Putting a stomp on food stamps

I work at a natural grocery store and watch people who buy sushi, sandwiches, lattes and fresh juices proceed to swipe a food stamps card and walk out the door.

I stand at the cash register in fury because my coffee and lunch cost $10 out of my hard-earned money.

I tried to apply for food stamps, also known as EBT and SNAP benefits in 2011 and was denied. I was employed part-time and going to school.

The government informed me that my budget was sufficient to afford school therefore I had enough money for food.

Now I see people buying unnecessary items with foods stamps and question why I was denied.

If people are really struggling with money then they should not abuse the system by buying expensive items that people who aren’t on government assistance still can’t afford.

Luxury food items such as fresh juices can be purchased using EBT due to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. The act defines food that can be consumed in the household as eligible for EBT.

Public Law 110-246 uses the following statement to help define the Food and Nutrition Act: “to provide for improved levels of nutrition among low-income households.”

People deserve to eat healthy but the federal government needs to restrict what can be purchased using EBT because fresh juices are an indulgent item, not a necessary healthy food source.

Everyone has a right to choose what they eat, but when they use taxpayer money then American citizens should have a say in what can be purchased using EBT.

It is not right that people who are not qualified to accept EBT have to purchase their coffee for full price while someone on government assistance can get it for free.

The USDA website lists prepared meals as items that cannot be purchased with food stamps.

This is a complete lie.

I used to work at Whole Foods Market and I saw people purchasing $9 sandwiches and $15 salads with EBT.

There are other options for healthy stores to shop at and Whole Foods is expensive and not necessary.

With $10 someone could buy bread, vegetables and cheese to make sandwiches for a week to keep a sustainable and healthy diet.

The USDA states that regulations and restrictions have not tightened up because it would cost too much money and increase the complexity of the program.

That is outrageous because the government is letting people get away with the abuse of the system.

People not on food stamps have to budget their money to eat healthy and to splurge once in a while on luxury items. It all comes out of their own pocket, not the pockets of taxpayers.

Author: Susan Whaley

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