Food Stamp Realities

Last week I asked a clerk at a store where I was picking up an item for my parents if her store accepts EBT cards, food stamps. She said they did but not for the item I was purchasing. I said I was not on food stamps; I had just noticed all the snacks and beverages they offered and thought the store might be cashing in on the food stamp program.

 

She said, “You’d be surprised what people buy.”

I said, “I’m sure it’s all healthy stuff, right?”

She said, “Not in the slightest!”

Then she said, “One man even asked if he could buy cigarettes with his food stamp card. I told him ‘no’.” Then she thought that even if rules allowed it she would try to find a way to refuse. And then she thought, “And besides, that’s my money you are using!”

 

I have found store clerks universally appalled about the way the food stamp program is designed by government and used by its recipients. Clerks are the ones who know; they are front-line observers of this bloated spending program.

 

I asked a grocery clerk today, as I was paying for 8 bags of Halloween candy, “What do you think causes poverty?”

He said, “Well, there’s quite a bit to it.”

I said, “What’s the first thing that pops into your mind?”

Smiling, he said, “Government.”

I told him that I’ve gotten that from numerous people.

I asked, “Do you mean that government programs cause it, or make it easy to be in poverty?”

He said, “If the government gives them money, what’s the use of working?”

I said, “You probably see a lot of government money coming through your station here, don’t you?”

He looked at me like I had made an understatement.

I said, “I’m sure it’s all for carrots and lettuce, right?”

He scoffed and said that was not the case.

I said, “A lot of pop and chips?”

He confirmed that. He also said purchases include a lot of TV dinner-type of prepared foods, expensive and high in fat and calories.

He was obviously discontent with the realities of the food stamp program.

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One Response

  1. I saw this article today on the number of people who live at one point or another below the poverty line. I thought it was interesting and related so I thought that I would share it: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/a-shockingly-high-number-of-americans-experience-poverty/281172/

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