour for jumping thru all the hoops and having to wait on people that buy Red Bulls Monsters Pizzas Candy Bars Sodas Slushies........and if you mess up and charge them tax on any of that....you are the one going to jail. Don't even get me started!!! lol

Monster changed their packaging so they could cash in on the cash cow.

Hunt Brothers Pizza worked their way into having the clerks sell a frozen pizza at 1 counter. Then the SNAP recipient takes the frozen pizza to the oven counter, picks out toppings, has it baked in the pizza oven. And takes it home. All legal and paid for by the tax payer

SandraAnew
SandraAnew

@MP07  Yes you can, some stores ban it but not all! One store doesn't mean the law lol, it's called shop around.

LeoMauler
LeoMauler

@nayroo I hope that the government never removes "fancy pregrown herb pots in produce" from allowed SNAP benefits, since that was the one item on your list which promotes self-reliance.  That herb pot will grow a few dozen $4 herb bunches (also found in produce) a year, especially when the herbs are cut back in harvesting them.  The fact that seeds and plants which produce food for the household are allowed is a good thing, not a bad thing.


But the rest of it falls under the heading of "the industry selling them doesn't want its food listed as 'luxury' or 'non-nutritious' food."  The food isn't allowed just because of some sort of anything-goes attitude, every single item on your list has had an attempt to remove it at some point in the past, and every attempt has led to its industry sending up howls of rage and sending in lawyers to make sure Sugar Gulp stays on the SNAP approved list.

BridgettePage
BridgettePage

@nayroo  

Yeah, but not for nothing, i can't buy toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, bleach, detergent, so really i can eat pretty good but being clean is am issue!

amyas80s
amyas80s

@nayroo Junk food is not cheaper. A bag of frozen veggies cost less than a bag of chips.

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@nayrooDo you feel you NEED to be monitored, like a child? Actually I have your number, you're a TROLL.


 It's odd that the same people who say 'Keep your nose out of my personal business" when it comes to sex want to be in everyone's business about what we have in our kitchen.My family has always paid taxes and despite my disablity (thank you drink driver), we get no help but the small amount of food my EBT card pays for.


No food nazis needed. I might be physically disabled, but I buy fruit, no red meat,  vegetables... and occasionally rice-based frozen desserts. I am stuck in bed, and if anyone thinks my lactose-intolerant tummy is going to live on cheese and milk? Sure, I'll come live with you when i am writhing in pain.


SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@nayroo Do you feel you NEED to be monitored, like a child? Actually I have your number, you're a TROLL.


 It's odd that the same people who say 'Keep your nose out of my personal business" when it comes to sex want to be in everyone's business about what we have in our kitchen.My family has always paid taxes and despite my disablity (thank you drink driver), we get no help but the small amount of food my EBT card pays for.


No food nazis needed. I might be physically disabled, but I buy fruit, no red meat,  vegetables... and occasionally rice-based frozen desserts. I am stuck in bed, and if anyone thinks my lactose-intolerant tummy is going to live on cheese and milk? Sure, I'll come live with you when i am writhing in pain. 

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@nayroo You're full of BS. SHAME ON YOU!  You aren't on food assistance unless you're lying on your assistance applications.  I'm on Social Security Disability after having paid into the system as a 40 plus our per week, week in and week out American worker. I started paying into the system when I was 16, so that makes it 36 years that I paid and most of the time, gladly.  Now, I'm in that donut-hole our government thought it was so cute to create.  My medicine is barely covered my Medicare, Mediacaid might help me a bit, maybe by June IF my meet my spend-down obligations. I have no problem with maying as much of my medical as I can, but one of my medications, Remicaid Infusion, for my portion of the expense is 493 dollars.  Cellcept is $156, albuterol inhalers, a drug called pilocarbine was $35, Plaquenil was $100, and this isn't even half of my prescriptions and doesn't cover eye glasses (I have an eye disease), it covers very little dental. The University of WA will find a way to dump your treatment or deny you treatment if they find out you may not be able to pay your entire bill.  Many docs in the area won't accept Medicare let alone Medicaid.  Not even some of the walk-in clinics.  To give you and idea of my finances; my income is approximately 1300/mth. $200 goes to student loan obligations, $105 for my Medicare premium, $450/rent, but it's a fairly marginal apt, car insurance $68/mth, renters insurance is $25/month, I don't have cable TV, I don't have a landline into my apt, my son pays for the minutes on my cell phone.  I use my old 1997 sedan to get to and from doctors appointments and my specialists; I don't know what I'm going to do when it gives up on me. 


So, how does this relate to food assistance?  Well, if I send in all my receipts to both the spend-down unit AND also to Food assistance they will help offset with food assistance. Without the medical expenses I wouldn't be entitled to food help.  I'm happy for was little I receive in food allowance, which right now is $109/ per month, but doesn't exactly come up to what I owe in medical.  I buy as good as I can with my money, but the foods you're talking about are extremely expensive in most areas.  I haven't been through a drive thru, just to discuss eating habits, in over two years.  I live in a small apartment so I don't have a large freezer to prepare and freeze foods ahead of time; so there's little I can do to save money there. Some, of course, but not like I'd like to.


Again, what you are is a G-Dam-n troll, and SHAME ON YOU, for making others who read your post think that your BS is reality. 


People please see MAYROO's post for what it is... Someone trying to sway you to stop food assistance for people in need.  It's bad enough that food allowance was cut because that makes it even more difficult for those of us in need to attempt to eat better, but to think we are all sitting back enjoying ourselves of the government teat just isn't reality nor is it fair.   


I certainly hate being where I am today, it isn't where I thought I'd be when I was 20 and healthy and looking toward my future.  But I am grateful for the $109 I receive in food assistance, and I'm eating as well as I can on that and what I might get from the food banks once a month.

MP07
MP07

@nayroo Im just wondering why you are buying all that crap to begin with. There are some of us who want to eat healthy but find it hard too on a tight budget. It must be nice to get $670 a month for feeding how many people??? We have a mortgage, car payment, and everything else that goes along with being a homeowner and car owner AND we have 8 ppl in our house. We get about half of what you do and have no money for any of the crap you "claim you get away with buying"

ErikBaran
ErikBaran

@WE No, this is expecting our tax dollars to be spent on actual food, not junk.  I manage a convenience store, and if you saw the amount of absolute garbage that is taken out of the store with EBT cards you'd be singing a different song.  The same people month after month come in and buy a couple of bags of chips,some beef jerky a couple of bottles of pop.......all the while they're talking on their smart phones.  Now, is this the biggest drain on our country?  Not even close.  Let's compare the amount of waste due to the SNAP programs and the amount of waste from....oh....say....the military and see which one we should focus on.

ErikBaran
ErikBaran

@JerricaRose You think those with EBT cards don't smoke?  Time to open your eyes.  It's a fact that the more education you have and the more money you make the less likely you are to smoke.  And the EBT card allows them the cash to buy their smokes.  If they had to pay more of their own money for food, they might just pay less for their smokes. And it most certainly is our business what you do with your EBT card, IT'S OUR MONEY YOU'RE SPENDING!! Your attitude that you should be able to do whatever you want with your government assistance and we should just shut up and accept it is also pathetic.

This has nothing to do with wanting people to starve, but to have these people who are using our money to subsidize their budgets to use that money wisely.  And buying garbage is not using our money wisely.  Constantly using the EBT card at convenience stores is not using our money wisely.  You can get as self righteous as you want, but you're using my money and I think I should have a say in how you spend it.


And you want to compare stories?  Mom, who was June Cleaver personified, was widowed at 47 with a 5, 10, 13 and 18 year old.  We didn't have much either.  Fortunately, we were the youngest family out of a family of nine brothers and sisters, so we were never wanting for hand me downs from the cousins.  We didn't have much, but we never went on food stamps, although we did get free lunches at school, and if we had been, Mom would have stretched out those dollars until they screamed for mercy.  Being raised in the Depression helped.  So beat your chest and rend your clothes all you want, but that doesn't make you right.       

MichaelZambito
MichaelZambito

@Tyreka  why must you reward yourself with other peoples money? whats wrong with accepting a fast food job to feed yourself? 


I work as a cashier at walmart and i have had orders that are nothing but soda and ice cream well over 100 dollars, that's like a whole months grocery budget for me. why should money be taken away from me and given to you so you can reward yourself?

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@Prosperityminded Thank you so much for your kind words on behalf of those of us who need your help. It's humiliating enough for some of us to even come to you for help. To sit and wait and then have every bit of our private lives picked apart in order to justify our need is extremely difficult for us. But to be granted what little we do receive does help us somewhat. But we are constantly afraid we may have reported something wrong and will be assessed overpayments or maybe we forgot something that may help us receive more benefits. 


It's been my experience that the front line CSA's are not well informed of their responsibilities or what you can or cannot do to help us. I've found I've had to be insistent to speak to a lead worker or supervisor rather than to argue with front line people over something I know to be different that what I'm being told.  It almost always gets straightened out but it does seem like things are harder than they need to be. 


Thank you again, for your help.


Olympia, WA

ErikBaran
ErikBaran

@Prosperityminded How would it cost millions?  Program the cash registers with what food is allowed with EBT cards.  Not that difficult.

No, it isn't better to just let people feed themselves, as they don't do a very good job of using our money wisely.  Junk, junk and more junk by waaaaay too many.

InnerCityTeacher
InnerCityTeacher

@icsunonove - it's not snobbery to want my own taxpayer money - and I work bloody, bloody hard for my money - to be well spent.  I believe that food stamps should be restricted to fresh fruits & vegetables, milks, meats, canned goods that have fewer than 5 ingredients - with none of those ingredients being high fructose corn syrup, etc.,  and certain grains.  And that's it.  Kids don't get picked on for having apples and not Twinkies.  That's an emotional argument that doesn't really hold water.  And your point about your prior taxes paying for your current food stamps is a good one - but still...people who get food stamps should be restricted to only truly healthy foods  As an educator, I've seen it first hand:  Kids on food stamps eating chips and sodas and being fat and unhealthy.  If a parent spends their own money on food - let them purchase anything they wish to feed their children.  But a parent on MY dollar?  Then I should have some say in what the kids are eating.  And lest you think I'm a hypocrite:  I watched what my children were eating carefully during their growing-up years - AND although I never once took a single penny of money (state or federal), I was poor as a churchmouse.  It was a huge struggle for us to survive.. 

BridgettePage
BridgettePage

@amyas80s @BethannyParker

Yes, I did work for it.  I have worked for 32 years and was abruptly laid off from a job of five years in 2012.  I have paid more than my share in taxes and social security and after being unemployed for a year I have HAD to get food stamps.  So if I want to buy splenda to be healthier, I have worked for it and I am entitled to it.  Don't judge lest you be judged!

Gibscreen
Gibscreen

@amyas80s Good point.  In fact they should only get bread and water, right?  Or just an iv drip of the necessary nutrients to survive.  You friggin idiot.  

KarenWeiler-Ortega
KarenWeiler-Ortega

@MP07 @nayroo   did it ever cross your mind that this is all they eat for a few reasons? first, it is sustenance, -second- they most likely do not have a kitchen, 3rd- they can't buy the nasty rolling hotdogs because that is not permitted, they can;t buy the premade salads or sandwiches- because nor premade foods can be bought with their cards.

KarenWeiler-Ortega
KarenWeiler-Ortega

@ErikBaran @WE  -did it ever cross your mind that this is all they eat for a few reasons? first, it is sustenance, -second- they most likely do not have a kitchen, 3rd- they can't buy the nasty rolling hotdogs because that is not permitted, they can;t buy the premade salads or sandwiches- because nor premade foods can be bought with their cards


Read more: 5 Surprising Things You Can Buy With Food Stamps | TIME.com http://business.time.com/2013/11/01/5-surprising-things-you-can-buy-with-food-stamps/#ixzz2uGEGQYUf

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@ErikBaran I PAID INTO THE SYSTEM FOR 35 PLUS YEARS, you ass.  It's not you're money we are spending, it's our money we are spending!!!

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@ErikBaran That's BS.  Not everyone who gets EBT food help gets EBT cash.  The working poor don't get cash only food.  You should walk the streets around here at night. The poor and the homeless guys comb the streets and parking lots for cigarette butts, they take these butts home and shred them open, hoping to scrape together enough shards of tobacco the roll one or two cigarettes off your germy discards!  God you and people like you have no idea what reality is, and you know why? Because you don't look! You nose is so high up in the air it's no wonder you don't have a busted chin from slamming into the walls in your ivory towers!

joeh
joeh

@MichaelZambito @Tyreka  Sorry but if you are working at wal-mart they are taking no money from you, compare the taxes you pay to the amount of your "return" and I am betting you profit off of your "taxes" so you are essentially "taking" from others as well.

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@MichaelZambito You're full of BS too!  And besides Tyreka is now paying into the system. She has a job and she's probably making more money than you.  Do you think she's going to begrudge others for the same help she received.  You Walmart mouth breather!

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@ErikBaran @Prosperityminded  So, what I hear you saying ErikBaran is that you are volunteering to work in the food kitchens to help teach us how to eat better?  How nice of you!

JackTime
JackTime

@ErikBaran @Prosperityminded 

"How would it cost millions?"  

In order to program the cash registers to designate certain foods as junk food would require a lot of legislation.  Rules and specifications defining exactly what is a luxury item and what qualifies as junk food would be hotly debated by the businesses producing those foods.  That's why it would cost milllions in legal fees alone.  This is time and resources wasted on the wrong subject, people.  Rather than fight against poor peoples' unhealthy eating habits, which frankly is chump change in the overall budget, why not fight for restriction on profit margins?  Why let rich people and businesses get away with legalized price gouging?  The reason the middle class is shrinking is because profit margins are growing without workers seeing a proportionate salary increase.  Only executive management and shareholders are benefiting from the ridiculous profit margins being built into grocery items and essential goods.  Stories like this manipulate the public, directing frustration over the declining standard of living at public assistance rather than at the real source of the problem.  Wake up.  Stop fighting amongst yourselves and get organized if you don't want to be enslaved by the 1% ruling this country.

PhaedraBlue
PhaedraBlue

@InnerCityTeacher @icsunonove Then INNERCITYTEACHER, you need to take on BIG BUSINESS and not the poor. Do you think MR. MANUFACTURER OF CORNSYRUP is going to let our government tell the US that all products with corn syrup in them are now banned?  Corn syrup is a huge industry and has huge lobbies in the White House.  If you can get the government to turn their backs on those dollars I'll work as your campaign manager to get you to become our next President.  For a self-professed teacher you really aren't very bright, are you? 


Which makes me doubt you really are a teacher. Kids, If this is person is your teacher, I'd get a committee together and demand a classroom change.

nix.nightbird
nix.nightbird

@InnerCityTeacher @icsunonove  

And I consider MY taxpayer money-- which is also worked for-- to be wasted when spent on things like sending extra cops to the wealthy side of town. 

People on SNAP pay taxes too. They work too. They probably work a crapload harder than you, and for less pay. But you want to DICTATE how other people spend the funds allocated to them from THEIR tax dollars at work. 

How about this: You keep your nose out of other people's business and worry about how you conduct yourself, and let others do the same.

MaseWehrle
MaseWehrle

@InnerCityTeacherYou obviously live this way-and you expect others too. Government telling what people can and cant buy? Sounds like big gubberment to me. I bet you dont big gubberment telling you what to do-where you can smoke, if you can have a gun where you want. Nice hypocrisy.

SarahOTaylor
SarahOTaylor

@KarenWeiler-Ortega @MP07@nayroo 

Karen, who is this "THEY" you are talking about? You would be SHOCKED at who has food stamps. Possibly even someone you know, oh no!!  Stories like this are intended to rile people up.. that is all. It is amazing how judgmental Americans get be about certain things and then expect the rest of the population to be tolerant about their lives. How about we just all try to do and be better people ourselves and take care of our neighbors rather than just sit  at a computer and whine and judge. The world would be much nicer.  Karen, I do have a kitchen, thanks. you have to have a home to receive assistance in this form.

joeh
joeh

@PhaedraBlue @ErikBaran  The problem with how people view those receiving assistance is those that abuse that assistance. ( long drawn out story following )


I worked from the day I turned 14, never went more than 2 weeks without a job, I earned decent money and paid plenty into the system, I didn't receive tax returns I usually had to pay more at the end of the year. I have never had a single credit card and I have had only one loan when I was 19 to buy my first car. If I ever wanted for something I saved my money and paid cash, if that wasn't possible than as far as I was concerned I didn't need it. 


By the time my health issues started, which cause me severe pain on a daily basis and I could no longer work, I did everything I could to support myself. I was forced to cash out all retirement savings I had and sell off any luxury items I had just to keep the bills paid and feed my children. After 7 years I was forced to try and get some help. That's when I found out I screwed myself royally.


If I had immediately applied I could have received Social Security Disability but since I tried like hell to make it on my own I only qualified for SSI at $710 a month (about 1/4 of what I would have gotten). I am able to pay my bills with that little amount only because I own my home and don't have to worry about rent or house payments, but if something were to happen to my home I would be out in the cold because I can't afford house insurance.


In my opinion I have lived responsibly and have paid plenty into the system so I try to not feel guilty about the assistance I receive but still do and wish things were different.


I worked hard, I paid taxes and I didn't live above my means, after 28 years of hard work I am BLESSED with $710 a month SSI and $200 a month food assistance and I appreciate every cent of it. 


Now to my point. Unfortunately I was born into a family full of leaches, I wish these were just random people I will be referencing but yes they are my own blood. 


Here is why people look down at everyone that receives assistance because these people are the ones that stand out.


I have 2 cousins (they are brothers) that are both lazy alcoholics that barely worked a day in their lives, one receives $1600 a month SSD and the other receives $1200 SSD, they both start their day with a beer and a joint and they carry that on all day every day. They both work occasionally on the side making unreported money to add to their beer funds, they get to fish and drink all day, they go camping and drink every weekend, they live it up on the backs of hard working people.


I have a sister that decided she didn't want to work anymore, so after some research on the internet she suddenly had a issue that caused panic attacks when she was around other people leaving her unable to work, but curiously while going through the steps of getting on SSD she was out in crowded bars parting it up on a nightly basis. Within 6 months she was approved for SSD at $1200 a month and gets about $500 a month food stamps.


Another cousin that just wanted to stay at home and play on the internet all day claimed bi-polar disorder and was quickly approved. Not sure what she gets monthly but anything at all is too much in this case.


All these lazy people in my own family is a SMALL sampling of all those out there that completely abuse the system that is in place for those of us that actually need it. And because of the staggering abuse I am looked down on for receiving assistance, or for spending a little of that assistance of a 6 pack of soda or treats for my children.


I don't think we need to be looking into what people are spending their food assistance on, we need to start looking closer into those applying for assistance and lets see some accountability. If we could find a way to weed out those abusing these programs everyone would all be better off.