Alarming

These numbers about food stamps should tell us just how well the economy is doing and the ineffectiveness of certain government mandated programs;

• The number of people on food stamps in South Dakota has jumped 75 percent in the past five years.

• 1 in 8 in South Dakota is on the program

• In 2009, the latest year numbers were available, food stamp participants in this state spent $111.2 million.

• C-Stores make up a more then a 1/3 of food stamp vendors (36%)

Like I have said in the past, people who need food stamps should get them, but there needs to be certain restrictions, IMO;

The high number of convenience stores in SNAP alarms public health advocates. “There’s not a lot of good, healthy food in convenience stores,” Brownell said.

In an era of rising obesity rates, some argue that restrictions should be placed on what people can buy with their EBT cards. Without restrictions, participants often eat foods that lead to health problems, which then lead to higher costs in government-run health care plans.

“It doesn’t seem to me that government should buy things that make people sick and then clean up the mess later,” said Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

This is a perfect example of restrictions. I’m not saying that vendors like C-Stores cannot participate, I’m just saying certain products should not be available for purchase with food stamps. We live in a modern society that relies on barcodes, it is very easy to block out certain items from purchase with food stamps. This is not rocket science.

But Jeff Lenard, spokes-man for the National Association of Convenience Stores, disputes the idea that conveniences stores are a source only for snack foods and pop.

LMFAO! Yeah, because every time I am in line behind someone paying with a EBT card at a C-store, they are buying fresh fruit, milk, bread and eggs . . . In fact I have never once seen anybody buy anything healthy from a C-Store with an EBT card. I think the closest was a guy buying chocolate milk. And even if they were buying healthy food, it costs a lot more to purchase it from a C-Store then from a grocer. It makes zero sense to allow people to buy unhealthy, expensive food with government money, but hey, the Pentagon buys expensive shit we don’t need all the time.

I am all for convenience when it comes to the EBT card, especially for the elderly and handicapped, but seriously folks, this system needs to be fixed, not just to save taxpayers money, but to provide healthy food to people who are using it. I think everyone should go to bed on a full stomach in one of the richest countries in the world, but there is a better way to achieve that goal.



43 comments ↓

#1 Jana on 08.28.11 at 9:16 pm

So let’s just for a minute say you live around Terrace Park. You are poor and don’t have a car. Where do you go for groceries? How far is the walk? Is mass transit an option?

So I think the more appropriate punishment for being poor is to walk the 3 miles to the nearest grocery store and back. But, only after stopping off to the local diner and leaving a good tip for the wait staff.

#2 l3wis on 08.28.11 at 9:48 pm

Jana – I think I clearly stated, I don’t think C-Stores should not be vendors, I just think we need more targeted product restrictions.

BTW, I know several, several, several food stamp recipients who go out to eat. A lot!

#3 Jana on 08.29.11 at 12:10 am

And I know some politicians that are scum…but that doesn’t make them all scum. Just tired of the anecdotes and one off observations that are used to tear down an entire group of people…whose life isn’t exactly great to begin with.

But then hey, Reagan made the whole Cadillac driving welfare queen up from scratch, so why not!

Not to mention I heard of some really horrible things that waiters do to the food of patrons they don’t like…OMG…maybe you are on to something here and you are… No wait, I like eating out, but if I’ve heard of these things then it must be true for all waitstaff. Not to mention I’ve never seen what they do with my food when I’m not looking.

I’m all for product restrictions, just not ready to pay more for the enforcement of these restrictions. I do find it humorous that the good Republicans amongst us want to add to the bureaucracy they so love to hate…just not as much as poor people.

My vote would be for even more subsidization for healthy foods.

#4 Lemming on 08.29.11 at 1:31 am

The Drooler and his party at their finest! Everyone should get freebies (but you gotta vote for me!)…The best part is Pizza Hut and Taco Bell demanding Food Stamps be permitted at their fine establishments!

#5 Detroit Lewis on 08.29.11 at 2:48 am

“just not ready to pay more for the enforcement of these restrictions.”

Why would you pay more? This isn’t about changing vendors, or enforcement, this is about changing availability of a product. You do know how barcodes work? Right? Adding products to a list that makes them unavailable is actually creating less work, because only certain foods (vegetables for ex.) would be coded for availability. People act like you would have to overhaul the entire system, when a couple of IT people could fix it so easily. I don’t really care who is getting food stamps, I just think people that are should be forced to make healthy decisions.

#6 l3wis on 08.29.11 at 2:53 am

As for your comment “Not to mention I heard of some really horrible things that waiters do to the food of patrons they don’t like” That made me laugh, because it’s not us waiters that do things to your food, it is usually the patron requesting bad things happen to their food. “Yeah, I will get a well done steak, extra ketchup and ranch and xtra-crispy fries, almost burnt.”

#7 Costner on 08.29.11 at 8:53 am

I agree l3wis… don’t ban the C-stores, but ban certain products. I don’t think food assistance programs are meant to purchase massive quantities of Mt. Dew and Slim Jims, so there need to be some restrictions.

My latest experience viewing EBT use was last week at Hy-Vee. The family had a total of four people with them one of which was a small kid no more than three or four years old. The three adults had a total of five different transactions – some used EBT, and some used some type of paper voucher (not sure what it was, but I’m thinking maybe it was WIC).

They had some healthy stuff like Milk and eggs, but they also had candy, soda, the biggest bag of chips available in the store, and some other random teeth-rotting products that only a dentist could love.

I hate to judge people, but it sure looked like someone was gaming the system with all of those various transactions, and the fact they separated out the healthy food from the junk told me they knew what they were doing and what they could get away with.

I wasn’t actually mad about any of that, but I was somewhat upset that I got stuck in their line since it took the cashier and the manager a while to figure out how to process a few of their transactions.

In any case, food assistance programs should go towards products that are nutritious and contribute to good health. They should not be for products which rot teeth or lead to childhood obesity, because those are just more problems we need to address later in life.

It seems the WIC program has figured this out… why can’t the Food Stamps program do the same?

I’ll leave you with this image to help explain what is wrong with the food stamp program:

http://fellowshipofminds.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/receiptf.jpg

If there was any doubt – that receipt is legit. The person (Louis Cuff) who purchased the lobster and steak was eventually charged with fraud… but only because he was selling the food after the fact. Had he purchased this food for his own consumption it would be perfectly legal.

How is this acceptable?

#8 Adolph Deflore on 08.29.11 at 10:14 am

The lobbying efforts by the fast food industry illustrates where most of the fraud and abuse can be found in welfare, from the vendors.

Most of the people I know on SNAP agree that a lot of “junk food” shouldn’t be eligible and certainly the vast majority of those not on the SNAP program agree. So why can you buy all this crap with an EBT? Lobbying.

Just as KFC wants to get a piece of the food stamp pie the rest of the food industry has lobbied to make sure their products are eligible too. So while a solid majority of the country thinks that our welfare dollars shouldn’t be able to buy crap it’s the lobbying dollars that buys votes.

This isn’t limited to food programs, it’s far worse in the medical equipment industry. It’s routine for the vendors to rent equipment to people for decades when buying the equipment would be cheaper than just a few months rent. I know one gal who has been renting a hospital bed for over twenty years. She’s tried to get the vendor to just buy the bed but they refuse and I think everyone can see why, they’d miss out on years and years worth of profit.

On the other hand I know someone who needed a wheelchair for just a few weeks, in that case the vendor insisted that she own it rather than rent it. Why? Because their profit on a sale would be much higher than the short term rent.

I can kind of understand why people tend to demonize those on welfare, that’s the end of the transaction they see. But most of the abuse and even outright fraud happens behind the counter or in the halls of congress.

Maybe, just maybe we should concentrate less on those who are simply buying what the law allows and concentrate on the root of the problem, the lobbyists and the vendors who worked hard to create this broken system. Who’s the bad guy? The person who legally buys a candy bar with their EBT or the guy who charges us tens of thousands of dollars in rent for an item that costs a few hundred dollars?

#9 Adolph Deflore on 08.29.11 at 10:29 am

“the fact they separated out the healthy food from the junk told me they knew what they were doing and what they could get away with.”
__________________________________

No, what that tells me is that the paper voucher was from the WIC program. As far as I know WIC is the only program that uses the antiquated paper voucher system that requires separating eligible from ineligible items.

WIC really needs to catch up with the real world and use an EBT type card. It’s cheaper for the taxpayers, easier for the stores (and the customers waiting in line) and one hell of a lot easier for the recipient. It could easily be integrated right in with the already existing SNAP EBT.

#10 rufusx on 08.29.11 at 10:52 am

I agree with Adolph as to who it is that is “getting away” with anything. It is the vendors. The switch in the Food Stamp program from paper to plastic has ended what used to be the major complaint of the anti-poor – CHANGE back from a food stamp purchase. However, it has mad elife better for the storesw AND especially for the CREDIT CARD COMPANY who makes the cards and administers the card processing. That being JP MORGAN Chase Bank. Hey!!! Didn’t we just bail them out to the tune of $95 BB?

#11 l3wis on 08.29.11 at 11:28 am

I would agree, I am not blaming people who are using the cards. Government is definately broken.

#12 shane gerlach on 08.29.11 at 11:28 am

I invite anyone who doesn’t think this system is abused to go and hang out at Hy-Vee on the 10th of the month. Please.

We have a lady who demands we grind fresh sirloin for her at $2.00 more a pound then the chuck.

I have had Food Stamp customers doing the Math on their BLACKBERRIES subtracting from their grand total seeing how many pounds of crab legs they can get.

I have had a woman stand in front of me at 7:00 am on the 10th asking her 4 year old son if he wants a T-Bone or ribeye for breakfast.

Watch the carts of soda pop (one of the names we have for the 10th is steak and Soda day), little debbies, potato chips being pushed by as they drink their Starbucks coffee bought with EBT card.

See the majority in Pajamas, too lazy to even dress themselves for the day, yes I said MAJORITY (we also call it pajama day).

Then come back on like the 31st and see the same people with scraped together pennies and sofa change buying 10/$10.00 bologna and wonder bread.

The system is blatantly abused. WIC has restricted items that can be bought, EBT should as well. There is no reason to buy Lobster, crab, 93% lean beef, fillets, T-Bones, Ribeyes, case upon case of Mountain Dew and box after box of Little Debbies.

Pork Loins, Whole Chickens, Ground Chuck, fresh produce, milk, Egss, noodles, fruit juices…This is how my wife and I live on a budget. Why shouldn’t people living off the government (not judging them that is the fact they are living off of the government) have to follow budgets?

The program is needed no doubt, it needs to be revamped and changed.

Want to stimulate jobs? There should be mandatory health classes for recipients on basic cooking and cleanliness, there should be required Adult eduction classes for either completing your education or retraining yourself for a new job (if it possible for the recipient to work).

Jana I am BEGGING you to spend the 10th at a grocery store and then make the statements you just did.

~Shane

#13 l3wis on 08.29.11 at 11:36 am

I have heard Midnight on the 9th at Walmart is a madhouse her in SF.

“There should be mandatory health classes for recipients on basic cooking and cleanliness”

I agree.

“there should be required Adult eduction classes for either completing your education or retraining yourself for a new job”

Believe it or not, many people who are using food stamps are trying to get an education, which is great.

#14 bleed-orange and green on 08.29.11 at 12:06 pm

I remember a lady telling me she remembered when she would go to the store with her grandma and her grandma had some type of food coins and then how her mother had paper food stamps. Then she said that she now has the plastic card and that she wondered what her kids would have when they got older.

Food stamps should be a short term solution not a family tradition.

#15 Shyne on 08.29.11 at 12:21 pm

Papa murphys also accepts food stamps. And since they will bake it for you its as good as Pizza Hut.
The nutrition facts lebeling are mandatory and like Lewis said, they are all barcoded so it would be very easy to implement. One flaw about the nutrition labels is that they are almost always only in english, I’ll save that rant for another day. If they do it for WIC they can do it for food stamps. Next thing you know free internet and cable will be part of welfare.

#16 Costner on 08.29.11 at 1:44 pm

Well Shyne, without going into specifics, I know someone on disability who has a smart phone with data package, along with cable TV complete with a DVR. This is the same person who complains that disability doesn’t pay enough. Go figure.

#17 l3wis on 08.29.11 at 1:56 pm

I am bothered by the secrecy surrounding what is being purchased. It would be interesting to see those numbers. $111 million dollars being spent in our state is a lot of dough and consider C-Stores are taking almost $40 million of that. Can you imagine if that revenue was taken away?

#18 rufusx on 08.29.11 at 4:53 pm

Shane – I am begging you to show me an actual items purchsed via EBT breakdown for an entire year.

#19 shane gerlach on 08.29.11 at 7:19 pm

rufusx-I would love to. If you are implying that these things I outlined aren’t happening you are sadly mistaken.
I also said that the system is needed but needs to be fixed.
Take a 10th and sit and watch at Hy-Vee…I have worked 3 years of them, and then judge. That is all I am asking.

#20 shane gerlach on 08.29.11 at 7:24 pm

*I would love to if one existed. I can’t go into my boss or the accounting ladies and demand that list though. Oh how I wish I could because I would not only post it here I would take it to Pierre.

#21 rufusx on 08.29.11 at 11:25 pm

Shane – I’m nbot doubting that there are extreme things that happen – OR that there is a standing culture of disdain for EBT users among grocer employees. What I do doubt is that what you see is THE NORM for EBT users – just as I doubt that ALL grocers’ employees have low regard for their customers. You know, the people who pay your wages and put profits in your employers’ pockets.

#22 l3wis on 08.30.11 at 5:39 am

Ruf – I’m gonna have to take Shane’s side on this one, for a couple of reasons. I think both he and I have stated numerous times, people who need food stamps should get them, but they should also be forced to make wise decisions with their purchases. Why? Because IT IS NOT THEIR FREAKING MONEY THAT IS PURCHASING THE FOOD! Which brings us to the second part,

“You know, the people who pay your wages and put profits in your employers’ pockets.”

Like I said above, IT IS NOT THEIR FREAKING MONEY THAT IS PURCHASING THE FOOD! There is all kinds of social programs in America we all support together thru taxes, roads, schools, emergency services, etc. I think the food stamp program is no different, we all pitch in a little to help each other out. There are two major problems with the way this works, 1) The rich are NOT being taxed their fair share 2) The food stamp program is a free for all instead of a targeted nutritional program. Just imagine if tomorrow they told all EBT users they could only use their cards in grocery stores and they could only purchase basics, how many people do you think would continue to use the program? Makes you wonder.

#23 l3wis on 08.30.11 at 6:31 am

I would also like to give an example of a government program I took advantage of a few years back, and the restrictions involved with it.

Shortly after I purchased my home I got a low-interest community development equity loan (2%) Mind you this was a loan from the government, there were many strings attached. The repairs to my home had to be ‘needed’ and I was required to bring some stuff up to code. I had to put in stairway railing to my loft and basement and a plumbing fixture had to be changed in my basement, otherwise I got all new windows, new raingutters and a new front door. The front door was the kicker though. The original door had lead paint on it, and according to the EPA, it had to go and be removed. During this process I could not be in the home for 24 hours. To my surprise, an EPA grant paid for the door (which pretty much covered the interest I was paying on the loan). My point is government assistance should have restrictions on it. Trust me, I would have loved to buy new furniture and a new central air unit, but that was not covered under federal guidelines. There is nothing wrong with expecting EBT card users to follow certain guidlines in what food they can and cannot purchase.

#24 Jim on 08.30.11 at 6:49 am

L3wis, I could save everyone some time and tell you what is bought with EBT at convenience stores but more telling is what they then purchase with cash; snack food (candy pop energy drinks etc), occasionally bread and milk. With cash, malt beverages and newport menthol as well as flavored swisher sweets, and most of us know they aren’t smoking them as is so they have plenty of money. Where I work the amount of food stamps spent during the first week after the cards are loaded is amazing, even more troubling is kids using the cards to buy candy without any adults present, or even people with multiple cards. I could go on a rant that would burn your ears!

#25 l3wis on 08.30.11 at 7:00 am

Hey, if they are buying cigs with their own money, I don’t care. I don’t want to demonize the users, they are just taking advantage of the free money. Instead of picking on the users for buying candy, the bureaurcrats in DC need to implement restrictions, similar to what I had to be restricted to when I got a federal loan.

#26 Costner on 08.30.11 at 8:51 am

I suspect what bothers people is the fact that it is massive government waste right before our very eyes. Are all EBT users scamming the system or wasting the money? Surely not, but andecdotal evidence suggests the majority are in some way.

I don’t have a study on the subject, but I am good friends with a former small town grocery store owner and he would easily tell you most food stamp usage includes some level of waste. Before they used the EBT cards, people would come in there and buy one item (such as a can of tuna) that with tax would end up being $1.01. They would then pay with $2 of food stamps and take the change. Across the street was a bar that sold tap beers for $1… so essentially they just needed to find a penny somewhere. The worst example he told me about was the guy who would do this little trick and then take a penny from the “take a penny / leave a penny jar” on his way out.

Another example I know of first hand was a co-worker of mine who bought food stamps from his neighbor for 50 cents on the dollar. The neighbor had six kids – and the amount of money they were given each month was far in excess of what they could actually spend, so they just sold the extra for cash. That is more difficult to do with EBT cards these days, but if you head to Walmart or HyVee on the 10th you will see people buying multiple orders of food with one EBT card – so it is still happening.

I don’t want anyone to go hungry, but I’m not so sure we wouldn’t be better off by taking some of the flexibility out of the program and simply giving them a list of items they could purchase similar to the WIC program. Get all the basics like bread, milk, fruit, eggs, veggies, meat, grains, etc, etc… but no more candy, no more soda, no more high sugar cereals, no more slim jims, and no more Starbucks.

Give people a hand-up rather than a hand-out and they might decide they don’t really want to continue to live like that. For those able, they might just find ways to improve their life situation. Win-win.

#27 shane gerlach on 08.30.11 at 10:07 am

Ruf I have no disdain for my customers. I love working with the public and relish the interaction.
I am quite good at my job and have advanced quickly because of that. I treat the EBT recipients with the same respect that I do the doctors and lawyers and such that come to the meat counter.

Ruf have you ever worked in face to face customer service? Or in the service industry at all? The amount of people that you see in a day, the different characters is what makes the job amazing, but it is also what presents the greatest challenges and frustrations.

When my wife (a bookstore manager) and I live on and stick to a strict budget so that we can provide a comfortable lifestyle for our son I have to admit that I get very frustrated with the abuse of systems that I see.

I would love to have a blackberry…but I can’t afford one. I make do with my flip phone and it is fine. Why should someone on EBT have one and in fact have the law backing them up that they are entitled to a cell phone?

Do you eat crab legs monthly? Do you feed your children steaks for breakfast? Do you demand top of the line food? Do you take your monthly food budget and spend a majority of it on frivolous, non healthy items? If you do…and can afford it…bully for you.

You seem to have taken a very personal offense to the tone of my comments and for that I apologize. I am stating what I see at the Yankton Hy-Vee every 10th of the month and have for 3 years. Three years of the same family’s (most having added at least one if not multiple children) living off of the taxpayers money.

What I am advocating is a strict policy of what can and cannot be bought with EBT and an educational program teaching EBT users how to properly plan a menu, prepare food, follow nutritional guidelines and keep themselves and their children clean and disease free.

How can you possibly be against that?

You may not like the examples I have given, you may not even like the “tone” of my writing, but if you read what I actually wrote instead of judging me you will see I am for the system, just with serious changes.

~Shane

#28 rufusx on 08.30.11 at 12:35 pm

@Shane – yes, I currently work part-time occassionally as a convenience store clerk – and have done dso for 8 years. I also understand that every time I make an observation about one of my customers’ behaviors that at least half of what I “see” is due to ME looking for it.

That’s probably due in large part to the fact I have a PhD in Psychology and I KNOW that anecdotal or even observational evidence is NOT SUFFICIENT to base decisions about who is doing what and/or how pervasive a behavior might be. You need actual hard data. Eye witnesses are more often mistaken about “facts” they observe than accurate.

How important is this concept? Why are we STILL in Iraq again? – Somebody’s “gut” told them it was necessary.

#29 rufusx on 08.30.11 at 12:42 pm

@ Costner – of course – assuring that there may be a few starving people around on the streets vs. assuring no one goes hungry no matter what is the anbswer to all the economic problems in this country – right? I mean, after all – isn’t the moral status of nation in the world directly correalted with the number of starving people on the streets – the more there are – the higher the moral stature of that nation – right?

I mean – yooze guys argument in this issue IS all about being morally just – no? It’s a moral argument?

#30 rufusx on 08.30.11 at 12:46 pm

As to retstricting access to “certain foods” – how do you go about that? who makes “the list”?

Will you – for example – consider the diabetic who is oin EBT and occassionally NEEDS a candy bar, or a soda to keep from going into a coma? Would they be required to carry a “specially enabled” EBT card – or a government issued ID that “allows” them to by a sweet or two once on a while?

#31 l3wis on 08.30.11 at 12:46 pm

Morally just? I look at this more as a fiscally responsible thing. Just think of how many more people we could feed if there wasn’t so much waste in the program.

#32 Detroit Lewis on 08.30.11 at 12:50 pm

If they are going into diabetic shock, I doubt the first thing they will pull out is there EBT card to save their life.

#33 Costner on 08.30.11 at 1:34 pm

Hey guess what else contains massive amounts of sugar that can be used to treat diabetic shock… FRUIT JUICE!

Amazing how that works right? Besides, people who are at risk or have a history of hypoglycemia should have access to glucose tablets. If they don’t fruit juice is the next best thing. Only if neither of those two are available shoudl they revert to soda or candy. I have a hard time beleiving if it came to it that they couldn’t afford a can of soda outside of their normal EBT balance, but I’m sure the bleeding hearts will tell me I’m unreasonable to expect someone to spend 75 cents of their own money.

But to answer your question rufusx, to some degree the government already has a list. You can’t use EBT to purchase alcohol or cigarettes nor can you purchase non-food related items like televisions or new curtains. In our modern world where everything has a scannable code, this isn’t difficult to code.

WIC already spells out what items people can purchase, so why can’t they do the same for the EBT card? All they need to do is place tighter restrictions on EBT usage, and if a store thinks the burden is too great then they don’t need to participate. Problem solved.

This isn’t a moral issue because nobody that I’ve heard from wants people to go hungry. We just want people to eat healthy food and we want to cut down on waste, abuse, and fraud. Not only would some common sense reform save money, but it would result in more healthy users which can in turn lead to lower rates of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and other health problems that all stem from a poor diet.

Soda, chips, and candybars are all find and dandy, but we need to admit those are luxury items. Just as public housing doesn’t come with heated flooring, granite countertops, or Subzero refrigerators, public food assistance shouldn’t come with candy bars, soda, lobster tails, or t-bone steaks.

Like it or not – if we want the ‘finer things in life’ we need to work for them… we can’t expect people to just give them to us for no valid reason, because that removes any incentive to try ourselves. Am I wrong?

#34 shane gerlach on 08.30.11 at 1:42 pm

Costner that is said perfectly.

#35 Detroit Lewis on 08.30.11 at 2:21 pm

“if we want the ‘finer things in life’ we need to work for them”

That has been my philosophy when eating out lately. I do it less often, but when I do, I splurge. Get a nice glass of wine and a beer, an appetizer, entree, dessert and espresso. It is much more rewarding going out to eat less often and treating myself since 6 days a week I am on the opposite end of that spectrum. I see regulars come into our restaurant, 2 or 3 times a week, order the same boring (cheap) meal and leave the same 12% tip. If you work hard, treat yourself.

#36 rufusx on 08.30.11 at 4:45 pm

I have the feeling that this whole conversation/idea would – of implemented – turn out to be very much like Florida’s recently implemented welfare applicant drig-testing law. After the first 2 months, 98% have passed the drug tests. The Tampa newspaper did a study that projects the state of Florida will spend $178MM a year to save $60K a year. They are spending $3,000 for every $1 they “save” from “abuse”.

It’s an idea that “sounds good” on paper – or in chat forum discussions – but only the REAL NUMBERS can tell you if it’s REALLY a good idea – or only “sounds like it ought to be”. THAT is why I want to see numbers FIRST. “SHOW ME!”, as the say in Missouri.

#37 Detroit Lewis on 08.30.11 at 8:00 pm

Except, it wouldn’t cost us anything to restrict certain products.

#38 shane gerlach on 08.30.11 at 9:37 pm

Exactly Detroit. It would cost the payroll of already employed workers to restrict certain barcode items. The system and tools are in place we just aren’t using them.

#39 Joan on 08.30.11 at 10:58 pm

I guess what annoys me about restricting certain types of food, is that the people that see SNAP recipients buying junk food, one day a month, doesn’t mean that is all they buy. What they are buying on the 10th just might possibly be for the whole month. As for the woman that asked her son what kind of steak he wanted for breakfast—–I’m sure she was going to go home and cook a steak for breakfast—–if she did, she belonged in the “funny farm.” I drink a lot of diet pop, because I can’t stand coffee, Yuk! I guess if pop was going to be restricted then coffee should be too, because it has no food value. I am an adult onset diabetic, and believe me the times that I have had low blood sugar doesn’t do near the job as fast as the sweets that some of you refer to as junk food. There was one time at WalMart I started to feel lightheaded as we checked out. So when we got to the lobby I sent my daughter into Subway to get a couple cookies for me. They did absolutely nothing. I finished eating the second one in the cab on the way home. I told the driver why I was eating and he said it didn’t bother him. When we got home and I checked my blood sugar it was still way too low, so I went to the freezer where I always keep a bag of the snack size candy bars, and ate four of them before my blood sugar got to a better point. Not everybody is the same when it comes to what works for them. I had an aunt that had adult onset diabetes and she was the same way—-juice didn’t work for her. I have had several people tell me that milk is lower priced in convenience stores.

I imaging some of you would thingk it was horrible to see a food stamp recipient using a cab for transportation. Well I am one of them that do it, by limiting my trips it is cheaper than maintaining a car.

#40 Joan on 08.30.11 at 11:00 pm

As far as food stamp users and WIC users holding up the check out lines goes, that doesn’t annoy me near as much as waiting for an adult to come to the check out line while a customer wants to buy booze or cigarettes, because teen agers can’t check them out. That really annoys me big time.

#41 l3wis on 08.31.11 at 10:45 am

Joan, like we have said, we don’t want to get rid of the EBT program, just reform it. I’m sorry, but there is a difference between buying one box of Twin-Bings and filling a shopping cart full of Little Debbie snack cakes. Like any government program, there is abuse. Just ask Kristi Noem and the millions she has gotten in farm subsidies. Do you think all of that money was justifiable?

#42 John T. Meyer on 09.02.11 at 4:39 pm

Enjoyed the post and the continual debate. Not a whole lot to add without repeating, but thought I’d share a link to a collaboration we did with The Argus Leader illustrating this issue.

Here is our infographic: http://lemon.ly/slider/the-united-states-use-of-food-stamps

#43 l3wis on 09.02.11 at 9:24 pm

John – Loved the graphic, I was going to post, but I didn’t want any copyright BS following me around. Thanks for the link. If you ever want to do some ‘volunteer’ work over here on DaCola, let me know 🙂

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