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Food Stamp Abuse

#1 User is offline   DarthJoe 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

So, for anyone who doesn't know, I have been managing convenience stores for quite a few years. Last May, the company I was working for as head of personnel in their three stores was bought out by a large corporation called Zip Trip. Before this, I had no experience with EBT, Food Stamps, SNAP, whatever you would like to call them, because the previous company didn't accept them. Zip Trip does accept them, and I'm amazed at how many people use this as "free money" to buy junk food.

Today, I had a customer come in and ask me if we took food stamps. I told him we do, and he tells the woman he is with "I got my food stamp money for the month, grab what you want." By the time they were done, they had nearly thirty dollars in junk food. It was all Red Bull, pop, candy bars, gum, and jerky.

This isn't an isolated incident. It happens ALL the time. I see people constantly buying energy drinks, pop, jerky, etc. in large quantities, and putting it all on their EBT card. It really eats at me when they buy a bunch of junk on their food stamps, and then pay for cigarettes with their own money. If they don't make enough money that they have to be on food stamps, how can they afford to smoke?

Anyways, I'm mostly venting, but it irritates me that money comes off of MY checks, in the form of taxes, and it gets distributed to these people who are using it to buy Red Bull, Snickers, and Jack Link jerky. I'm sure many of these people have made bad decisions in life that have led them to their low income lifestyle, and now they continue to make bad decisions with my money. It drives me nuts.

I really think there needs to be more limitations on what people can buy with EBT. If you're that poor, you need to be using the money you get from the government to go to the grocery store and buy things like potatoes, canned goods, and food items that are cheap and nutritional. It's not meant to be used to feed your energy drink habit.

#2 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:54 PM

I'll post this now, as I think this a valid topic, but as soon as this turns into one of "those threads". I'll shut it down.

#3 User is offline   DarthJoe 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:57 PM

View PostJoeRhyno, on 06 March 2013 - 08:54 PM, said:

I'll post this now, as I think this a valid topic, but as soon as this turns into one of "those threads". I'll shut it down.


Well, to be fair, it shouldn't. If anyone who posts here is actually on food stamps, they probably shouldn't be collecting toys. @lol@

#4 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 08:59 PM

With that out of the way... when I was with Frito, I witnessed even worse abuse. There were ways that you could get cash back at certain stores, so people would buy a pack of gum, say it cost $1, the store owner would charge them $60 for the pack of gum, and then give them the change in cash.. something like that. Then they would buy cigarettes and beer and lotto tickets.

I agree, there should be more limits on what you could buy, in IL we have a WIC program, and I think that's how it should be for "food stamps", you get a form that tells you what you can buy and what brands are on the list and most stores have a big WIC sign next to the things that are part of the program, and people can take those items up to the register and then you ring them up basically, hit the WIC button and then it takes the price off for those, basically free food, but it's needed stuff, like bread, eggs, milk, cereal, formula... etc. And, if I remember right, there was a limit how long you were on too.

#5 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

View PostDarthJoe, on 06 March 2013 - 08:57 PM, said:

View PostJoeRhyno, on 06 March 2013 - 08:54 PM, said:

I'll post this now, as I think this a valid topic, but as soon as this turns into one of "those threads". I'll shut it down.


Well, to be fair, it shouldn't. If anyone who posts here is actually on food stamps, they probably shouldn't be collecting toys. @lol@



lol, no, I meant it turning political... ;)

#6 User is offline   Wheeljack35 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

There was talk once of trying to make it so the cards would be used on non junk food.But that was once a rumor

#7 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:02 PM

View PostWheeljack35, on 06 March 2013 - 09:00 PM, said:

There was talk once of trying to make it so the cards would be used on non junk food.But that was once a rumor



I'd totally buy GI Joes and Transformers with it!!! @loll@

#8 User is offline   Wheeljack35 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:05 PM

View PostJoeRhyno, on 06 March 2013 - 09:02 PM, said:

View PostWheeljack35, on 06 March 2013 - 09:00 PM, said:

There was talk once of trying to make it so the cards would be used on non junk food.But that was once a rumor



I'd totally buy GI Joes and Transformers with it!!! @loll@



LOL Yeah if you could get away with it :P

#9 User is offline   DarthJoe 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

View PostJoeRhyno, on 06 March 2013 - 08:59 PM, said:

I agree, there should be more limits on what you could buy, in IL we have a WIC program, and I think that's how it should be for "food stamps", you get a form that tells you what you can buy and what brands are on the list and most stores have a big WIC sign next to the things that are part of the program, and people can take those items up to the register and then you ring them up basically, hit the WIC button and then it takes the price off for those, basically free food, but it's needed stuff, like bread, eggs, milk, cereal, formula... etc. And, if I remember right, there was a limit how long you were on too.


That's exactly how the any programs for food should be run! I'm not trying to say there isn't a place for food stamps. Sometimes, people get stuck in bad situations where they might need some assistance. I'm all for that, and I don't mind if I'm helping to pay for it.

Here in Montana, you are not allowed to buy "prepared foods" or anything that has been warmed or cooked...pretty much everything else is fair game if it can be consumed. You can't buy coffee because it is "warmed," but you can buy fountain pop. It doesn't make any sense.

As far as overcharging the card for something that can be bought, and then refunding cash to buy cigarettes...the clerk is at fault there. They could lose their job over something like that I'm sure.

#10 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:14 PM

Yeah, I know it was the clerk, and it was only certain stores, I thought of contacting the local news about it a couple times too, cause I hated the owners. We didn't have to give credit to mouse or rat damaged bags, and they'd actually clean them off and cut them open and cut out the chewed areas and try to tell us they were damaged bags and want credit, lol.. also, they'd always have Jalapeno chips that were "damaged" and one day there were some stale jalapeno chips and I went to take them out and the guy was literally begging me for them, I told him I had to return them, no matter what( I knew the bags would be in my returns in a couple weeks after they ate the chips).. but he wouldn' let it slide, so I told him to get a zip lock baggie and I'll give him the chips.. so what did he do? He goes to the shelf, opens a box if glad bags, takes a ziplock baggie out, I fill it up and then he continues on taping up the box of ziplock baggies up and puts them back on the shelf. Yeah, he is the scum of the convenience store underworld, lol.






It's the same here, you can't go to Walmart and buy a pre-cooked chicken, which is smart, but yeah, you can buy a case of redbull and a family sized bad of doritos, lol.

#11 User is offline   DarthJoe 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:23 PM

View PostJoeRhyno, on 06 March 2013 - 09:14 PM, said:

Yeah, I know it was the clerk, and it was only certain stores, I thought of contacting the local news about it a couple times too, cause I hated the owners. We didn't have to give credit to mouse or rat damaged bags, and they'd actually clean them off and cut them open and cut out the chewed areas and try to tell us they were damaged bags and want credit, lol.. also, they'd always have Jalapeno chips that were "damaged" and one day there were some stale jalapeno chips and I went to take them out and the guy was literally begging me for them, I told him I had to return them, no matter what( I knew the bags would be in my returns in a couple weeks after they ate the chips).. but he wouldn' let it slide, so I told him to get a zip lock baggie and I'll give him the chips.. so what did he do? He goes to the shelf, opens a box if glad bags, takes a ziplock baggie out, I fill it up and then he continues on taping up the box of ziplock baggies up and puts them back on the shelf. Yeah, he is the scum of the convenience store underworld, lol.


You should have told them "Congratulations! Part of your check just went to that customer's nicotine habit." @lol@

#12 User is offline   Dragon66 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:24 PM

Welcome to the new reality of our world. I have definite opinions of how these programs are handled, but I will keep them to myself to avoid the dreaded "political" topic lock.

From a personal perspective, it really just gets to me how people are willing to abuse the system. My son's mother (who I was recently awarded full custody of my son) is one of the people who know how to work the system for every last dollar. She was falsely claiming our son to get subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, Obamaphone, and any other benefits she could get, while my wife and I pay for everything (insurance, clothes, medical bills, etc.) out of our pockets AND pay taxes that go to pay for the programs she takes from. I just get really disgusted when I hear about the abuse of our entitlement programs that are jeopardizing our children's and country's future.

#13 User is offline   DarthJoe 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:37 PM

View PostDragon66, on 06 March 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Welcome to the new reality of our world. I have definite opinions of how these programs are handled, but I will keep them to myself to avoid the dreaded "political" topic lock.

From a personal perspective, it really just gets to me how people are willing to abuse the system. My son's mother (who I was recently awarded full custody of my son) is one of the people who know how to work the system for every last dollar. She was falsely claiming our son to get subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, Obamaphone, and any other benefits she could get, while my wife and I pay for everything (insurance, clothes, medical bills, etc.) out of our pockets AND pay taxes that go to pay for the programs she takes from. I just get really disgusted when I hear about the abuse of our entitlement programs that are jeopardizing our children's and country's future.


I really don't understand how people can get away with this sort of thing. There needs to be a better way to check into how this money is being spent.

#14 User is offline   Dragon66 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:42 PM

View PostDarthJoe, on 06 March 2013 - 09:37 PM, said:

View PostDragon66, on 06 March 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Welcome to the new reality of our world. I have definite opinions of how these programs are handled, but I will keep them to myself to avoid the dreaded "political" topic lock.

From a personal perspective, it really just gets to me how people are willing to abuse the system. My son's mother (who I was recently awarded full custody of my son) is one of the people who know how to work the system for every last dollar. She was falsely claiming our son to get subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, Obamaphone, and any other benefits she could get, while my wife and I pay for everything (insurance, clothes, medical bills, etc.) out of our pockets AND pay taxes that go to pay for the programs she takes from. I just get really disgusted when I hear about the abuse of our entitlement programs that are jeopardizing our children's and country's future.


I really don't understand how people can get away with this sort of thing. There needs to be a better way to check into how this money is being spent.

Well, first they need to go back to the WIC approved standard that only allows the fund to be spent on items that are WIC approved. I know that grocery stores in my area still show which items are WIC Approved. The SNAP/ EBT Cards are being abused like they are free cash, that we as taxpayers are paying for.

#15 User is offline   featofstrength 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:43 PM

Walmarts draw these people out like flies...got behind a 20something stoner with 2 separate charges: his first ring up was a few food items on his stamps, then his second was for a 6 pack of imported longnecks which he swiped on debit card and then laughed that he couldnt remember his pin number. finally got it on the 5th attempt, and while he was doing that, I got to enjoy the smell of canabis reeking off the kid behind me who was waiting to purchase his doritos and Red Bull...didnt stick around to see if he put them on stamps.

#16 User is offline   BigBot84 

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:47 PM

I see people paying in food stamps all the time with high end sunglasses and name brand purses. They're also buying junk food and non-essentials. I wouldn't be surprised if they're out driving in an Escalade. There are too many people abusing the program, and I would have no problem if it was discontinued outright.

#17 User is offline   Mongoose 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:21 AM

The program is necessary for those who truly need it, but it needs to be regulated better to weed out those who take advantage of it. Back in the late 90's I worked at a small grocery store and a guy came in and bought some groceries with his food stamps and paid for a carton of cigarettes in pennies.

#18 User is offline   hamsterboy 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 03:00 AM

Isn't there a big mess out in Texas with food stamp fraud? Something like the one person had over $7000 in their account.

#19 User is offline   Jmacq1 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:04 AM

View PostDarthJoe, on 06 March 2013 - 09:37 PM, said:

View PostDragon66, on 06 March 2013 - 09:24 PM, said:

Welcome to the new reality of our world. I have definite opinions of how these programs are handled, but I will keep them to myself to avoid the dreaded "political" topic lock.

From a personal perspective, it really just gets to me how people are willing to abuse the system. My son's mother (who I was recently awarded full custody of my son) is one of the people who know how to work the system for every last dollar. She was falsely claiming our son to get subsidized housing, food stamps, tax credits, Obamaphone, and any other benefits she could get, while my wife and I pay for everything (insurance, clothes, medical bills, etc.) out of our pockets AND pay taxes that go to pay for the programs she takes from. I just get really disgusted when I hear about the abuse of our entitlement programs that are jeopardizing our children's and country's future.


I really don't understand how people can get away with this sort of thing. There needs to be a better way to check into how this money is being spent.


Sure there are ways, just like there are ways to reconfigure the system so that it only works on certain items etc... The problem is that implementing any of them costs money (which many states don't have right now, much less the federal government), and takes up manpower, too. Also in the case of "checking into how this money is being spent" you start to run into privacy issues and "government intrusion" that can set a very poor precedent for the future. To use the "slippery slope" argument (which is a logical fallacy anyway, but still a popular tactic), if the government gets to decide how poor people spend their money (or sort-of money), how long before the government gets to decide how EVERYONE spends their money?

Also like most things: The amount of people who abuse the system are most likely a minority compared to those that "do it right" (relatively speaking, I'm sure most food stamp users do occasionally buy junk food...junk food is cheap, after all). Yes, the exploiters exist, but when compared to the total number of people receiving benefits, they're probably a comparatively small number, though certainly some locales are going to have more of them than others. I've never met anyone on Food Stamps that was happy to be on food stamps and not trying like hell to get -off- of food stamps as fast as possible.

Finally, there's a rather lively underground industry in bootleg "high end sunglasses" and "designer handbags" (and tons of other fashion accessories). You can get them dirt cheap (probably cheaper than a "generic" pair of sunglasses and handbag at Wal-Mart), and at a glance they look just like the real thing.

#20 User is offline   JoeRhyno 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:02 AM

I was going to being up the minority part... and I agree, I'm sure it is a small number that do abuse it, but it's like with everything.. there are people that will abuse everything... but they're a small amount. Even toy collectors, there are those that repack and return figures. While it's upsetting to see and we wonder why stores aren't doing anything about it. They are a minority and not everyone does it.. and I know it's not as important as eating food, and buying stuff to live off of, but it still chaps my hide when I see that cheap dollar store figure taped up in that brand new movie package... @cussing@

#21 User is offline   Jmacq1 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:51 AM

View PostJoeRhyno, on 07 March 2013 - 10:02 AM, said:

I was going to being up the minority part... and I agree, I'm sure it is a small number that do abuse it, but it's like with everything.. there are people that will abuse everything... but they're a small amount. Even toy collectors, there are those that repack and return figures. While it's upsetting to see and we wonder why stores aren't doing anything about it. They are a minority and not everyone does it.. and I know it's not as important as eating food, and buying stuff to live off of, but it still chaps my hide when I see that cheap dollar store figure taped up in that brand new movie package... @cussing@


I prefer to think of such instances as "a prime opportunity to expand my PotF2 Star Wars figure collection." (Those figures seem to be the most popular choice for the repacker/repackers in my area).

Though I do occasionally see G.I. Joe repacks with simply older (but modern) G.I. Joe figures in them.

#22 User is offline   featofstrength 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

Help others who cant help themselves...not those who wont help themselves, or help themselves to everything.

Quit being enabling saps, folks. #US1#
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Im sorry that there are those that do follow the rules of the system, but the system just might be the problem. There are always other alternatives...
in the words of Curtis Blues: "You get wise, you go to Posted Image"

#23 User is offline   Jmacq1 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:11 PM

And just what "alternatives" do you suggest?

#24 User is offline   featofstrength 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:38 PM

View PostJmacq1, on 07 March 2013 - 12:11 PM, said:

And just what "alternatives" do you suggest?


in compliance with the sites "religion and politics free" policy, and in saving the moderators time in outright removing my posts as before:

It's all the Posted Image who are responsible for the Posted Image. But really it's really a question of Posted Image, and Posted Image is always the answer.


It is ignorant to believe that you can divide politics from a topic of social welfare. I mean, what else can be said from asking people to agree with a blanket "doncha hate when people do dat?" without the risk of getting too deep? If no one is looking for real answers/opinions, or a Seinfeld observational punchline, this "discussion" is pointless.

#25 User is online   CaptainTriumph 

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:20 PM

Of course you can also have the opinion that if people keep using food stamps for junk food it will get them off the program quicker.....

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