I have no problem with helping the truly needy with aid when needed, but about a
year ago I was in a local supermarket checkout line when I happened to notice
the young woman in front of me's purchases. She had several high priced,
vegetarian and/or organic products (some of which I quite like myself but rarely
buy as they are WAY overpriced) some fresh salsa made by one of Utah's
local, upscale Mexican food producers (which is also excellent, but costs around
3x the price of national brands) and she also had a 12 pack of beer, (another
very expensive brand, no cheap stuff for this discriminating young lady!) and
then topped off her shopping by asking the clerk for a couple of packs of the
smokes that they keep behind the counter.She then handed the cashier
a card, (it looked much like a regular credit card) and she was told that she
couldn't buy the beer or cigarettes with it, at which she opened up her
purse and peeled off a $50 bill without blinking, and then "payed" for
the balance of her stuff with the food stamp card....
...Now I have NO PROBLEM with people who buy alcohol, (in fact I was buying a
12-pack myself, but mine was a "budget-friendly" brand), cigarettes or
overpriced gourmet food when they have the money to pay for it, but it
didn't make me thrilled to see tax money go to a perfectly able bodied
20-something who clearly had plenty of ca$h for beer and cigs (and plenty of
The solution doesn't have to be "all or nothing." Food stamps need
more restrictions on what can be purchased. Run the program like the LDS Church
welfare program. Offer nutritious food staples only - milk, cheese, bread, some
canned goods, fruits, veggies, etc. Then have the recipients work at the food
pantry or some other community service organization to earn the benefits. I see
far too many EBT card users buying nothing but junk food (soda, chips, candy)
and expensive deli items that I can't even afford.
I love the idea that the government can help people get on their feet by
providing assistance for the most basic of needs -- food. However, as I've
known people on food stamps, I'm always flabbergasted by how much money is
given. When we were in college 10 years ago, we could have easily qualified and
were surprised to learn that a family of four would receive over $500 in food
stamps per month! I now have a family of 6, with boys that eat like crazy and
we still don't spend that much on food each month.The problem
is that, instead of helping people to their feet, this program discourages them
from getting off of it, and any sort of realistic food budget. Those who are on
food stamps are unlikely to get jobs tha will allow them to spend what they can
while on food stamps. I think if amounts were cut in half, people would have to
budget more carefully and would be less likely to want to stay in the program
Part of the problem is that many people just don't know how to cook from
scratch. We had a time when I was a young girl that we received help. I can make
spaghetti from tomato sauce, and other ingredients from scratch. It's
healthier and a much better way to use food stamp allowances. I don't
believe that junk food should be used for feeding children. If you want taffy,
it is easy to make from sugar and other ingredients, so right there you have a
treat. I think many of these people could really use some help learning to cook.
This article is quite ridiculous. Dropping $30/month in benefits will NOT take
food of anyone's table. Google food stamp average amounts, and you'll
find a family of 6 on average is getting $700 in food stamps. That's way,
way more food money than my family of six is spending. You have to try really
hard to eat that much in food, or just eat processed, expensive food all the
time, which is what is likely happening (or giving food away to friends, which
is also what is happening).
It makes me sick to think that people have and are starting to think that the
only way to live is on the Government. I feel that this is what the Government
wants. My husband and I are going on being seniors. Five years ago our life was
shattered by the Mortgage crisis. My husband owned his own Mortgage company
along with my nephew. One day we were coming back from a cruise it seemed and
the next week we were told that he could no longer do loans for investors.
Almost over night his business dried up. So at first we were o.k. because we
were somewhat prepared for an emergency. Months turned into years. We never
thought for once to turn to the Government for help. Maybe call me old fashion
but we were taught to go to family and friends then to our Church for help if
our friends and family could not help. I am so grateful that we did as I never
never want the Government telling what to do or giving me handouts. That takes
away our freedoms and so we need to all look out in what is happening here.
My husband and I were on state assistance the last couple of years of school.
I'm sorry but the majority of people use this system wrongfully. I have
witnessed it while waiting in the lobby where you apply. But it's not
entirely their fault. The government throws it at them with every available
opportunity from giving it out with deductions with medical, food, electricity
bills, cell phones to rent. Why would someone work a job when they can sit at
home and receive money and deductions. For our family of 3 it was 493.00 when we
had baby#2 it was just under 700.00 just for food. U can buy pretty much
anything u can consume -alcohol and cigs. Now my husband and I joke about it. We
can pick out a food stamp cart a mile a way. We think its funny that during
school we could have filet mignon every night. Now we make 6 figures and we are
price matching and going without . Sounds backwards. These benefits should help
people out of a tight spot for certain things and time length not use them for
as long as they can.
Unless you know what foods that person can eat stop judging what foods, besides
junk food, they are buying. There is a growing number of people who can't
eat wheat spaghetti because they can't tolerate gluten. Are we going to
tell them that they can't purchase rice noodles because they are 4X more
expensive? Others become seriously ill when they consume MSG, or other
preservatives. I have family members that if they were to eat the wrong foods
they would not be able to work for the next couple of days. If they were to lose
their job & have live on food stamps they might as well be on disability as
they most likely would never be able to function well enough to work again if
the amount was reduced even more. My family makes all of their food from
scratch, because they can't tolerate processed foods, and use mostly fruits
and vegetables they find on sale and still it is not cheap. But it is the only
way they survive with the trials they've been handed in this life.
If buying over priced food is a problem, the solution is to specify what brands
can be bought. Not to cut back on food stamps for the needy.If we
have budget problems because we have for decades gotten into ill conceived
unnecessary wars, the solution is not to cut food stamps, but to .. stop getting
into so many illconceived unnecessary wars.
Ok, so why would any minority argue against this: the government gives me free
housing, I get food stamps for free food, I get free medical care, a free
education, free college, even free cell phones---losing any of these is not the
issue. The issue is why would anyone give up a free life? of course they're
going to argue to keep all this free stuff. But take all that free stuff and the
illegals go back to Mexico, and the rest of them go to work, get creative, work
hard, struggle and make it on their own, and they are far better off for it. And
did I mention the government doesn't go broke trying to give an entire
nation free everything?
Food Stamps are for assisting those who are in difficult times, for a short span
to get on their feet. Most people who recieve this benefit take advantage of
this and become comfortable and rely on it...because they don't really have
to do much to get this. Find a job, budget your lives.
In fiscal year 2010, the most recent year for which detailed demographic data
are available, about three- quarters of households receiving SNAP (food stamps)
benefits included a child, a person age 60 or older, or a disabled person.About 30% of recipient households reported earned income, and about 60%
of households reported receiving unearned income from sources including the
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, Social Security, and the Temporary
Assistance for Needy Fami- lies (TANF) program.The average household
receiving SNAP benefits in 2010 had an income of $731 per month (excluding the
value of SNAP benefits), or about $8,800 per year (see Table 1). The monthly
SNAP benefit per household averaged $287, or $4.30 per person per day.CBO)
I can not understand why these folks are on food stamps, church benefits and
state aid continue to have kids and expect the world to pay for their lack of
control of having more. It is not my problem when I was young I had the number
of kids I could afford and did not sleep around with 2 or 3 dozen other women
and have kids with them for others to have to rear. This is a big part of the
I used food stamps while in the military, as do many of our soldiers. I always
find it interesting that it is always the ones that call themselves
"Christians" that want to take food away from the poor. Oh, you saw
someone at the counter using food stamps to buy expensive food when she had cash
on her? I saw the US government spend $21 billion dollars on seven Destroyers
the Navy specifically said they didn't want. And no one blinked. Our
country is not going bankrupt from caring for the poor and needy.
Some people really do need help. But maybe it's a matter of priorities. Did
the reporter dig a bit deeper and find out how many cell phones, wide screen
tv's, cars, and other nice but not critical appliances are owned by the
family in the story? I think not. Food is a very high profile necessity, and so
it is easy to make the lack of it into a heart rending story. But maybe the real
story is "Why should taxpayers pay for the race to keep up with the
Jones'. The the really sad story now may be the pain of cutting back on
the nice but nonessential costs because so many people have been relying on the
government to feed them so they had extra money to buy and become accustomed to
The bigger problem is the overall trend of people wanting something for nothing.
I have a relative who works in the public school system. She gets frustrated
dealing with fee waivers and free breakfast and luch for kids only to see them
hop into Mom's Escalade at the end of the day. I have no problem with
helping people who really need it, but it should only cover bread, canned fruits
and veggies and non-processed foods. $3 will buy 10 lbs of potatoes, or one can
of high end soup. It is not my resposibility to make sure you havr all the food
I love how my big-hearted, liberal friends above (Scoundrel, FatherOfFour) are
so generous with their fellow taxpayers monies, and have Righteously Chastised
me for my savage demonization of the destitute, in this case a woman who was so
needy that she used food stamps to pay over $9.00 for one pint of fresh, organic
salsa, but was able to scrape together the ca$h for imported beer and
"natural" cigarettes that cost more than any other brand on the
market....I've spent several years (cumulative) hanging out in
some of the most socially liberal places on Earth (New Orleans, San Francisco,
NYC, Amsterdam, Barcelona) and in fact I am likely the single most Liberal
(capital L) person to ever hold a copy of the Deseret News, (being back in Utah
is always an eye-opener, just don't forget to set your watch back 20
years), and I absolutely WANT to see my taxes go to feed the truly needy instead
of buying another overpriced weapons system, but I don't like the idea of
someone buying the most expensive gourmet food on the shelf when she clearly had
enough $$$ to pay for her beer, smokes and yes, even tattoos.
Get a job. Or another job.And another job.If
I didn't have money for my family I'd be walking the streets 20 hours
a day securing jobs until I could provide for my family.I think too
often people think a good paying 8 hour job should be put in their laps and if
its not then other people should pay their bills.Getting on food
stamps needs to be harder than getting a job.And that's not the
case these days.
Scoundrel, although some of what you say is true, it doesn't consider
demographics. I have worked in the social services area for nearly 15 years and
yes because there are three times as many caucasions they receive the most
services. Percentage wise Blacks,with children,Latinos,and other groups have
much higher percentage usage. Visit Walmarts in Orem,Springville or anyplace
near SLC and observe the money being given in WIC,foodstamps and other
government programs. We have a 17 trillion debt and this increases it.Being
acutely aware of those truly deserving, it is not the governments job to help
those who can help themselves.
Scoundrel said:"A majority of food stamp beneficiaries:- are
caucasian"Well, your credibility just went out the window.
Maybe in Utah, where 91.9% are white. But overall, more than twice as many
blacks use food stamps as whites. More Latinos than whites and more non-Latino
non-whites than whites.Do a quick Google search of "food stamp
demographics""The rate of fraud in the SNAP program is less
than one percent."Well, since the food stamp program has doubled
in size under Obama, fraud went from $330M per year to over $750M per year.
Almost $1B in fraud.The fraud they can't track is where, in a
2-parent home, only the one not working or working part time applies and
discloses their income. Estimated to be 16% of recipients. That's why we
have all seen food stamps pay for luxury foods and $50 bills pay for beer, wine
and cigs in the same transaction.How about as a condition of getting
food stamps, a person is given a 4X12 plot in a community garden and required to
grow vegetables for the local food bank? DO SOMETHING besides sit on your
This hit my mind while reading these comments. I think the government wants
everyone on an equal level. By giving a family of 6 a monthly food budget of
$700 (according to some posts here) is so they can cry poverty yet eat like
those that worked hard to make enough money to feed themselves gourmet food. I dated a person 4 years ago who had a 6 y/o and 4 y/o, her parents covered
her utilities and bought her a house and she still got $650/m in food stamps.
She bought her kids whatever they wanted and most of it was not healthy choices.
She bought high end expensive foods too.Maybe the government should show
they care for the tax payer and give food stamp recipients the average food
budget the average person not on food stamps spends.In our house,
it's me, my wife and two teenage boys. We spend less than $400/m on food.
Most months are less than $300! Bargain shopping and making meals at home helps.
@ ScoundrelReporter Cortez needs to give us some data. Anecdotes abound
about the person in the check-out line. Scoundrel above, posts a very different
picture of the typical food stamp recipient. It is about as valid as the
check-out line comments.So, who is receiving food assistance? For how
long?And I'm not just interested in Utah. We are considering
immigration reform. How many immigrants use food stamps. What happened to the
idea that they are not allowed to enter if they might become a public charge.
How's that working out in America?It is a huge task getting to the
truth since welfare office workers aren't likely to tell the story
straight. Everybody's got an angle these days.
Food stamps was for helping people get on their feet, and caring for the
handicap. Not making a career of it.If seventeen trillion dollars
weren't taken out of circulation to feed our national debt,-our need for
food stamps wouldn't be so profound.At least our congress
qualifies for a five week vacation, IRS for lavish conferences, and our
president for his third vacation in two months.
When the recession first hit, I lost my job and my wife was a stay-at-home
mother. Fortunately, despite my pride and initial objection, we had resources
and help from our church. I had a good church leader who gave me some sound and
profound council. He asked if I gave and served others when I was doing well
financially. I said yes. He said, then let us help you until you can start
helping and giving again. My family utilized state and church resources, but
with the church we were required to help, be looking for work and utilizing the
employment networks and resources of the church. I learned first-hand how little
accountability and restraint there is in government entitlement programs. I was
grateful the resource was available when my family needed it, but far too often
I saw abuse and misuse of the resources. There's nothing wrong with our
government wanting to help the needy, but when there's no accountability or
motivation to better your situation, how helpful is it really? It becomes an
agent of gutony rather than an agent of charity and empowerment.
Re:5 and others...Should people who owned big screen tvs, cell
phones, cars but then fell on hard times be forced to sell them on Craig's
List in order to qualify for food stamps? I know a 40 yo woman with
advanced Multiple Sclerosis who currently doesn't qualify for foodstamps
because she is over the income limit. Her only source of income is disability,
approx. $990/mon. She doesn't own a big screen tv, has a basic cell phone
(a necessity for summoning help if she falls etc) She did qualify for food
stamps when her young daughter was living with her, but now that her daughter is
living with grandma, she is ineligible. Every day is a struggle. She must rely
on people to drive her places, cook, clean, bathe etc. Many times
I've been in line behind someone using food stamps. I just don't see
the "abuse" of the system you've seen--no one buying sushi, filet
mignon, alcohol or cigarettes. Sure, no doubt there are those who abuse the
system, but do they represent a small minority or the majority?
@ Chris B:Have you ever been truly desperate? Have you ever been in
a position where you needed help but didn't belong to the "right
organization" to receive private help? Yes, you say you would
be on the streets 20 hours day. Exaggeration aside, if you were in such dire
straits you would most likely seek assistance while you were looking for work.
Why? Because you have a responsibility to your family. When I took
assistance from the State, I was working a full time, half-pay internship
instead of doing 10 weeks of student teaching. I took the assistance because I,
like most welfare recipients had work, but work was not enough to support my
family.You suffer from the good fortune of never having learned what
poverty really looks/feels like. Neither have I, really. I was lucky to end my
internship and find a full time teaching job with about $65 left to our name.
In the mean time, welfare and assistance helped slow the downward fall until I
was able to find that good paying job.
Studies show that Americans, including food stamp recipients waste 40% of their
food. The food stamp program is not meant to enable purchasing of the best and
most expensive of foods. If people are not working, they should at least shop
smart, buy store brands, use coupons, buy sale items, not buy junk food, candy,
soda, and juice cocktails that usually contain 5 to 20% juice only. Educated
consumers,on food stamps or not, can stretch their food budgets considerably by
buying only what they need, and not purchase excess that tends to be wasted.
"Waste not, want not" is a valuable life axiom that is too often
ignored. Combine trips to cut down on transportation costs, turn off lights in
rooms not in use, and watch the thermostat, not making the house too hot or too
cold, and pay cash only, avoiding credit card interest that is generally about
25%. The bottom line: God helps those who help themselves.
The requirements for obtaining food stamps should be reviewed and re-written.
Many households are men and women (not married) both are getting government aid
and food stamps. Many live on just the government and state. Makes person(s)
lazy - do not want to work because they can obtain it easily.It costs us
(the taxpayers) a lot of money.
I just used the SNAP pre-screening tool, using the following hypothetical
family:2 parent household, age 40 yrs.3 kids:ages 12-9 Monthly
monthly food stamp allotment/mon.: $364-$374Note: some states
consider utilitiy costs, UT does not
Truthseeker, I have to think that the vast majority of those reading my words
have NO PROBLEM with the hypothetical family you created above getting $374 in
food assistance per month (personally, it wouldn't bother me if they got
$600 per month, especially considering the other garbage the government wastes
my tax dollars on) but most people, myself included, don't like the idea of
that $$$ being used to purchase high-end, gourmet, boutique products (usually at
around 3x the price of regular name-brands) or fancy imported foodstuffs when
most of the rest of us are only able to buy such items sparingly, on a special
occasion or a little splurge, because we have to watch our expenses.I WANT the government to help it's most needy, I AM GLAD my taxes help
the less fortunate, but why should they be allowed to use their (supposedly
needed) aid for exotic, overpriced foods that I can only afford to treat myself
to once in awhile? Does this make any sense to you?
We could easily qualify for food stamps, but I just don't feel good about
doing that. Yes, over the years we have received WIC, which expires when
children turn 5. We live on a small farm and have chickens, and so, even when
we were on WIC, we didn't get our allotment of eggs because we didn't
need them. We used the WIC to fill in the holes of our budget.When
discussing food stamps, I thought, sure, wouldn't it be nice. But what
happens when the money dries up and we've become accustomed to it? We
don't live like kings, we don't buy the higher priced brands, my wife
bakes bread, even makes noodles from scratch, we gleen from potato fields (with
permission) as well as orchards. We never go hungry. Our cell phones are old,
but they work (without internet access - they're just phones). Our TV is
ten years old, but it does the job. Our cars are used and paid for. So is our
one bathroom house. With creativity we get along just fine.
Plenty of money to make war, more than plenty enough money to give handouts to
big, oil, big pharma, big agriculture. but no money to feed the people. Is this
a great country or what?
So the rich are hurting, and the poor have it much too good?After
reading some of the comments on this and other stories in this paper about food
stamps, etc., I wonder if there's anywhere else in the world where people
are so jealous of the poor that they keep an eagle eye out for what's in
their shopping carts and then grind their teeth with envy. You'd think the
poor were all living it up on champagne and caviar, while those who are better
off have to subsist on gruel.The system might be abused by some, but
it's better that some abuse it, than to have those who really need it go
hungry because there is no system at all.I suppose this is the
sermon some people would preach:Never need help. If you do need
help, never accept it. If you do accept help, you should feel ashamed for being
a parasite. Fortunately, there's something simple that even the oldest,
sickest, and weakest can do:1. Get ahold of some bootstraps.2. Pull yourself up by them.
BigEasy:I always hear about welfare recipients splurging, but I have
never seen it. I am not making a claim, just stating my own lack of experience
in this matter. I will say this: I have seen this discussion play
out and the point someone made was: 'Why can't a parent
receiving food stamps splurge? Do you know that parent's circumstance?
What if it's birthday dinner for their child? What if they have done
really well by being thrifty throughout the month, and at the end of the month,
they have a little extra? Why is it wrong for people who are down and out to
try and lift their spirits by making a nice meal?'Now I have
witnessed welfare fraud, and I do know how to turn food stamps into cigarettes
if I really wanted to, but fraud is not nearly as prevalent as some people
think. Finally, I keep coming back to the "promote general
welfare" clause of The Constitution. We seem to spend billions of dollars
on decade long wars without even flinching, but when someone on welfare buys a
pack of nice steaks, we freak out. Why is that?
If people are going to be on welfare for long periods they should be required to
get 50 lb bags of beans, whole wheat flour, etc. We can't afford luxury
If congress does this, I don't want to hear from hypocritical Republicans
about how Christian they are.
This has to be the most abused program ever. I think strict guidelines should be
used in granting the free rides to people who use it. No processed food should
be allowed. Basic foods, only. Time donated to society for feeding their
families should be a MUST. If they fail to do so; they lose their benefits. Not
a citizen? Tough luck. Go find a job or go back to your country of origin. These
people are breaking the backs of the middle class tax payers. And, everyone
should be drug tested. If they are dirty- guess what? No benefits. They should
also be billed for their benefits once they get jobs- even if it is a dollar a
week. We've raised a generation of beggars and it needs to stop now.
Benefits only to those who truly need them.
We have all seen someone in the check out line buying things with government
benefits and wonder about the choices the consumer is making. In my case I was
self employed until the recession of 07 started. I used up my savings trying to
start a new venture that failed. I have paid my taxes over the years like all
of you. Now I am suffering stage 4 liver disease, living on 710.00 a month of
SSI, at age 57. I never married, have no family, savings, car, or other debt. I
receive 156.00 a month for food. It amounts to eating on a budget of just $5.20
a day. Some days I can't eat and when I do, I need the fresh foods that
cost way too much. I do not use the food bank due to transportation costs. You
might see an occasional cake in my cart if I am going to the birthday party of a
child. I might even take the makings for a sundae or root beer floats. If you
don't need food benefits, you have been blessed, as I once was. Be kind
when you are in line.
Springvillepoet,"Why is it wrong for people who are down and out
to try and lift their spirits by making a nice meal"No one said
there is anything wrong with what you say.We're saying its
wrong for anyone to take from taxpayers more than the BARE essentials. Any sort of "splurging" is by definition not necessary.And its wrong to take others people money and then "splurge"If its not absolutely mandatory - you shouldn't be stealing it from the
Little Stream:"If congress does this, I don't want to hear from
hypocritical Republicans about how Christian they are".Did
Christ ask his fishermen disciples to cast their nets in a certain place, or to
come to shore so he could give them all the fish they needed? He could have done
either, but there was a lesson that needed to be learned. Part of being a
Christian is learning to have faith and trust in God, and then "go forward
with faith". Christian teachings abound with ideas of self-reliance and
self-sufficiency. I have been on welfare before, but while I was looking,
praying, networking, and training for gainful employment so I could be
self-sufficient. I appreciate the government welfare programs being in place
when people are destitute and need them to feed their children as I did. What is
frustrating for taxpayers is the lack of accountability or ideas on the
governments part to get people back up and back to work, or ask them for
anything in return. Repubs are asking for more accountability and less waste,
neither of which is contrary to Christian values. They aren't seeking the
abolishment of entitlements.
What's wrong with these people now having to start clipping out coupons
like many have to do to stretch? Also, there should be no pop, candy, chips or
junk food that one can buy with it.(How much would that save the taxpayers so
these people could just buy the necessary staples?) Don't have a problem
with people getting fed. I do have a problem with them not appreciating the
others who make it possible.
Many who decry the abuse of foodstamps are accused of being cold-hearted to the
plight of others. People like to take sides and name-call. If we
wouldn't look at the other side as diametrically different, we might be
able to realize that both sides can be right. Food stamp programs grant monies
for food in excess. I've seen it, witnessed it, and lived it. If we were
to cut food allowances in half, we could actually help MORE people. First, the
money would be just enough to get by, so as to encourage people to not remain on
food stamps forever; Second, with allowances cut in half, twice as many people
could receive aid without increasing spending. This is BYU's
approach to tuition scholarships. Instead of granting full-tuition
scholarships, the great majority are half-tuition, so that more students can
receive help and so that students are encouraged to work hard while studying.
there are a number of apartments that have on site managers - and in many cases
they live rent and utility free with a paycheck in for living there should an
emergency come up. Some have spouses/significant other and a kid or two. They
pay cable and phone. When the hubby/significant other loses their job this
family qualifies for over $500 a month in food stamps which is WRONG. I have
seen this happen. As long a person is living rent free and has a income coming
(meaning big enough to pay for their cell phones and make car payments they do
not need food stamps. Especially when a disabled/senior pays rent and utilities
but only gets $10 a month in food stamps.
@bullet56, I'm sorry you are down and out and hope that you're able to
get back on your feet. I'm not sure where you live, but in most places
I've lived (including in Utah County now), fresh fruits can be had for
fairly cheap prices, if you know where to shop, and are much more affordable
than the alternative. In Utah county you find Lo-Lo's in Provo, Winco or
the Sunflower market in Orem, Reams in Springville, and I'm unfamiliar with
what there is further south, but being closer to the orchards, I bet you can get
some great food down there. My family survived through 8 years of
university by learning to eat fresh food and it's so much cheaper than
pre-processed food. Learning to prepare your food from scratch is one of the
best ways to eat both economically and healthily.
When the economy tanked a few years ago, we sold what we could but still found
ourselves short. We used this program for about 6 months. I think we received
about 400 per month. We bought necessities and items that would stretch. At the
Winco we went to there are many families using the cards and I noticed most of
them bought snack cakes, ice cream, soda, boxed foods, sugary cereals and many
items with no nutritional value. Then after checking out, they put their
purchases into a shiny new Escalade with shiny rims. We had sold newer cars to
buy older ones without payment, turned down the heat, turned off directv, wore
old clothes and felt horrible about using the SNAP card, but some people just
think it's their right to have the card and don't care about who is
paying for it! I believe in "Workfare" not Welfare. I think almost
everyone should have to work either at a government office cleaning or picking
up trash on the highways, just a few hours of labor a week to keep on the card.
Also, if you can afford an Escalade, no card!
Does anyone know how the SNAP (food stamp) program is handled when children are
also eligible for free breakfast, lunch, snacks during the school year, and
meals throughout the summer? Not sure about someone who wrote about less than 1%
fraud. I don’t know the specifics, but here in CT, not unusual to find
widespread fraud of folks selling their SNAP benefits. The Seamless
Summer Food Program (SSFP) combines features of National School Lunch Program
(NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
It reduces paperwork and administrative burden, making it easier for schools to
feed children from low-income areas during the traditional summer vacation
periods. In the SSFP, school districts serve meals free of charge to children
ages 18 and younger from low-income areas.one example of fraud:From approximately June 2010 to July 2012, ELQUAFAI conspired with Carlos
Dominguez, the owner of CJ Express and Groceries, to redeem SNAP benefits at the
store at a significantly discounted rate in exchange for cash and cigarettes.
Since February 2010, it is estimated that $820,000 in illegal SNAP benefits were
redeemed at the store.
To "Loganhistorian" the better question is how many more people could be
helped for the same amount of money if the state purchased the food and the
people who needed food picked up a box of food once a week.The
benefits that the welfare system gives out are far too generous and easy to
obtain. There have been times when I have been waiting to purchase items at a
grocery store and have seen a person use their WIC or SNAP benefits while
talking on a smartphone and telling the cashier to ring up the carton of
cigaretts and case of beer separately. As others have posted already, many of
the recipiants have money for vices but can't afford food. Something is
wrong with that.
I am left speechless by such sentiments as "For their own good, the poor
should suffer more."On the evening when the multitude of 5000
surrounded Jesus, his disciples said, "Send the crowds away so that they can
go into the villages and buy food for themselves." Did Jesus say,
"Right. That way they'll learn the valuable lesson that they have to
fend for themselves"? No. He said, "You give them something to eat."
And they fed them.Or when he was among the crowd of 4000, did he
say, "They are hungry, but they should learn the valuable lesson that they
have to provide for themselves"? No. He said, "I don't want to send
them away hungry since they may faint on the way." And he fed them.Prior to this miracle he said to the Pharisees: "Hypocrites! Isaiah
prophesied correctly about you when he said, 'This people honors me with
their lips, but their heart is far from me ...'""Of all
the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of
the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed,
and well-fed" - Herman Melville.
If we are really concerned about fraud in govt. programs the first place we
should look is Defense. GAO reported serious accounting problems at
two of the largest government agencies: the Pentagon and the Department of
Homeland Security. The Department of Defense has a net cost of $799.1 billion to
the federal budget, while the Department of Homeland Security has a net cost of
$48.7 billion. (2013) The DOD cannot account for how it spent $2.6
billion that belonged to the Iraqi government, according to the inspector
general for Iraq reconstruction. (Yet, we are fuming over the
purchase of sushi)re:Food Stamp fraud:"USDA has
permanently disqualified thousands of retail stores from the program for not
following federal requirements. In fiscal year 2012, USDA’s retailer
fraud investigations resulted in 342 convictions and $57.7 million in
recoveries. When cases of SNAP fraud are reported in the news, it is because
the offenders have been caught, evidence that states and USDA are aggressively
combating fraud.(CBPP 2013)
Re Chris BBravo Bravo !!But you left out the part how we
need to decrease the surplus population.
"Getting on food stamps needs to be harder than getting a job." Who would have ever thought that such wisdom could emanate from the
mouth of Chris B? Any more comments like that and I just might have to start
liking him a little bit. :-)
Some need food stamps but there is far too much abuse. No more fast food using
food stamp money. No more seafood, steak, sushi, junk food. Ground beef, wheat
bread, and vegetables should be the staples. No taco bell, mtn dew, and oreos.
I believe in lending a helping hand with food stamps when there is a real need,
but, good grief, some of these people make it a career to live off food stamps
for generations. What ever happened to the stigma of living off freebies?
Where is the shame? People are thinking that the Government owes them a living
and they don't have to do anything except accept the doles. How
disgusting. I also don't understand why the polygamists around the St
George area get so many food stamps. These people have children who are not
legal, in the name of religion, then they have the unmitigated gall to collect
food stamps from the state which they despise and want to disregard both the
state and its laws as "unclean". Yet they have no problem of taking
millions of dollars in food stamps which are paid for by the people they
consider as damned. Utah has no problem with that and just keeps doling out
food stamps to these people and our taxes just keep going higher and higher.
Take away some of their food stamps - please, please do.
I ate better on food stamps than at any other time in my life. My food stamps
were double what I spend on food. We had steak every night; the best sliced
deli meats; and delicious fruits and vegetables. I argued that it was too much
and our case worker said that is what we get. Other than for personal pride,
there was really no reason to get a job.
If food stamps were bait. What kind of trap are we walking into? Or, is there
Serenity asks, "where is the shame"? well, certain elected officials
have taken the shame out of it. They use the word Entitlement. I guess some of
us feel differently. I too used the program, but ASAP, we got off of it. Our
case worker was actually surprised when I told her we no longer needed the card.
Instead of being happy, she was actually put off a little. Not sure why.As a teaching tool for my younger kids, we put together a whole bunch of
food and donated to the food bank the last few years. I wanted them to learn
that it was a blessing that we could have the help, not an entitlement, and that
we wanted to give back as soon as we could do so. I'm hoping we can do this
every year from now on.
I really hate when people say "get a job" like it's so easy. I was
laid off at the age of 52, three college degrees and 30 years of experience. I
literally couldn't get hired by McDonald's. I ran out of money, food,
lost my home and car and my life savings. do you people really think those of
us who lost everything did so because we wanted to or weren't trying?? I
sent out or filled out an average of 200 job postings a week. In six months I
never even got an interview or a phone call. So please keep your "get a
job" garbage to yourself. I was lucky when I got a high paying
temporary job working for the Census in 2010 and saved enough money to be able
to start my own business. 3 years later I am making more money
than I ever did in the corporate world, no commute, no watching the clock, no
one watching ME watch the clock and work when I want to.
When I tried to get food stamps for the first time in my life because I had no
other choice, and after paying into this system for 30 years I found out that I
qualified for a whopping 12 dollars. And that would have entailed me going and
standing in line for nearly 8 hours so I said forget it and I did without. I
ate soup and crackers literally for nearly 4 months. IF I had gotten the food
stamps I am sure one of you narrow minded people would have looked down their
noses at me as if I were trash too without ever stopping to think that I had
worked for years and was merely getting a small portion of what I had paid in
for.Judge no lest ye be judged. (In other words shut up if you
don't know all the facts)
I also want to help those who are in need but I have seen the amount given in
food stamps and it is more generous than any budget I have ever had would allow.
I spent my life pinching pennies, clipping coupons, making casseroles and
shopping the ads; never buying anything that wasn't on sale. I have seen
up close and personal families who are able to eat much, much better than I
could on food stamps. I think the amounts could be reduced considerably and
classes offered to teach budgeting, cooking and planning so they come off the
relief with skills to serve them even in a less-than-ideal job situation.
Reducing the amount wouldn't take food off the table but would encourage
self-reliance and thrift.
I honestly have no issue with this. I have known and had many friends on food
stamps, and their grocery budget was DOUBLE what mine was, to feed the same size
family. Yes it's going to be harder, but not any harder than
what the rest of the state deals with. It will require that you cook from
scratch, and probably won't be able to buy tri-tip and steak - you'll
have change to cube steak and ground beef. No more pre-cooked meals, and maybe
oatmeal instead of fruit loops because it goes further, but I promise you, you
can feed a family well for half of what FS provides.
People don't see our economical devastation. It's being masked by food
stamps, and other benefits.The plug will be pulled, and benefits,
food stamps, bank accounts, and employment will be gone. Massive riots?Seventeen trillion in debt, and rising. It's not if, but when.
My problem is not with the people on food stamps. It is with our
"brilliant" politicians and bureaucrats who think that they have the
right to pass laws that enable them to legally steal from one person to give to
another, and also use 75% of that legally stolen money to pay the politicians,
the bureaucrats and the "paper-shufflers" who administer the programs.
If I personally give my needy friend $100, it costs me $100 (pretty much the
same if I give it to him through my favorite charity). If that friend gets $100
through a federal government program, I have to pay about $400 in taxes. Well
did Neal A. Maxwell say, "The living of one principle of the gospel is
better than a THOUSAND (emphasis mine) government programs, which programs are,
so often, like straightening deck chairs on the Titanic." ("Why Not
Now?" Ensign, Nov 1974, p.12)Many of you know whose idea it was to
force us to be "charitable." That is not a Christian ideal. Giving
The comments in here are decidedly un-Christ-like.
Hey Truth,Check your data. 2011 data is available. Here it is, courtesy of
"Characteristics of SNAP program households in FY 2011" shows 54
percent--not 3/4s--consist of elderly, children, or disabled. There were 44.7
million people on food stamps in 2011. The number as of April 2013 stands at
47,548,694. In 2010, Reuters reported, "The Agriculture Department said
39.68 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, were enrolled for food stamps..."
My favorite part of the 2011 report is when the Food and Nutrition service of
the USDA says "the program has a powerful anti-poverty effect." Right.
That's why even as food stamp use has skyrocketed the poverty rate has done
the same. You can read the report on the FNS web site. Have some tissues handy.
It'll make you cry.
As a former food stamp recipient I certainly sympathize with those who must use
them to feed their families. But there needs to be more control over their use.
Create a food stamp program like WIC (Women, Infants and Children)program which
allows only the purchase of specific items which are listed(much like the
Bishop's Order for food from the Bishop's Storehouse). That would
require the purchase of wholesome foods and fewer snack items.
Living in a state as red as Utah, I'm not surprised by the comments. But I
like to think that it's possible to be a republican without being heartless
and narrow-minded.Try being a single mother raising four kids.
It's not so easy to just "Get a job, then get another job, then get
another job." It's not fair to demand that of someone. And much of the
reason that people buy junk food on food stamps is the same reason they would
buy it otherwise. They're not trying to abuse a system meant to keep
families from going hungry, they're simply trying to get more bang for
their buck. Junk is cheaper. There is more that goes on in
someone's life than can be judged from the line at the grocery store.
Let's fix the system, not judge the people that use it. Let's make
food stamps more restrictive to more nutritious foods. Let's subsidize
something more nutritious than corn in this country. And let's look at all
issues of this problem before we go on angry tirades about people trying to
catch a free ride.
To all of you that want to limit the kinds of food that can be purchased with
food stamps, it can be done. The WIC program gives you vouchers that state the
specific items and quantities you can purchase. The problem you are going to run
up against is all the lobbyists for the food and non-alcoholic beverage
industries. I'm all for changes to the program that modify what can and
can't be purchased, but not in support of a reduction in the food stamp
benefit.To Luv2fly - college students are not eligible for food stamps. So
how did you get around that obstacle? Also what are you doing have two kids
while still in school? Why couldn't you wait.R2D2 - you are either a
great coupon clipper or really don't have an idea how much you spend on
food. $700/month for a family of 6 works out to $23.33/day or $7.78/meal or
$1.30/meal/person. What are you feeding your kids? At that price it can't
be very nutritious.