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Food Stamp Recipient Writes Epic Letter After Being Harshly Treated and Judged By Customer

Food Stamp Recipient Writes Epic Letter After Being Harshly Treated and Judged By Customer

We have all come across those chain emails and heard those second-hand stories about how someone saw someone else pay for their lobster, steak, and other goodies at the grocery store with food stamps, and then watched them walk out and get into a nice Lexus or Cadillac or whatever.

Even if those stories are true and not embellished to fit their agendas, arguing by anecdote is not a good way to get a point across. There are millions of people on food stamps in this country, and there are a lot of hoops and red tape to jump through to even get approved for food stamps. The overwhelming majority of those people legitimately qualify for them, and are not committing fraud or otherwise gaming the system.

Many Elderly Qualify, But Do Not Participate in SNAPBut of course that doesn’t stop many conservatives who think the food stamp program should be abolished from believing that people who are poor enough to receive food stamps and other benefits are somehow morally depraved. They look at being poor as a personal shortcoming. Kind of the same way most of us would look at a criminal, in other words. They simply wish to judge the poor and don’t seem to recognize that life is complicated. It isn’t black and white. There are many, many circumstances that go into why people, at some point in their lives, may have to rely on food stamps and other such programs.

Here is a letter that should be shared widely that will counter-act all those emails and Facebook posts we see about those lobster-buying, Lexus-driving food stamp recipients. It was authored by Sue Bulger and published recently in the Star Tribune, a newspaper in the Minneapolis area.

To the irritated lady at the Cub Foods, I should have told you to your face that you were being presumptuous.

This is an apology to the lady behind me in line at Cub Foods in Edina on a recent Sunday night. This is also a reminder to me and to others who have ever slipped into believing that we are just a little better than others we encounter.

We were at the checkout, and just as the cashier started ringing me up, I saw you come to the line with a small order in your basket. My first apology is that I could not let you go ahead of me, but the checkout process had already begun.

My second apology was for pulling out my pile of discount coupons for the order, and especially when one required the manager’s assistance. I know I was holding you up.

And then I swiped my payment method and you lost your patience. It was EBT — “food stamps.”

I did not observe you, but my daughter was with me packing the groceries and saw it all: “EBT: Yeah, right,” you muttered, with that look of disgust that would have shattered someone feeling just a little bit of shame over needing food stamps.

As we walked to the car, my daughter told me what had happened, and I sensed her resolve about having made the right decision to work for social justice as she starts her senior year in a social-work program.

We talked about you all the way to the car, and about how sorry we felt for people who were judged because they depended on support from others. But my real apology is that I did not make eye contact with you and get out of the car to talk with you as you got into your car right next to mine.

Instead, I did what many people would do: I felt ashamed and humiliated and angry about your ignorance.

If I’d had the guts to talk with you, I would have told you about my disabled 28-year-old son living with us. We have never asked for public support for him.

But recently we have decided that it is our responsibility to introduce him to the programs that will have to support him when we are no longer here to care for him. We started small: He is eligible for food support, and he agreed to receive it to be able to feel that he is contributing his share to the food bill, since he is unable to work.

I know we looked like people you might think need EBT: a bit unkempt in sweatpants and T-shirts. If I’d had the guts to talk to you, I would have told you that I’d just had an emergency surgery and that my daughter came home from college five hours away to help for the weekend because my husband had scheduled surgery two days after mine. I haven’t been able to put on real clothes yet, and I can’t lift a bag of groceries.

I thought I could handle your disdain, since I am a professional working at a local corporation where I am surrounded every day by people who respect me and care about me. But it still made me feel a little dirty — unworthy — and I still went home and cried in the privacy of my shower so my family would not know I was hurt by you.

I am sorry I did not tell you all of this in person. What my daughter and I resolved is that we will never let my son (her brother) go to the store alone with his Electronic Benefits Transfer card and be subjected to this humiliation.

We all have our stories, and no one is any better than another. Everyone deserves the respect they want for themselves, even if they use an EBT card to pay for their groceries.

About Progressive Populist

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I'm the founder of Progressive Populist and a passionate Liberal-Progressive who despises the Tea Party

484 comments

  1. Author Image

    The truly sad thing about this incident is the fact that the condescending woman who inspired this letter was most likely not moved in the least by it if she did see it.

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      She probably wouldn’t even recognize herself.

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        Although I am not the woman that spawned this, I do recognize myself in the situation. Let’s take a look from the other side (as I lived it a few years ago).

        I went to Cub (maybe even the same one) to pick up a few essentials and the store was a zoo. Grabbed a basket, got my things and headed to the checkouts. As I had a few too many items for express, I entered a line with just one women ahead of me. She had a full cart of stuff, which was probably why people were avoid that line, but the cashier had started ringing her up and there I went.

        Then eternity began to pass. The woman ahead of me, rather than beginning to bag her groceries, stood around chatting to a friend, who also had a convery belt full of groceries which she was lesiurely bagging. The conveyer belt was getting full and the cashier was having to stack her purchases and I had to attend to the her things that the didn’t fit on the belt leading to the cashier. I was watching this in dismay, as I was beginning to wonder HOW I was going to bag my purchases, if I ever got to buy them. (Meanwhile, I’m scoping out other lines…I’m kind of trapped because I’m next, but the sheer aggravation is making me consider jumping to a different line no matter how long)

        Finally, all her stuff was rung up and the coupons break out, which involved a substantial exercise in haggling (‘These are expired’, ‘You have to buy two’, etc.) each of which the customer needed to argue about.

        After all this (1/2 an hour…maybe 45 minutes) the EBT card comes out. Personally, if I muttered anything I probably was more profane than the participant here. Why? Because than the next stage started: Finding all the items already rung up which EBT wouldn’t cover. More time passes while the offending items are argued about (‘That should be covered!’, ‘Well it isn’t.’), eventually located, subtracted from the total and placed aside. Then, once the food was paid for, a second transaction happened, in cash, to pay for the ineligible items.

        Once it got to me, I snatched a bag from one of the other checkout lines and convinced the casher to just let me bag my stuff on the spot, as sending my stuff down the convery belt would have required me to crawl over the customer and her friend to retrieve my purchases.

        So, the point of this anecdote: The woman in front of me in line was being a collassal pain in the ass. It wasn’t necessarily her fault, but she was. Honestly, if at any point she would have glanced over at me and said, ‘Sorry’ I probably would have stopped wanting to kick her. The EBT payment form was just the last in a long series of irratations. A signal that, although it looked like this drama had finally ended, we had another Act yet to come.

        The letter to the paper sounds almost exactly like this. From my side, did I care that she was paying with EBT? No. I was angry because a lot of my time was spend while the grocery buying equivalant of the Versallie treaty was going on. Why did my misery increase when I saw the EBT card? Because, EBT transactions have a tendency to be problematic (my experience says about 50% have some issue) and we’d already established that this customer was a problem magnet.

        Try not to mistake road-rage for racism/classism/whateverism. Especially if you are a bad driver.

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          So poor people buying groceries are the equivalent of bad drivers, whom you feel entitled to rage against.

          Sounds like you have patience & anger issues, plus a large sense of superiority.

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            You clearly did not understand the point. Sometimes people are just frustrated because you’re an a**hole, not because they’re discriminating against you.

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            Apparently my first comment was deleted because I spelled out b***s***, which your story is. I was on food stamps in the late 80′s, and frequently shopped at Cub. Their computer system neatly sorted the eligible foods from the non-eligible items. Then i had to pay with the paper stamps, which looked like play money, and were accepted like real money. No ‘forms’ were needed then, and no physical separation of items was necessary. I was also on food stamps after the ebt card came into use. Still no ‘form’ was needed. By law, when the card came into being, stores that accepted food stamps had to have a computer checkout system that automatically totalled the eligible items, and took that total off the balance on the card. The actual ebt card I had was the exact same color as my atm/debit card from my bank, so if you could see that she was using an ebt card, you were standing waaaay too close to her. As for it taking 45 minutes for her to be checked out, i call bs on that also, unless by some odd chance every single upc scanner in the store was broken, and every upc had to be entered by hand 1 digit at a time, and your cashier was incredibly stupid. So you wrote a nice little post there, but it’s pretty much a lie.

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          Catalin, could it … that may be, just may be … the world does not revolve around YOU ??

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          Road rage *is* entitlement. Because you had a dozen items, you felt that the person ahead of you was not permitted to save money and stretch her budget by getting the most out of her coupons. That she should hurry because you were in a hurry.

          The key is that you *didn’t* jump to another line, when you could have. At that point, it’s not the fault of the person ahead of you in line. It’s yours. And “EBT is a giant pain in the ass for other customers” is just another way of saying “Poor people suck”.

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            Catalan did not say that the woman was not entitled to use coupons, and although it does slow things down, no one gets really furious about coupons, but no one is entitled to use expired coupons, nor to sit there and hold up the line by arguing over every coupon that will not be accepted because it is either expired, or the required terms were not met (buying two, not just one, or buying a specific size).
            I was actually in a line at Target, when the woman in front of me was asked if she wanted to save 15% on her purchases for that day. When she said yes, the cashier then pulled out a credit card form, WHICH TAKES 15 MINUTES TO FILL OUT, and they proceeded to fill out the forms. I left my items and walked out. Good manners do require you to finish your business in a reasonable amount of time so that the next person can conduct their business.

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            David, take Target’s credit card application process up with Target. I worked at Sears and had to ask about credit all the time, and we had rapid credit, which didn’t require filling out a form, but it still took a decent amount of time.

            Again, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Other customers shouldn’t have to not fi

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          Catalan – I don’t know where you live or shop, but your experience seems a little out of date. I receive Food Stamps (SNAP, EBT), I am 71 years old, live on my Social Security and receive a whopping $43 a month in SNAP Benefits! Yes, I use coupons, too! Every store, large or small, where I have shopped, the eligible items are automatically counted, and I am informed of the amount. If the eligible items amount to more than is on my SNAP card, I can change the amount to equal the amount I have left on the card. I then have to pay for the ‘necessities’ that ate NOT covered….toilet paper, soap, etc. After bagging my purchases, I walk (with a cane) to my 1997 automobile. You will notice that the front bumper is held together with duct tape and cable ties. The windows for the back seat are closed, they won’t roll down. My car insurance is paid (by my daughter – fleet rate). Ditto my cell phone. I do not have a land line home phone. My computer (to get to this site) was a gift from a friend when my old one died. My Internet access is part of my Basic TV cable bill. My rent is partially paid by Section 8 of HUD. Medicare and Medicaid are my Health Care.

          Why am I in this condition? Well, about half of my adult life was spent on a farm, raising the food that you consume. Hard work…driving a tractor, loading bales of hay, etc. Since I was unpaid labor, I contributed little to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act – Better known as Social Security. Now I receive less than $9,000 a year in SS, my oldest is 100% disabled, my youngest works in a family business for little compensation, and the middle child has a good job, and kids to raise. So the GOP has labeled me a “moocher”, and wants to cut even my small amount of benefits. If they have their way, I will be living in a cardboard box under a bridge for a short period of time, because without Medicare, I will be dead. Your welcome.

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            Alice, what an incredible response! Thanks for a glimpse into your dignified and significant life. Thank you for raising the food we eat, for speaking out, and for such a powerful and succinct retort. Bless you!

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            I so loved your story. It is typical of a lot of people who are on food stamps. I, too, get food stamps because of keeping my retirement funds in tact, I helped my son pay off a few bills, so now all I have is Social Security benefits. Not all of us, as you stated, are moochers. It is just that life got in the way of things over the years. Also I have a disabled daughter and she gets a few food stamps, and we try to live on what we can buy with those stamps, and use lots of coupons, too.

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            As stated below, this incident was years ago. As so many people here claim the ineligible item handling system has changed, I trust it has; and view that change as a good thing. Also note, I never said you, or the subject of my ire, were moochers. In my experience, people who receive ANY benefits have to go through paperwork hell to get them and definitely need what little they receive.

            I hope things improve for you.

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            You rock! Hang in there!

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            Your letter was beautifully written – bristling with righteous outrage and brought tears to my eyes! There is no reason that a person such as yourself who has given so much and “played by the rules” for a life-time is treated this way at this stage of life. Not that it changes anything for you practically, but you have my respect and admiration. Thank you for writing in …

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            I love you!

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            God Bless you and thank you for your well thought out, well written comment. Maybe others will see this and think twice before judging!

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            Dearest Alice M, You are what has made this country good (or used to be anyhow). I am too disabled through no fault of my own except perhaps my career choices, heavy lifting, picking potatoes at 10yrs old, , ect. You stated my thoughts to a tee. Thank You. Maybe it will “enlighten” the lady who had such a hard time watching the lady in front of her pay for her groceries with FS /EBT card. You deserve so much more than you have been given. I hope that you will b ok. & thank you for your very important response, it was truly needed!!!

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            Hi Ms. Alice,
            What you said could be my mother’s story . . .only she spent her life taking care of others as a nurse’s aide for private care. She makes even less money a year and only 16.00 a month in EBT. So, I know your life well because I have been living it with her (and I have a five year old son). It’s not fair and sometimes I feel that if you are “poor” in this state Medicare and Medicaid are set up to let you slowly die–sometimes a painful death. It’s not fair and yet you can’t just stop living because life isn’t fair. So you make the best of what you have–the small, little things really count and you just pray that when you go to the store–you won’t be stared at and shunned by stupid people Catalan who decided to stand in line for 45 mins when there were other lines open. She stood there because she got so wrapped up in her own rage that she decided she couldn’t go to another line. I feel sorry for people like her. Ms. Alice, I truly wish the remainder of your life becomes an overflow of happiness. May God grant you blessings abound! Warmest Regards, Karen

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            Karen – God Bless you & yours and THANK YOU for sharing your story & your pain. You’re very blessed to have the friends & loved ones who help you with what they can. You are an inspiration and forever in my prayers now.

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          Actually, with an EBT card, you can ring up everything in one transaction. You scan the EBT card, and it pays for everything eligible. Then, you just pay for the rest with another form of payment. That’s how it works. So nice embellishment for the sake of your story but that part is B.S. So yea, it may not be an anti-EBT issue if you’re frustrated with somebody taking forever in front of you. But still, don’t lie.

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          I’m sorry, but I can’t help but call you and your story on its absolute “BS”.

          Why? Because, Cub, Target, Rainbow, Trader Joe’s, Costco, even, have registers that can and DO separate food items from non-food items. Automatically. For example, lets say I go to Target and buy a mix of clothes, toilet paper, and groceries. Even if I ring all of the items up together, I can still pay for JUST food items as though I was splitting the bill between two different cards. This is preferable for pretty much everyone since it prevents you from paying tax twice.

          Sooooo yeah. You said you were at Cub. They DEFINITELY are able to divide food from non-food items. Your ENTIRE story rides on them not being able to.

          Sorry, BS.

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            Yes, they do. Cub Foods had this ability in their cash registers as early as 1987, when I was forced to go on bedrest 7 months into my pregnancy. Even when the old-fashioned paper food stamps were in use! They also had this ability in 1996, when my husband lost his job and I again had to go on bedrest, this time at 6 months pregnant. This time, at least, we had the ebt card so it wasn’t obvious we were using food stamps, since it looked and was used just like a credit/debit card.

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            Susannah,

            And I am going to call YOU out on your response. The plethora of stores you mentioned are all well and good if you happen to live in a major city. But just try finding a Trader Joe’s in the small towns of Iowa. Ditto for Costco, Target, etc. Not everyone lives in a thriving urban area and TJ’s tends to place their stores in upscale areas at that. I too have been stuck behind self-centered, obnoxious, rude people who dig out a mitt-full of expired/unqualified coupons (and usually wait until AFTER everything is rung up before they start digging for them), and then want to haggle with the cashier. It has nothing to do with wanting to stretch their grocery dollar, it has nothing to do with someone using food stamps. What is DOES have to do with, is that some people just have no consideration for others. Take care that you’re not one of them.

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          Transactions take as long as they take. yes, it would be more considerate for those who can do so to speed up the processes. But it’s not obligatory. And your view that they should cater to your needs is awfully self-centered. You don’t know what’s going on in others’ lives, or why they’re doing what they’re doing. The woman in front of you was being herself, for better or worse, not a “collassal pain in the ass.” She was being a customer, looking out for her own needs exactly as you were looking out for your own.

          Or, sometimes your road rage might be better examined for classism, racism or whatever is causing you to believe that your needs are central. Wow!

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          Honestly you sound like an absolute jerk….its ppl like u that don’t deserve to be a part of our loving country…I only pray when your time of need comes that karma will not bite you in the butt for being so cold ignorant and self absorbed…but don’t worry I wont look down on you because I actually have morals…but you my lady…just pray its not my son ringing u up next time

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          Catalan, your rant affirms Bob Cull’s point, rather than refuting it.

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          You had to wait in line at the grocery store.

          …and the world’s smallest violin is a playing a song just for you.

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          Why should she apologize to you? She was in the line first. You saw her with a big cart load and still decided to get in the line after her instead of going and finding a shorter or faster one. If I would have seen you behind me with am irritated look on you’re face i would have told you to go find another lane it’s going to be a while. But never would I excpect an apology for someone who chose to get in line behind somene whith

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          Hell, you’re no better than the woman that this article was inspired by; matter of fact, you’re worse because it wasn’t the inconvenience of the EBT usage but “your precious time” that was wasted waiting for the person to check out. Word of advice: full shopping carts=prolonged checkout!! Next time get in the “20 items or less” line and spare us your sob story!!

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            There were so many places to comment but it just seemed fitting to drop it here. What the majority of you seem to have missed is that all Catalan was talking about was how the behavior of others can lead someone to get angry. It was not about race or class or any one trait you want to try and label someone with. It is about manners. Something a large part of the population has seemed to forget about or care less when dealing with each other. When you go to shop are you entitled to argue with the cashier if you have expired coupons?? I would say no; because they are EXPIRED. If you wanted to use them you should have gone shopping earlier. If you are shopping then do that, it is not a place to have a phone conversation, chat with your friends at the same time you are supposed to be bagging your groceries. Basic common manners. Now before you tell me that I am some elitist jerk, you have no clue who I am and what I have been through. I started my life with my parents on welfare but they would never be rude to anyone. I have personally used foodstamps and WIC but always made sure I had everything together to ensure I was not holding anyone else up in line since I did not like being held up in line. Do you all remember the Golden Rule? Place yourself in those situations. Most of you “better people” would get frustrated or angry as well, but probably not have to courage to admit it to a bunch of judgemental people on a webpage somewhere. So in closing before you start casting stone, step back and drop all your preconcieved notions and just try and see where the other person is coming from. The whole point I pulled from Catalan was that there are other reasons besides racism that people get angry at. The biggest one in my world is just plan and simple bad manners, and for those of you wondering acting “entiltled” no matter what financial bracket you fall into is just that.

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            Chris S. what your missing is that this is her PERCEPTION of the person in front of her as shes standing there waiting and getting angry. When you’re angry or impatient sometimes you impart qualities to people that are not as bad as you say. Like claiming it took 45 minutes. Also when trying to save money and taking the time to clip and save coupons, it can be a little frustrating when one you were counting on is expired or invalid. And if the person DID argue, that’s her own business, not the business of the angry, impatient, busybody behind her.

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          If you had uttered a racist comment instead of a classist one, would it have been equally justified? Stressful situation tend to reveal our true nature. I believe you have revealed yours.

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            To Chris S.

            I get your point, but the actual point is–she was not held at gun point and made to stay behind anyone. If she stood there stewing so long that she saw this woman arguing about expired coupons blah blah blah …then she stood there way too long! She could have easily remedies the situations by moving to another line!! Geez, is this not true? Even if she had someone behind her, all she had to do was turn around and say to the other person–excuse me may I get out of line? But instead she chose to stand there and get madder and madder so she could have something to stew about. It’s the typical–oh woo is me syndrome. I’m sorry but I don’t feel sorry for people like that. I have enough common sense to get out of line if I see it’s going to be awhile and if I’m in that much of a hurry to get out of the story! Give me a break–some people need to grow a brain.

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          their is always three sides to every story!…yours seems to be the second side… but what was really going on here? great analogy though, peace!

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          Too bad your story is completely fabricated. Even if it were true, it is no excuse to insult another customer, whether it was the long checkout procedure or the “last straw” EBT card. You had plenty of time to move to another line, but you CHOSE to engage in cashier line rage.

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            Yes. That is rather the point. Cashier-rage (as you call it) isn’t the same thing as condemning someone for receiving benefits.

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            Seriously: Who waits in a line for 30-45 minutes? I’ve never seen anything that wasn’t a theme park take that much time. I might complain to the store if they didn’t open a line.

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          Funny, I’ve had the exact same experience with one big difference. the person in front of me with the full cart and a bucket full of coupons who was not sacking their own groceries did not pay with food stamps. and you know what? it was their turn and it took as long as it took. instead of blaming the person in front of you for the time it took to get their transaction done, you should blame yourself for choosing to stand in that line. I’ve gotten the same eye-rolling and sighs of exasperation from people behind me because I wanted to dig in my pocket and pay with exact change. Why on earth do you think your time is more important than theirs no matter how they are paying for their food and other items? Instead of being impatient and exasperated, you should have been standing there thanking your lucky stars that you don’t need to use every coupon you can get your hands on as well as food stamps. so no, your story, being on the other end of the wait, does not give you even a single gold star.

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            Yeah. This. You might need those EBT benefits and coupons just to feed yourself someday, and when you do, I pray the impatient woman behind you doesn’t make you feel like dirt just for trying to make ends meet. Your job is not un-outsourceable. You are not immune to hardship. There but for the grace of God, Catamaran or whatever the hell your stupid handle is.

            I’m glad you feel enough shame to hide your identity, though.

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          check your facts-the cash register automatically seperates out what is paid for. all kinds of people use coupons. I doubt if they do it for fun. I have never had an EBT card or been eligible for food stamps–but I would like to point out-we are all responsible for each other-take a minute to be kind!

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          Good god you sound like a colossal pain in the ass.

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          I understood what you meant. Thank you for sharing. :)

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          Well here is the thing. If your anecdote was even remotely similar, you might have a point. In your situation, the customer ahead of you was rude and inconsiderate . She was obviously not very polite and certainly wasn’t the slightest bit concerned with anyone else in the line. This does not appear to be the case with the lady who wrote this letter. Beyond all of that, the fact that an EBT card was used in your story is really incidental in that you would have been annoyed and unhappy whether that woman had used food stamps or paid with a platinum card. Fact is most of us are guilty of thinking our lives, time etc are simply more important than the next person and should probably take a step back to realize that is not the case. Sorry you had to wait 45 minutes for your oh so important purchases and that someone held you up from your next critical task, (one that probably had to do with what reality show to watch). This is a letter about ignorant attitudes and people judging other people without any facts. It’s the go to “conservative” position. Decide what the story is and never let facts get in the way. If you want to make yourself feel better about judging others for the circumstances I suggest you do this. Admit that you don’t like helping out poor people. Admit that you believe that you are more important than the rest of the people out there, (in line at the store, on the road or wherever). Just embrace the fact that you are judgmental because as it stands, you just sound like a typical fox news watching jerk trying desperately to blame other people for your short comings.

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            I quote: ‘This is a letter about ignorant attitudes and people judging other people without any facts. ‘

            Which is followed by a collection of things that I need to admit, a suggestion that I watch reality TV shows and:

            ‘sound like a typical fox news watching jerk trying desperately to blame other people for your short comings’

            So, some facts for you: I don’t watch any television; reality TV shows and/or Fox news included. Never seen either.

            Interesting that you (and many others in this thread) have formed a comprehensive and negative view of my character based on a single anecdote of an unhappy grocery shopping trip.

            Sounds like the pot calling the slightly tarnished silver black.

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            I work with the very low income families in my city, have seen some of the fraud people automatically ranabout, and it is not everyone. , not even the majority. Do you think people actually WANT to have to be in front of people like the one in the article. I don’t go to the grocery store because people in general get on my nerves when I see them making snide remarks when the snap card comes out. My elderly clients get under $50, I don’t know how the families get by but I can only help one person at a time. But I digress, I guess since I consider myself fiscally conservative and occasionally watch O’Reilly I am one of those heartless selfish people who look down on the very population I serve. That’s right, serve. So much for the stereotypes, aye bud? Being ugly to conservatives is as bad as those talking crap about the needy. That’s why we are so polarized, no one can friggen get along with someone who isn’t exactly like them. I’m not a saint for spending 50 hours a week making sure my clients are served, but I’m also not a jerk for watching Fox news.

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          I feel your frustration at less-than-considerate shoppers….right up until you talked about the method of payment. That’s when I went from being sympathetic towards you (who isn’t annoyed from time to time by derps in front of us in a queue), to hoping the Karma bus takes your bloody effing pompous ass out. Here’s to hoping you find yourself and your family at the bottom, looking up at the rest of us who go through our lives trying to help our fellow travelers.
          (btw, you disprove the Minnesota Nice idea all by yourself)

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          You could have made the choice to leave the line. So, ultimately the blame resides with you.

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          You could have made the choice to leave the line. So, ultimately the blame resides with you.

          “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity, nothing exceeds the criticisms made of the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” Herman Melville

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          So, they don’t have an express line you could have used? When I just have a few items, I pick a line that’s not behind someone with a full cart. Just sayin.

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            I was a few items over the limit. :)

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            Since I can’t reply to Catalan, I’ll reply here: Why would you shop at a store with lines 30 minutes long? Are you daft? My entire trip, even with the person ahead of me using EBT and coupons, is less than 30 minutes. 45 minutes? Are you kidding? Jesus, please help me forgive this person, because they obviously aren’t working with a full deck.

            Ditch a few items, lady. Go to the next lane.

            You have proved creationism for me. Because Darwin would’ve weeded out any family tree willing to wait 30-45 minutes in a grocery store in modern America out generations ago.

            Were you picking up a regimen of cancer medications for your dying daughter that required refrigeration?

            Than no, your shopping wasn’t that important. Other people have things going on to. You’d do well to assume that you’re the entitled one in line, and try yoga or something.

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          Your story is quite interesting, and also likely apocryphal as most all systems in modern grocery stores automatically seperate EBT eligible purchases from none eligible. One swipes their card for the EBT amount and then pays cash or personal debit for the other. No, I am not on food stamps at this time, but I was 30 years ago when the scenario you described would have been slightly more plausible.

          The horror of it all. You were inconvenienced. Tell me, would you have been as angry over her coupon haggling ways if she had been a religious fanatic with her 20 children in tow and paying cash or would you have cast adoring glances on them and praised them for being so thrifty?

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          First world problems.

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          I smell a troll…

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          Work on your tendency to become angered or irritated by inconveniences. See it as a lesson in tolerance. And, if that’s too difficult for you, bring a book to read while you wait!

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          You sound like a wonderful person. How dare theynot make your wishes and desires preiminate. Why didnt you just shove these leaches out of your way and spit on them for good measure? Remember, only you matter.

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          Do you get checkout rage from little old ladies who still use checkbooks too? It’s more frustrating being poor and trying to make those food stamps stretch a whole month than it is being behind someone paying with them at the supermarket. I’m sure that person would have liked to trade circumstances with you. Besides, your reaction to the situation is your responsibility, not anyone else’s. Your impatience was on you, not the person in front of you. Next time, be prepared and realize that things rarely go the way we plan. We get stuck in traffic, we get flat tires, we lock our keys in the cars, we have to wait for people to cross the street, we shop for items that end up sold out before we get there, etc. Life is full of aggravations. The least of which should be blamed on someone too poor to feed themselves.

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          Nice little story there. You left out the part where things don’t have to be sorted because the machine knows which items are groceries. Try again.

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            Point 1) This incident happened 8-9 years ago; the cash registers didn’t automatically sort the purchase then. At least not at that store.

            Point 2) All the folks telling me how self-centered I am…okay (seems a big judgemental tho). However, you’re missing the point. Self-centered or not, her payment method was not the source of irritation, the situation was.

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            Well now I know Catalan’s lying. I worked in a grocery store 15-16 years ago, back when the food stamps were made of paper. We didn’t have to separate the food from other groceries. Some customers did, so I’m guessing it was a new thing at the time, but it wasn’t necessary because the registers automatically separated it when the cashier pressed the FS button. I left one grocery store to go work at another chain, and they too had registers that separated food from non-food. 8-9 years ago all grocery stores would have updated systems.

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            Jesus. Please help me forgive Catalan. This happened 8-9 years ago? And you’re still peeved enough to make a long winded diatribe about it? Seriously, examine your priorities. In those 8-9 years, a hurricane hit Fukishima, the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, costing billions in interest rates, and more people died than you’ve ever known.

            Some people have problems. You aren’t among them if the worst thing that ever happened to you was a long line at the grocery store.

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            funny, catalan, they did when i used food stamps at cub in 1987, and the ebt card at cub in 1996.

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          So the world doesn’t revolve sounds Catalan because she got frustrated at a difficult customer… But it does revolve around the difficult customers? If she has no right to be frustrated at that particular situation, then no one else has any right to be frustrated at her. It works both ways.

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          Catalan,
          Here’s a life lesson that my parents taught me before I was even in preschool. The lesson is that the world doesn’t revolve around me; it doesn’t revolve around you.
          Did you ever stop to consider that the woman fought every coupon, because she was trying to make the food stamps go as far as possible, and didn’t have the time to check over every coupon and every requirement before the grocery. That takes time to plan and she might not have had it.
          When my spouse and I were on food stamps, we got a whopping 100.00 a month, when we spend 200 to 250 a month. At the time, my spouse and I were both taking 12+ quarter hours in college. My spouse had a 20 hour a week job along with 20 to 28 practicum hours a week. I had 20 to 40 hours of work a week on top of a 16 hour practicum. That’s not including studying for tests, papers, and all the fun stuff that comes with college. We didn’t hold up the line arguing over coupons, we made sure that if we did have coupons that they were current and we had the required amount of items, because we would have ran into non-EBT like yourself who would get a road-rage. Also, my spouse and I have stood in line and I have also worked as a grocery store cashier, and watched non-EBT folks argue over coupons and my good old favorite “that was supposed to be this price” requiring me to have to call someone or wait for the cashier to call someone to find out what the deal really was, and then get the manager authorization. Funny you didn’t mention your road-rage against non-EBT people doing the same darn things.

          Also, I have to wonder how old your story is, because we had foodstamps in 2007-2008, and the groceries we went to automatically separated out the non-eligible purchases. We never argued. We never held up the line. We actually looked at what the deal next to the item said, and still got irritated, rude looks and mumbling under the breath comments from customers and judgmental cashiers.

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          Patience is a virtue. One that too few of us practice. But, at least you were honest that the woman in front of you wasn’t at fault. We are each responsible for our own behavior….whether it be road rage, racism, class-ism, the use of profanity, disrespect to service personnel, or the inability to spell. Patience is a virtue.

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          Excellent letter and responses! I have worked for three grocery stores where people have paid for their food with all tenders. One grocery store (Sacramento) consisted of a lot of people who paid with the paper food stamps (dating myself, 90′s) and I would push the cart full of food to their nice vehicles…NICE vehicles, BMW, Mercedes. I witnessed this over and over and over again. The few bad apples did make it hard for me to not judge the entire system back then. Since then, the second grocery store experience was a little different (Montana). I had a mom who was the super couponing queen. I loved seeing her because she was a pro at stretching the dollar. She never shopped in the express line. In Indiana, we see a lot of people grocery shopping around the first ten days of the month with huge grocery carts full of meats (steak, shrimp, etc) while other shoppers make due with their budget and buy what they can. Not everyone qualifies for public assistance, especially blue collar families who are “over resourced” or only qualify for $10 in food stamps. We need to open our eyes and see that their are many sides to this issue. We need to acknowledge the men/women who take advantage of the system…we know that it happens…and leave others feeling disgruntled against the entire system…aka entitlement programs. People need this form of assistance; however, not everyone who receives the funding.

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            Ever think that maybe those people with “nice” cars obtained those cars *before* they hit hard times? Ever think that maybe they had a disabled child at home? Maybe they were laid off or lost their job some other way? Maybe the car was a gift? You don’t know everything about their situation. All you see is your personal estimation of a “nice car” and automatically think they’re gaming the system.

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          Catalan, Your comment here is complete BS. EBT cards are very rarely problematic. There is NO question of coverage, if it’s food it’s covered, period. The fact that the woman in front of you took so long, well you said yourself you knew the customer had a lot of items so you knew there could be issues. You should have been happy to see her pull out coupons, it’s a sign that she isn’t just being wasteful and she is being thrifty with her allowance.
          You act like she owed you an apology, if only she’d have turned around and said sorry… Maybe she could feel your disgust and didn’t want to look at you and be attacked for being on hard times.

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            While I agree that EBT cards are not that often problematic, there are somethings that aren’t covered. EBT covers “cold foods”. Any hot items, rotisserie chicken, hot soups, etc, are not covered by EBT. But I agree with everything else. And on that note, I wanted to tell my story since this one offends me. As other have said, just because this lady had an EBT card, that was why the writer complained? I worked for a grocery store and there were many people who had coupons and complained about prices that paid with credit cards, cash, or checks.
            I have to say any time someone complains about a person with EBT either blaming them or not, really hurts me. I hate being judged for having EBT. I am a single mother and my son’s father is passed. Being that I am only 24 and his father was only 21 when he passed made it so that my son does not receive much in social security. His father had mental issues and could not keep a job. So I have not received any help with my son really. Plus I do not live in the same state as his or my family so I have to pay out of my pocket for child care (which I also have to go to the “state approved” daycares otherwise pay more in babysitter costs then what I make.) I am a student in an online college and I work as a school bus driver for 10 hours a day. So between work and school, I have very little time to play and love my son. And I do all of this for him. But because of the weird hours of work, I am there for 10 hours but only get paid for 5. So I do not bring in enough to support our housing bills as well as food and childcare. So yes, I get EBT but even that I have to stretch. BUT I also know that EBT is not supposed to cover all monthly food expenses. People think that EBT is what they get for the month to live off of when in reality it is a supplement. It is to help not to live off of.

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          Personal experience is a logical fallacy. Cliches are too. Try this: choose the longest line on purpose. Also, maybe getting over yourself would help. That is all.

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          I know how you feel, though it seems your issue was far from the same as the OP’s. The issue with the non eligible items should have been a moot one unless cub uses an abacus to ring people through. Most(all) stores iv been to tag there items in the computer with a food indicator allowing the cash register to easily mark out the items that are ebt usable and deduct them from the total and allowing the cashier to as for another form of payment with out needing two separate transactions.

          Things like WIC(wisconson) arnt computerized though and i see alot of people having to make last minute changes at register.

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            Actually, WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children program, and that is a voucher program, and is a pain sometimes. Each of the 3-4 vouchers you get each month tells you exactly what it covers, i.e. 2 gallons milk, 16 ounces cheese, 36 ounces cereal, etc. The items covered actually have little cards in front of them on the shelf, like the price cards between shelves, so it’s not hard to figure out what’s eligible. It does happen occasionally that a covered item is not in the system so you can’t get it that trip, but it’s generally corrected quickly. Each voucher does have to be rung up separately from each other, as well as from items bought with cash/ credit/ebt/check which can all be mixed together.

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          You don’t have to find what EBT doesn’t cover. Sounds to me like the person might have had a WIC card, but if EBT doesn’t cover it, it still takes it all and lets it go. If you go to the grocery store, allow for time. No one said you were going to get out quick.

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          Sucks to be you………………………oh the horrors of checkout

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          Where do you live that EBTs are so difficult. Every EBT ive seen and even used after swiped it automatically takes off the amount for the items that are EBT eligable. I also dont understand why a EBT card would really add to your frustration, WIC I can understand bc each voucher has to be seperate …but I really dont understand why people judge people on ebt so much, its not your business why they need it and no really knows their back story.

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          Your account of having to remove items that the EBT would not pay for is incorrect, unless this took place more than 10yrs ago. The computers at the grocery stores automatically divide what can be purchased with food money and what needs to be paid in cash. MOST people receiving grocery money know what should and should not be accepted AND sometimes the stores do not enter them into the system correctly.
          Also her use of coupons should not bother you regardless of how bothersome it may be because at least she was trying to minimize the amount spent and maximize how much she could purchase for her family and therefore not throwing away money that could be better spent on other food items.
          Generally speaking people should be aware that you can not buy cigarettes nor alcohol with grocery money. (i.e. food stamps)

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          Just to further prove your story is BS… Cub Foods actually allows coupons expired (up to 6 months). You’re welcome.

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          Catalan, I think your little story is bullshit. No, in fact I know it’s bullshit. What the hell is an ‘ebt payment form’ anyway? There is no such thing. Ever since the ebt card came into being, stores that take it have to have a computer system that identifies which items are eligible, and which are not. There is no separating them out and taking them off the total to be added up after the ebt transaction. The computer system does it all automatically, an ebt transaction is just like your credit card transaction…swipe, punch in pin or sign name, and done. If there are non-eligible items, they will come up in the balance due after ebt payment. If it takes 1/2 hour to ring up an order of groceries, you have a really bad cashier- ebt has , nothing to do with it.
          I don’t know what the hell you got out of posting this, but your story is complete and utter lies. I have been on food stamps several times in my life, and even when they were the actual stamps, it didn’t take longer. Cub Foods has never had a system that required any form for ebt/food stamps, or any need to separate food from non-food items. not even back in the 80′s when us poor people had to use actual paper stamps.

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          Your comment made no sense at all. After that extremely long post, you haven’t said “nothing”. All you did was prove that you are judgmental and look down on others less fortunate than you. Be careful anyone, including you, can find themselves needing government assistance in some form.

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          Catalan: Really? I mean, really? If the transaction had gone smoothly, shouldn’t your ire be all the more raised? After all, that would mean you are waiting behind an experienced FS recipient rather a novice. Someone having that much trouble determining what is an eligible item and what isn’t is clearly new to the program and therefore not likely the dreaded abuser you so fear, right? In fact, someone having that much trouble with coupon dates may even have a cognitive disability, again, clearly a legitimate recipient. My point is, those who receive FS are obviously so far out of your league you will never understand their world, and it has nothing to do with a string of irritating inconveniences. I am a single mom of two teens, wheelchair confined and 200% below poverty level; how much you want to bet you would fault with my EBT purchases as well? After all, I buy cookies and even the occasional quart of ice cream for my boys.

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          Could it be she’d already, more than once, had to put up with being treated like crap by other people? Maybe she just didn’t want to deal with the possibility that you would be rude, as so many others had been. When I worked in a grocery store, the people on WIC and food stamps started coming to my lane because I wasn’t rude to them. I was polite and kind. They avoided the other check out people. What does that tell you about the rest of the world? You sound like you are attempting to justify your bad attitude. Just change your attitude and then, go to a different check out line. You may one day need help and I hope no one treats you like dirt.

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          @ Catalan I was on food stamps for about 3 months between jobs when I took on three step children while raising two of my own 13 years ago…and registers DID separate covered items from uncovered items automatically then..so 8 or 9 years ago, it stands to reason that this was already in effect. Claim invalidated.

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          I worked as a cashier at Safeway in CA and WA for six years, and no, Catalan’s story is not BS. Did any of you read her full story? Yes, the EBT card paid for all of the ELIGIBLE items, and then the customer COMPLAINED about the items that were not included. That is what Catalan was saying was frustrating. As for the road rage comment, if someone cuts me off I usually get more angry is they have some Republican bumper sticker (I am a Democrat). My point is, little things can exacerbate people who already tired, frustrated, etc… When furiously commenting on someone else’s post, please, don’t be an a-hole. Read their entire story, and respond by thinking critically, like all humans can do on some level. Most of you are just responding to some perceived injustice anyway, which is in reality, you just looking for something vapid to be insulted by.

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          I sincerely doubt you stood in line that long, you’re very much exaggerating about that. When you’re waiting in any line, 5 minutes seems like 45 minutes. Also, there is no need for 2 transactions for EBT and non-EBT items, the register automatically separates them. Your story is just not believable, sorry.

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          you do have a problem with her paying by EBT, you said so that it was just the last in a long line of problems. your side is all your fault, you have at every turn and second to change lanes, no one is forcing you to stay there so stop making excuses. I HAVE WATCHED PEOPLE OF PRIVELEGE FEEL IT IS THERE AND MINE PRIVELEGE TO HEAR THERE AGRAVATING AND ABSOLUTELY ANNOYING PHONE INTERUPTIONS , COMPLAINTS, BUSINESS CALLS AND HAVE HAD TO WAIT UNTIL THEY FINISH THEIR CALL TO FINISH THEIR TRANSACTION! I HAVE ONLY EVER HAD A FEW PROBLEMS WHILE USING MY LINK CARD EVER!. YOU ARE JUST PLAIN LYING TO PRESENT US WITH THE POOR YOU STORY. i no longer have the link card. my husband has the same job as before but now makes enough money that we dont need it. we dont have to give you and explanation as to why we needed the link card and we dont owe you anything. we are human being just as you and i would have to say that you are just as much of a pain in the ass as you are wishing the woman in your fake story was.

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          Your comment is so full of b*lls**t! EBT doesn’t make any store separate food from non-food. Its paid for differently, sure. But its not made to be a HUGE hassle like your making it out to be. And if it was, your cashier was an idiot! I’ve been on EBT and the Monopoly money. I’ve had people like you throw me the stink eye because I was using the ‘oh so entitled’ food stamps. Mind you, I was doing this while my husband was out of work while going threw chemo treatments. I know, heavens forbid we actually WANT to eat and feed our two children.
          I still use coupons when I shop, STACKS of them! I’ve just learned to ignore m*r*ns like you while I’m paying MY bill.
          Even though you claim NOT to be the other person in this story, maybe one day you can be on the receiving end of another shoppers disdain and feel just how this lady did. It would serve you right!

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          You clearly defeated u r own purpose indicated by ur response to the lady who was paying for her groceries with her GOVERNMENT approved F.S. or EBT cards. Honestly you are the one that ends up appearing/sounding “problematic’ in your depiction of the scenario. You explain that 50% of F.S transactions are “problematic” . Do you also believe that the person who is paying with F.S. is responsible for that?? Did you ever stop to think that maybe this woman was suffering from some type of mental illness? I am not suggesting that she is or isn’t, simply pointing out the fact that you sound as if you are very close minded, non-compassionate, and angry at the world.

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          That’s odd, I thought EBT covered EVERYTHING? You just blew my mind…

          That the lady haggled meant she wholeheartedly deserved the EBT and was trying to save money wherever she could. I’m so sorry seeing a friend and being able to take your mind off the drudge of not being able to afford food on your own inconvenienced you; how dare she speak or make eye contact with regular human beings!

          I’m also so sorry she held you up for so long. I hope you made it home in time to watch Fox News new expose on people who buy A-1 Abrams tanks on EBT cards while talking jive and playing craps in back alleyways before their break-dancing battles.

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          It was pointless to bring your story up, except to try to absolve yourself from any guilt you carry. The person in front of you was a inconsiderate; EBT, cash or Gold AmEx. The family in the letter was nothing like that. The fact that you mentioned you regularly grocery shop in Edina tells me a lot…And just for the record, no, I have never used EBT and I have lived in Edina.

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          you are an idiot — the ebt programs in my area tally up the things that are allowed the items that are not are totaled separately – the food items not allowed are the ones from the deli area everyone who gets food stamps is notified about this before they arrive like when they sign up — I am sorry that your world is not better organized to be able to just breathe – and that someone worst off then you is enough to make your head explode — I feel like if your that tired maybe just maybe shop at a different time instead when your tired if you don’t have food poor planing on your part – i always have stuff to make on short notice when i am tired or too busy so can you -

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            Most of what you say is true, Virginia, but deli foods are not automatically excluded. You cannot purchase any hot foods from the deli, but cold deli foods are eligible under SNAP.

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          Who the hell do you think you are! I hope one day you and your entire family has to feel the way those ppl feel you POS!~

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          In the time it took to write this comment you could have moved to another line and on your way to your car, but people like you stay in line because you are busy bodies and want to be irritated and up in everyone’s personal business.

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            Most of the time, when I went shopping with my wife (it was my job to carry the heavy stuff) there would only be ONE line open. Unless we were at Wal-Mart, then about 1/4 of the lines would be open.

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          there’s a difference between someone who is a colossal pain in the ass and someone who uses coupons or has more items than you do before you get in line. anyone should expect to see coupons and people with more items than you in a grocery store. the original letter writer doesn’t sound anything like a person who is unnecessarily rude and oblivious just because they had coupons AND an ebt card.

          i’m not going to say i haven’t gotten frustrated at rude / oblivious types myself, but personally, i’m going to think that person’s an asshole regardless of what they pay with. would it have REALLY have softened the 45-minute-coming blow if she’d argued about cash or a split credit transaction instead? probably not!

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          Wow. Just wow. I’m wondering if perhaps you weren’t exactly that woman in line behind her. “The Emperor’s New Clothes” comes to mind.

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          You yourself mentioned you thought about jumping lines. Why didn’t you? The problem with society is that you half hour of “dismay” was you choice and actually over with your transaction. Did you then get to go home to your life as usual? Is it better than the lady who wrote about the worry of not being there one day for her disabled son? Was your half hour comparable to 28 years of additional responsibility she has? When you are in line with your “issues”, are you more concerned for those behind you? Sorry, I am not seeing your selfishness the same way you are.

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          Wow. Are you always that judgmental about everything? I don’t remember the last time I even paid any attention to the number of groceries or coupons someone else had or even how they paid for their groceries. I’m not sure I could possibly know without trying really hard to stick my nose where it didn’t belong in the first place.

          It disgusts me that you (and others like you) harbor so much hatred that you feel it’s your duty to monitor every detail of the purchases other folks make. I usually ignore people like you at all costs because I’d rather continue my life on a positive note than send myself to an early grave worrying about what someone else thinks, but in this case, I cannot let this one go.

          I don’t give a damn what you do with your life, but you need to mind your own damn business. I hope you are never faced with a situation in which you might require assistance from the tax dollars you have contributed, but if you do, I hope there will be someone just like you watching and judging your every move. It won’t be me.

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          That’s quite odd though because if you have ebt and non ebt items on the same bill, the ebt card will pay for its portion, leaving a balance due for the rest. There would have been no need to subtract and re-ring those items. So if they wasted time subtracting and re-ringing, that falls on the cashier not knowing how to do their job.

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          You stood in line for 45 mins and were angry at HER for holding you up?? BS. Complete and total BS. Unless ALL the other lines were an hour long (I have NEVER seen this happen and I have lived on 2 continents) you had NO reason to stay in that line. Its your fault for not moving your butt when you realized this could take a while.

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          Why in the world does she have to apologize to you?

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          Sadly, written by a person who believes everything in the world revolves around her. A bit of “walking in others’ shoes” and a smidge of kindness would do this person wonders. It is so easy to judge and perhaps she is carrying her own burdens, but why must we think so unkindly of each other. I just do not understand it.

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          People have really changed since I raised my children. My husband was in the military and while I am certain we qualified for food stamps, we never applied. We also did not own a car to allow us to shop at the commissary, so I clipped coupons and I was very good at it. Sometimes it took 45 minutes for me to check-out but the customers behind me and even the cashier would clap when I saved $100. Occasionally I encountered very mean cashiers but they were the exception and the customers encouraged and supported me.

          It seems that managing one’s own life is complicated enough without the additional burden of analyzing the lives of strangers who appear before us in a checkout line. I feel so sorry for people who need to denigrate another human being in order to feel better about themselves because that is what all of this amounts to. How unhappy they must be and I pity the people who live with them.

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          My EBT transactions are just as fast as when I used to be able to afford to pay with my ATM card. How about you just have that feeling of entitlement most Americans have? You’re entitled to drive in the lane you want, go the speed you want, arrive at your destination when you want -and this includes not having to wait in line behind people who you feel are taking too long? The fact that someone using EBT even registered with you as an added annoyance means you probably live in a suburban bubble where your kind of ignorance is socially acceptable. I do hope no one ever pops it. :)

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        Okay. Color me amazed by the vitrol my story caused.
        1) I’m out of this discussion after this post, so any future insults, accusations of lying or other derogatory language will not hit it’s target.
        2) No, I wasn’t lying. I described how the system worked at that store on that day. I’m willing to believe that your store has a different system and/or the system has been revised. A pity that same courtesy was not extended to me.
        3) None of that was relevant (nor was any of my real or imagined short-comings). People get angry and frustrated in these situations, I certainly did. My tale seemed to be a parallel to the original article, but my angst wasn’t because of payment method (or ‘form of payment’ as stated previously, which seemed to cause much confusion). Is it possible that the woman in the original article was just as out of patience as I was? I think so.

        4) My appreciation to people who posted sane and reasoned responses.

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          Translation: “I am too weak minded to defend my opinions -because the reality is that no critical thinking actually went into them. They are the product of how I was brought up. Therefore I am backing out of this conversation. So your attempts to enlighten me about a world beyond the one I know personally will be unsuccessful. I will continue being blissfully ignorant. Have a nice day!”

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          Are you aware that a lot of our military families are on food stamps now ? do you call them USERS ? OR do you have some other derogatory sentiment for them — I don’t know of any one who “wants to be on food stamps” I know a lot of folks who would love to be able to live better lives — due to bills lack of good wages or medical issues, family circumstances don’t have the type of life they would like or dreamed that they would have. I find it very sad for those that don’t see that – and all those that would vote against bonds and other incentives, that would help bring better paying jobs to there communities, help raise wages for the working class

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        SHE may not read this article to know that it is about her, however all of the people who feel the same as she does will. It won’t matter though because they will still justify reasons that they are above and beyond those of us who need the assistance and are actually NOT abusing the system. Let us pray that these people never become disabled and fall under the income level enough to need government assistance themselves.

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      Hello again Bob! You’re right again, of course! While you’re out kicking Bush’s posterior, I can handle this one! ;)

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      I got a news flash for this impatient shopper —- how bout if you plan a different time to go – Don’t go do a major trip – during the hours of 4P- 6P don’t go to even get a few items if you are too rushed or impatient to wait for ANYONE who may be in front of you —- I know several people who are on food stamps – I am glad we have that in our system for them — you don’t know what they have been through or what they are having to deal with now that causes them to have to need it – — Which is a very sad thing – We have a mini wage that is paid that often times doesn’t allow enough for rent/ medicines and food – I spend allot of my time using coupons and shopping second hand stores for nearly new stuff to make ends meet — even though my finances combined with medical issues would qualify us for food stamps (IF you call yourself a christian/ or count yourself as a religious person Why are you so angry at those in dire need ?) How bout if you go down to the food bank or local soup kitchen and work for a while meet those one on one that are really hurting a lot of folks who have to have assistance would rather have a fair wage, medical care and the ability to take care of themselves and there families- for those who have had food stamps and are on the other end of it how bout if you help start up a collection for peanut butter or canned goods for the local food bank – do it at work- do it at your local house of worship, community centers maybe at a club where you go work out, school, collage (my church has a basket to collect peanut butter for the local food bank- we also collect toiletry samples for the to hand out to the homeless-) come on quit being so angry and go find out why you are mad and work on not being mad and be grateful you don’t need the extra help -

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    Great article! Anyone can find themselves in dire straights! Thankfully there is assistance for those in need!!!! Shared this!

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    Dear Cashier At the Grocery Store,

    Do you know that I went home and cried after you told me you were “jealous” of my EBT card?

    Do you know how messed it up it that you are jealous you don’t have enough money to be able to afford to eat on your own?

    Why would you be jealous of that? How is that something to be jealous of? I was so shocked, I couldn’t speak. I called the store the next day and complained and suggested sensitivity training.

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      That is true, I know all too well, but a lot of people working at grocery stores hardly make enough money to live off of, walmart for example. My boyfriend makes 1200 a month from a full time job and even that won’t cover any food in our house after paying bills and gas. I’ve been getting foodstamps for a few months and stopped because I got a temp job. Now that the job is over I have to go through the whole process again waiting for my ebt money. I truly am jealous of you for having them because I have no food at all, but he shouldn’t say things like that. I’m a teenager on foodstamps going to school full time and have been constantly looking for a job with no luck, yet I feel shamed when I pull out my card. We are all having struggles and we all need to put that into perspective.

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      i am a cashier and i hate to admit it but i am jealous of people who have food stamps. not because they don’t have to pay anything for groceries because i don’t have enough money for groceries and i am afraid to apply for the program. i’m afraid of the social stigma, i am afraid of rejection, and i’m afraid that it represents failure. cashiers make shit, there is too much judgment in every direction here

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        You don’t deserve it if you let something as petty as social stigma stop you from feeding yourself properly.

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          Everybody deserves to be able to eat.

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          Telling someone who is going without that they don’t deserve assistance is quite harsh. Not everyone has the self esteem it takes to deal with the sighs, dirty looks, and outright hateful comments on a regular basis. This is so sad since SNAP (food stamps) is a nutrition program, not a welfare program, run by the Dept of Agriculture.

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          I hope that sometime in your life you have to face the full brunt of that petty social stigma every single public place you go, and you remember this stupid conversation you had with a total stranger on the Internet.

          I bet you’re one of those nasty customers bitching about EBT customers ahead of you in line, too, as if it is any of your business how someone else is paying for their groceries.

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            I agree. It is embarrassing to walk up to a person with a food stamp card. But anymore, a lot of people have to use EBT cards. I honestly don’t think its okay for someone to think its just us being greedy. If you need a food stamp card, get one. It shouldn’t be a terrible thing for anyone to have one. If you need support, get it. :)

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          Concern over social stigma is not petty. The impact of stereotypes and misguided assumptions/presumptions on human beings is heavy. Psychologist Claude Steele has written an extraordinary book about the impact of “micro-aggressions” and stereotype threat on people, on our outcomes, on the choices we make. It’s called “Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do.” Perhaps if you gave it a read, you might give more credence to the above poster’s concern over being subjected to the misguided and harmful impacts of prejudice and presumptions.

          I hope someday we can look upon our neighbors with respect and dignity as they ask for help. None of us is entirely autonomous– at some point in all of our lives we will need to lean on our family, our friends, our community, and perhaps the great social supports offered by our government. To do so in an effort to support oneself and one’s family is respectable and not deserving of the fear and shame by which it is so often accompanied.

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          Apparently you have never worried about it then before, or you would understand.

          My husband was active duty navy and we MORE than qualified for assistance but using those wic checks is horrifyingly embarrassing. It took me ages to get the guts up. Yes. Active duty with 17yrs in and 2 kids and qualified for all sorts of services.

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            Yes, there is a feeling of shame in using public benefits even though I know there shouldn’t be at times. Used WIC for about 6 months at the end of my pregnancy and while breast feeding my daughter. This was while my husband was in the Marines. I was lucky though in that I shopped at the commissary on base and so many other families were eligible for WIC and SNAP that instead of other customers shaming me we tended to grouse with each other about how lousy the pay was, how difficult it was to get an employer to hire you when you could be relocated at anytime or the issues of scheduling around the spouses training/deployment schedule. I still find it mind boggling that military families, with all they sacrifice, are widely dependant or at least eligible for food assistance.

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            I really am sorry that anyone feels ashamed about using EBT or WIC. It’s been a really long time for me because my mama was cut off when I was about 11 because by then 5 of her 7 children were adults and she was told she made too much money to receive benefits for her, myself and my brother. Which might have been true, but when you still have most of your adult children and a few grandchildren living at home, it still becomes difficult. We have a very big family that we had to feed and none of us were ever ashamed to have to use EBT or WIC. For us making sure our family. especially the kids were fed was the most important. I don’t have an EBT card, but I have bought food stamps from family members so that they can pay their rent, or their electric bill. I do receive WIC for my two children but I’m glad to receive it because the youngest will be 6 months tomorrow and I’m sure most everyone here knows how expensive formula is.

            I guess my point is that, yeah it might be embarrassing but only if you let it embarrass you. I’m not embarrassed at all and if someone like the woman in the article or that Catalan chick were to make some comment like that to me, I would have no problem letting them know exactly what I thought about them and their opinions. Taking care of my family is way more important than what any of these a$$holes think. And if I want to buy a d@mn candy bar with EBT so what? Just because someone receives food assistance, doesn’t mean they can’t have a treat like those who don’t. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to give their kids a special treat just because they happen to have to get food stamps. Screw ‘em all.

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        Please don’t feel ashamed. Most of the employees at my grocery store are also on foodstamps. Additionally, do you know how many members of the armed forces are on foodstamps? You’d be shocked! Considering all we ask of them, you’d think they’d be paid enough to be able to eat!

        If even those society calls “the best” are obliged to ask for assistance, I don’t see why any of the rest of us should feel shame in asking for it. Either we qualify, or we don’t. It’s that simple. Please ask!

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        My daughter is a cashier…and she receives food stamps…It is nothing to be ashamed of. If it weren’t for her stamps, her and her little girl wouldn’t eat

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        Rose; Your plight is a statement on our society not on your “pride.” Please reconsider. You should not have to go hungry because of stupid peoples’ misguided opinions. There are stores like Aldis that treat people far less harshly and where the shoppers are more of like kind, people yourself and me and less judgemental….

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      The cashiers aren’t jealous of the fact that you can’t afford to buy your own food. The cashier is jealous because they DON’T make enough money to pay for their own food, but they don’t qualify for EBT, either. I’ve worked at a grocery store for 6 years and I know the feeling. My husband broke his back last fall and we lost most of our income. We don’t qualify for EBT because we don’t have kids that live at home. DHS told us to have more kids and then they would be happy to help us make ends meet. Perhaps EBT customers should look at the flip coin and not always jump to the conclusion that someone is jealous of the fact that you can’t support yourself.

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        I must agree with Heidi on this one. I too have worked in a grocery store for over 13 years. I know what it feels like to bust your ass working for 9.00 an hour (and yes that’s after working there 13 yrs) and go home at night and wonder if you have enough money to buy a gallon of milk for your kids. I tried to apply for assistance and was denied because between the 20 hrs a week I work and the 40 hrs a week my husband works we only qualify for 30.00 a month in food stamps. There are people that need the help but don’t qualify because they made 40.00 too much the month before and then you have the social workers telling you well if you had another child you would be able to receive assistance. I’m not jealous of the people that receive assistance if they use it for FOOD. But you have people that came in and no lie bought 175.00 worth of candy from our bulk food section. Half a cart of candy!! Or you see the people that cards don’ slide and they hand you the card to type in and when you look at the card they say how they bought the Food Stamps off of someone “Cuz Sh** if I can get 200.00 worth of food for 100.00 I’m gonna buy that Sh** all day long”. Or my favorite ones are the ones that come in with a cart over flowing with food then reach 300.00 and say “Oh I only have 250.00 on my card so I have to take some things off.” Okay no problem what would you like to take off? “Well you can take off the pork chops, milk, lettuce, tomatoes, hamburger, and peanut butter, jelly and bread.” But leave the 5 cases of Pepsi and Coke and leave the chips and candy and junk food and frozen dinners. Really???/ It blows my mind. So while people who need help are selling their Food stamps or buying junk food I listen to my 3yr asking me mommy can you please buy me some cheese? And I have to sit and cry because I don’t have 4.00 to buy my baby a flipping pack of cheese!!!
        Sorry for the rant, I want to make sure you understand I would never deny anyone the right to get food stamps if they used them the way they were meant to be used. Are there times when I’m at work and see this happening and want to say something about people hat abuse the system? YES! But there are days when I have customers who come in and buy real food that they are going to cook for their families and I have no problem cashing them out. For the lady that posted first on here I see nothing wrong with you using an EBT card for your child. And the lady in line behind you had no right to make the comment that she did I agree 100% with you on that point.

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          But it’s not your business. Just because someone is on government assistance, doesn’t give you the right to police what they buy with it. Just like it’s no one’s business what you purchase with your money.

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      I worked at a grocery store making $6.25 an hour. I didn’t get full time and had a hard time finding another job because I didn’t have a car and we have terrible public transportation. And I couldn’t get food stamps. Do you really think I could afford rent, bills, and food? You should think about that veggie complaining and possibly getting someone fired who already can’t afford food.

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      maybe she used to have one and no longer qualifies because she now works a shitty job as a part time cashier, but food is still hard for her to pay for.

      i dunno, it’s still a dumb comment either way. it would be even worse if buffy from the hills was saying it tritely or jokingly or at your expense in some way. but i can see some situations where she genuinely meant it; everyone seems to be poor these days! there’s times i wish i qualified when i was struggling to pay my bills while underemployed watching my trust-fund roommates have sushi night with theirs :(

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    Excellent letter. Your only error was referring to that person as a lady. No lady would have acted as she did. You and your daughter are the true ladies of this event.

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    I am currently a full time college student. Both of my children over 18 (one at home one out), I had surgery in December and was advised when I tried to receive food assistance that since I had no children under 18 at home AND was a full time student I did not qualify. So apparently there are two solutions available to me. Have another child (I’m 45 I think not) or quit school. Apparently students don’t eat.

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      I feel for you. My husband and I both go to school, and we cant get food stamps. We just spent all our money on food today. Just have to pay the bills late because we have to eat. The cabinets were getting really bare, and we were even out of canned food. We did not buy cigarettes, alcohol, or anything we did not need. Mac n cheese, canned chili, canned food, and chicken etc. Coupons are our best friend. It gets so tiring trying to get by with little food. But at least we are going to school to better ourselves. Just know you are not the only one in that situation.

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      so they don’t want anyone to better themselves so that in the future you hopefully will not ever have to depend on the goverment for anything, this does not make sense to me!

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        When my 7 year old was a baby I was going to community college and asked for assistance with day care through our local workforce; I was told I could only get assistance if I quit school and was looking for work full time. I was looking for work, but was also going to school, but that did not matter. They refused to help if I was enrolled in college. I could sit at home and do nothing and pretend to look for work and get day care assistance, but not while in school. Such a shame. I didn’t get any help and ended up dropping out of college. I was going to be a nurse. I would be out of college and working right now in my dream job, making pretty good money, but instead I never got to go back to school. I have a decent job with good benefits, but I still only make about half of what I would be as a nurse.

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          It honestly depends on a number of different factors on whether or not you get food stamps.
          Being in school full time makes some assumptions that you have access to other fund (financial Aid), or food sources (the food courts) Sometimes this is true, sometimes its not. Children change the ball game most of the time. Disabled children guarntee a change in the ball game.
          As a single mother (widowed)
          2 Children under 10 years of age.
          Work 30 hours. Full time Online School.
          I qualify in my state for about 350$ in food stamps and that would not last us as a family through the month if i did not skimp on some of the good things to eat to get some of the junk items.

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      I had a similar situation happen to my husband and myself about a year ago. My husband had lost his job, we have 3 children including a disabled child. My husband, after losing his job, decided to go back to school so he could get a better job but he was kicked off of our food stamps for it. They told us that since he’s younger than 26, he is assumed a dependent of his parents because of his full time student status. I assured them we are married, and he gets no support from his parents who live several states away. They said that didn’t matter. They said the only way he can be re-added to the food stamps case is if he works 20 hours a week in addition to full time school, or if he drops out of school completely either with or without a job. I asked the lady point blank: So if he sits on his butt and doesn’t have a job or go to school he can be on the case, but not if he’s going to school full time without a job?? After a pause (she paused when she realized how ridiculous the policy was) She said “Yes.” I think they WANT people to stay in poverty. Because bettering yourself is clearly not the goal here.

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        I believe that is the goal. Nothing else really makes sense. If they keep people in poverty, we rely on them. If we rely on them, they can control us “for our own good”. My husband was out of work for over 3 years. I have problems with my back and other things so it is difficult to find work that I can do with my limitations. We sold houses we had, spent our entire savings, and finally, after all our cash was exhausted, we filed for food stamps for 3 months. My husband ended up finding a job and now we are attempting to get our heads above water again.

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        You hit the nail on the head. Our system is a JOKE.

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          Joke is right! Why should students be denied access to food stamps?

          I’m American and live in the UK, and the system here is a joke, too. I love that our country is very good about helping those who really need help, but there are also many people who receive full benefits and don’t work when they easily could. The system makes it far too easy for someone to just live off the system for their entire lives. When you see someone working for minimum wage at a place like McDonald’s, you have to have a great deal of respect for them, because they could easily be collecting benefits and earning the same amount of money (possibly even more) by doing nothing.

          In the US, many people using food stamps actually are working and doing the best they can, but still need extra help. Why would someone object to their tax dollars going to hard-working people who are struggling? People who criticise welfare recipients need to realise this. A VERY small number of welfare recipients are the so-called “welfare queen”.

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          I hadn’t ever been on assistance before but when I was living on my own, working…I got pregnant. I applied for help …food stamps and they told me I didn’t work enough to get them. I had stopped working doubles everyday because of my horrible morning sickness. The system needs a good look over. I knew people without jobs, no kidson food stamps. Wtf?

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          Imagine how it is when you have NO choices. My children are not disabled, but I am. Being wheelchair confined after being hit by a truck 2 yrs. ago, I can no longer work at all. Fed. Disability, even though I’ve worked all worked all my life, is a joke. I’m still 200% below poverty level and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m a single parent so there is no husband to fall back on. Talk about feeling helpless! My HMO is so bad I can’t even get home help. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone! The only bright spot is that I’m always home for my kids and I can devote all my other time to my writing. I’m sure there are others worse off than I am, so I don’t spend too much time pouting, but I wish there was a way we could all help one another out more….

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        Remember this when you hear politicians talking about work requirements for Food assistance.

        I would like to add that I was a case worker and then a supervisor for many years. The flip side of the college student eligibility is that many college students either opt for the school’s food program, which is paid for privately or they live at home with their parents who’s income must be considered. Please remember, the caseworkers don’t make the rules, the politicians do. As a supervisor, I expected my workers to treat their clients professionally and with respect but to also abide by the law.

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        He should be able to if he is eligible for work study. Something that the welfare office did not tell me, but luckily the financial aid office at my school did. He needs to provide a document that states he is eligible for work study. I had a nightmare of a time trying to get on food stamps. I am a full time student, I work part time, and I do volunteer work. So if you are a struggling student remember if you are eligible for work study you should be able to get some assistance, and for those who mock us who need food stamps, let me remind you that simply because we acknowledge and ask for help does not mean that we are weak because you do not know our struggle or our pain.

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        I was told when I first applied that I could not be a student and get food stamps. When I asked why, she said that she was told that this is to avoid lifetime students. I think if that was really the case, they should have put a time limit on it. What can you really do though? Don’t forget, that most cities have food banks, and if, for some reason you don’t qualify, you should be able to get some food there.

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          I used to volunteer at the local food bank in my county. People are only allowed to use it once a month and they do not get a months worth of food. (It varies depending on donations as to how much a person gets) At least where I live, people could not get by on the food bank alone.

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        When my son began attending community college he was taken off my foodstamps. They said to collect he had to do work study which wasnt available or work 20 hours. He got a part time job making minimum wage. I sent in his paystubs when he got a months worth and they turned him down for making too much money doing exactly what he was told he had to do???? Its insane.

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        You hit the nail on the head, Yolanda. Now this was 25 years ago, but when I lost my job and the high-tech wave was starting, I knew I’d need to improve my skills to compete, so I got student loans and grants to get back into school. I had to fight the Welfare people every step of the way. They didn’t want to give me the aid I needed unless I was sitting at home doing nothing. I persevered, with some cut-backs in aid, and after graduating ended up with a job where my taxes each year were more than my annual salary in the past had been. So, in essence, the government got paid back WITH INTEREST for their minor investment in me, and anyone who’s ever been on assistance can tell you how minor it is. I know someone now whose current EBT benefit just about covers a pack of ramen noodles for 3 meals a day, every day of the month. And that little bit is going to disappear once the GOP forces the government shutdown.

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          Same here. And then years later, when I had earned a master’s degree and also selected for promotion for major in the USAF, my in-laws learned that my parents had used “welfare” to feed their children (including me) for six months and suddenly no longer was I welcome in their home. They also encouraged my husband to leave me, as I was so obviously a “taker” and “lazy.” My taxes were pretty darn high–I think I paid back more than I received.

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        I just want to interject here. I am also 26, however, I have never been on food stamps, and I certainly don’t have three kids. I have supported myself entirely since the age of 17 when I was kicked out of the house. One of the reasons I don’t have three kids and live on food stamps is because I grew up in a household that was often supported by food stamps, primarily because my parents had no skills and too many kids. My question to you is twofold: Why do you have three kids at 26? And why would you ever have three kids if you can’t support yourself adequately? I could understand one kid because you screwed up, but three? Why is everyone in this country so damn entitled? Nobody made you have three kids, but yet you chose to do so, now live with the consequences and teach your children to do better when they grow up and have a chance.

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        Easy answer to the question of why this system works this way, not that it helps. Reagan’s mythical “welfare queen”. There’s your answer. When the welfare safety net was retooled to get rid of “welfare queens” the work requirement/actively seeking employment requirement went into effect. No loop hole was allocated for those in school fulltime or in job retraining programs. The thought process is if you are in school full time then you could be working/seeking full time. If you are doing neither of those things then you a lazy immoral leech on society undeserving of our help or of basic human decency. Currently that thought process obviously ignores the large unemployment rate we are facing or the fact that even working a 40 hour week at minimum wage with no benefits (which is what the majority of job listings are for) you still would still be eligible. To receive SNAP you must work, if you work full time may still need benefits, if you work and are getting student aid may stop getting student aid because of your wages. Or starve to death while going to school trying to make a better life for you family, hoping to never be in need of assistance again. I’d call this circular logic, but its that would suggest there is some kind of logic behind it. It’s all ideologue with no real ideas about the real world.

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      I call BS on that. I’m 52, no kids at home, in college… and I get foodstamps. Whoever told you that you don’t qualify is full of crap.

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        It’s different by state. This law was enacted a few years ago in Michigan, not sure about others. Trust me, I’ve been living half-months without food for a while now.

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        Different rules in different states.

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        Then you’re lucky. I’ve been unable to find anything outer than a serving job for the past 2 years. I make just about $10-12,000 a year, but was told I qualify for NOTHING since I’m single, no kids, and not pregnant or disabled….even though, by fed standards, I should be getting assistance. Evn though I’m tired as hell of eating the food at work all the time (not to mention that thanks to some medical issues, everything I eat causes a lot of pain and nausea…..imagine a stomach bug, multiplied by 100, 24/7/365). I continue because I get up to $8 free per shift. Which means I can still get a decent amount before I need to pay anything. Would love to be able to get the foods that agree with my body so that I don’t feel like crap anymore, but you gotta do what you gotta do, and I my case, that’s eating where most days I don’t have to pay…..at least in money (the side effects suck though).

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        I don’t know if the system has changed, but when I was in college I was able to get food stamps, provided I worked 20 hours a week.

        That always got to me… I could either not go to school and not work so I could receive assistance, or I could go to school AND work and receive assistance.

        Logic- 0

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          It has changed. ” A SNAP provision of the 1996 welfare law limits adults between ages 18 and 50 who aren’t disabled or caring for minor children to three months of SNAP benefits out of every three years, unless they are working at least 20 hours per week or participating in a qualifying workfare or job training program. Few states, however, operate workfare or training programs for these individuals that meet the rigid requirements of the three-month cut-off provision (either at all or on more than a very small scale). In part, this is because federal funding for such programs is extremely limited and other federal job training programs aren’t designed to serve this population (which tends to have low levels of education and skills) or to meet the three-month cut-off provision’s requirements. As a result, most of these individuals are simply cut off SNAP after three months, even if they have been looking hard for work and will accept any available job or training slot. “

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      There are financial qualification that probably made you not eligible. Basically, they’re telling you that if you’re an adult attending college full time, and that causes a financial need for Food Stamps, you shouldn’t be going full time. To them you’re not really in need because you have an option to get out of it.

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      I work in the Food Stamp program. Federal policy states that full-time students (without children under the age of 11) must work 20 hours per week to be eligible for food stamps. If you find a part-time job (work study qualifies towards 10 hrs), at minimum wage, with 2 in the household, you would qualify for some help.

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    Anyone who gets uppity with me in the store for using my whopping $56 per month in food stamps, or even at someone near me, will get more than an earful. Why should I feel dirty, ashamed etc because I am disabled and thereby poor? Not only would I make you feel less than one angstrom tall I would also point out your harassing behavior to the manager and get you trespassed from the store. I have done this at least twice.

    No store manager supports their customers being harassed, even by other customers.

    And I wait in the line until it is my turn, so can you. You are no more important than me or anyone else so cool your jets and learn a bit of patience, empathy and maturity.

    No apologies are required at all… except from self-appointed tut-tut mavens like you to those you have harassed.

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    Anyone can find themselves in a bad situation but the food stamp program needs to be tightened up. I see EBT customers with baskets full of flaming hot cheetos and other junk food and not one piece of fruit .So yes, if my tax dollars fund this and I teach the kids who walk into my classroom with said cheetos and an expensive cell phone but no pen and paper, then I have a right to raise questions about values and a sense of entitlement.

    Having said that, those at the top, the bankers etc are worse than those at the bottom. But those at the bottom need to realize if they want their kids out of poverty, they need to move heaven and earth to do so. That means going to the local thrift store and buying books instead of video games.

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      I pity the kids you teach, Ellen. My sister is a teacher and she would be appalled to read a statement like yours from a teacher. You are a narrow minded snob and have no right to judge those who are less fortunate and determine in your own mind, with no facts at all why it is that they are in need. Shame on you.

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        I salute you Bob Cull ! Your comment is right on. I pity any1
        who has to be in the company of Ellen also. She is a heartless judgmental snob.

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        I’m not sure Bob why you think calling someone else a snob for writing what they have seen, is any different labeling the writer of the story. I happen to agree with her and I am a single mom who receives no child support with a 17 yo son. Between the two of us we live on $50 a week in groceries. Tonight I most likely will not be eating so my son can. So honestly your no different.
        Only two times in my life I tried to get food for my son with NO job and I was turned down. Btw I’m 49. I know of others now who have it but lied to get it. Sorry not a supporter here!

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          Ellen i understand what your saying but you’r a judgmental prick, poor people deserve some junk food too. bob i agree with but be careful not to be judgmental yourself. barb i have no fucking clue what the fuck you said, that made no sense please take a deep breath and try again.

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            I try, Rose, believe me, I do try but it is damned hard to be non-judgemental of those who feel themselves to be superior to all who do not meet their personal standards. I am not on this Earth to live as others want me to, I don’t care how they live but when they feel entitled to dictate how others should live they lose the right to demand that they not be judged.

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          My sister being a teacher in an inner city school I know many teachers and never has one of them said the sort of things that Ellen says here. I know for a fact that many of them, seeing children in their classes who are not getting adequate food do not condemn the parents, they FEED those kids themselves. My sister and most of her “overpaid” colleagues spend thousands of dollars out of their own pockets supplying their classrooms and yes, feeding their students. A hungry child cannot learn yet the holier than thou crowd want to blame the teacher when he fails. Nope, I won’t be apologizing for my opinion of small minded people, particularly one who obviously did not become a teacher out of passion but either necessity or with the mistaken idea that they were going to have a lucrative career.

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        Thank you Bob Cull, I always enjoy reading your bits of wisdom and incredible compassion, you, sir , are an inspiration.

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        My husband’s step-daughter lives with us. She was a teenage mother and high school drop out. When I moved in her children were 11 and 7. That was three years ago. She lives off of us and welfare. She gets about $500/mo. in food stamps. I drive her to the grocery store since she has no vehicle. She fills her basked with hot cheetos, ice cream, designer ice tea, frozen dinners, chips, cookies, cakes, brownie mix, etc, and as a result often runs out of food stamps before the end of the month. She will tell us she can’t afford food, but she’s a smoker and can always afford that. She never buys them fruit or vegetables and rarely cooks dinner for her children. You can call me uppity if you like, but I was a teenage mother. I had my first son when I was 17 and the second when I was 18. I graduated high school early, but I did receive welfare off and on during my life. I’ve been on food stamps, received cash aid, and used state health insurance. Currently I am a teacher with an M.A. in teaching social studies. I think it would be difficult for you to call me uppity for saying the same thing as Ellen since I’ve been in a similar situation as my daughter-in-law, but I tend to agree with Ellen. If my daughter-in-law would spend her money on healthy foods her kids might not be sick so often. If she bought school supplies instead of cigarettes they might not be doing poorly in school. It’s an anecdote, yes, but I agree with Ellen that these anecdotes are cause for questions about how the system is run.

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          I”m sorry, but I call BS on $500 a month in food stamps. Maybe her entire AFDC (or whatever you call it now) is $500; but there is NO WAY one mother with two kids is getting that much.

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            Cherizac, depending on what state you live in and what the state guidelines are for figuring out the COLA (Cost of Living Allowance) is depends on how much money in food stamps you get. In the state the I am from a single parent with 2 children under 12 can actually get up to $760 a month in food stamps depending where in the state you live. I, myself, receive food stamps, i have 1 child at home and am fighting to get my disability. other than the food stamps that my son and i get the only other money that we have coming in is tanf of 215 dollars a month. i physically cannot work anymore due to injuries and illnesses that i have and if i could go back to work and not need food stamps i would, but i will not let people like you and some of the others here bring me down or feel shamed for what i receive every month. we need to eat too.

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            I am a single mother , 2 kids and i receive 526 a month in ebt benefits

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            I don’t know what it is in other states, Cherizac, but here in NY a single person getting a full food stamp allowance gets $400 a month, so $500 for a family of three is not BS.

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            That’s not true. A few years back I worked part-time and ended up with about $500 a month after taxes. I lived in public housing so I only had 2 bills a month which were rent and electric. I did however get $580 in foodstamps and WIC for 2 children and myself. We had no phone, vehicle, cable, internet, money for fun stuff but oh did we eat good. I am a very picky pescetarian and health food junky and I can cook. Back then my children ate things that my neighbors kids who lived on ramen, boxed mac & cheese, cheap hotdogs, and canned spaghetti had never heard off much less pronounce. I am a food snob who could never stand land animal but give me crab, lobster, salmon,etc and I am happy. Now our income is twice as much but the food stamps are down to $355 a month and the kids are too old for WIC. I own my own trailer which means lot rent, g&e, cable phone, and internet but no vehicle anymore because I couldn’t afford a new motor. I also pay homeowners insurance and have to pay for any repairs my home needs. Somehow I still manage to feed us. We don’t have crab legs once a month but 2-3 a year when they are on sale but you still won’t find any of that processed packaged crap in my house. Except for chips, our food stamps buys us 3 bags of chips per month. One bag per person. But as for other things I make my own ice cream, cookies, cakes, brownies. Not every day but only once or twice a month. I would rather be able to make my kids homemade gnocchi w/homemade alfredo sauce or homemade brownies than spend that money on canned pasta and packaged cookies.

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            I agree Bill I’m disabled but I only get 200 a month Pay all my bills and live on nothing at all I see single mothers around mewith one child getting about 500 a month

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          Tracy – how about being a mother and teaching your daughter instead of condemning her?

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          It really sounds to me like the problem is your enabling, not the welfare system.

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          You clearly don’t remember the lessons of your poverty well enough. It is a psychological burden to have to be responsible with every single penny you spend and never have any room for the least little frivolity. Clearly you could not bear the burden and it has broken your mind and heart. You need to stop with the garbage and take a good hard look at yourself and ask yourself why you’re concern-trolling about someone who is not here to speak for herself when I don’t see you stepping up to help those kids. If you think this young woman is spending her EBT improperly, call the fraud line on her. (You’re on the Internet. You have access to Google. “SNAP food stamps fraud reporting hotline,” there, I gave you the search terms.) Then YOU step in and get those kids some vegetables. I don’t care if they’re not yours. They are your family and you need to start acting like it. I don’t know why the hell else you bothered getting married if you’re just going to treat everyone on your husband’s side like unwelcome strangers.

          The only thing worse than a better-off person who’s never been poor is a formerly poor person who got bitter from their experience and wants to make sure they punish every other poor person just like they had to experience. Shame on you.

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            I know what it’s like to penny pinch. I’ve actually done it. This woman, my daughter-in-law, does not. She spends hundreds of dollars a month buying things online: movies, iPhone cases, video games, etc. She definitely does not penny pinch, so no psychological burden for her in that department. I actually ran a full household where I had to pay rent, utilities, food, etc. She lives rent free. The only bill she has is her cell phone bill. As I mentioned in previous posts, I have tried to help her. She used to smoke in the bedroom she shares with her children. Her oldest has asthma. I am the one that made her stop doing that. They kids used to eat brownies, cookies, or hot cheetos for breakfast. I convinced her to stop allowing that. She used to buy cases of Monster energy drinks for her kids. I educated her about the risks of that. Other than that, she doesn’t want to hear it. I’ve tried to teach her to cook. I’ve shown her my grocery bill when I go to buy fresh food to cook from scratch to convince her that it’s cheaper than what she’s doing, but she isn’t interested. As a teacher, I’m a mandatory reporter for child abuse and neglect. I’ve been in touch with the DSHS who told me that excessive consumption of junk food is not a violation or abuse of the SNAP program.
            Not only have I tried to help from a health/nutritional stand point, I’ve also tried to teach her how to better parent in general since her kids often tell her to shut up, or call her stupid. I would like to see how well you would take a new person coming into your life when you are 30 years old and try to tell you how to raise your children. Most women wouldn’t take that well regardless of how good or poor of a job they’re currently doing.

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          My only question Tracy, is why do t you teach her how to cook and budget? Most people I know who don’t cook don’t know how and are intimidated to learn they think its really hard, and its really not. Tell her if she’s not going to buy real food she should findsomeone else to drive her. I hate to tell people this but school don’t teach more than balancing a checkbook they don’t teach budgeting or personal finance and they sure the hell don’t teach cooking anymore, and parents don’t either. I hear you complain about her but I don’t hear you saying she’s turned down every offer you’ve made to teach her to do better. It’s much easier to talk bad about someone than teach them a better way. Most people I’ve met like to have things to bitch about.

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            Victoria, you are correct. I did not mention how I have tried to teach her to be more healthy, but I have. She is a 31 year old woman with a mind of her own. I came into her life only a few years ago and she views me as an intruder. I have gotten her to stop a few behaviors, such as smoking in the house, giving her small children full sized energy drinks, and letting them eat cakes and candy for breakfast. I do so by forwarding her health related articles, since she’s not inclined to listen to my opinions. I have called the welfare office who informed me that buying junk food is not considered an abuse of the food stamp program. I cook most everything from scratch and have tried to teach her how to do the same, but she’s not interested. My only point of the post was to give support to Ellen’s claims that things like this do occur. When I was receiving food stamps I didn’t use it to buy cookies and candy. I used it to buy real food and I had more than enough to feed my family. Perhaps things like junk food should not be allowed to be purchased with food stamps. If they want cookies, bake them from scratch. It’s even cheaper!

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          So all this time, it never occurred to you to help her develop better skills? And she lives in your house?

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          I would expect someone with an advanced degree to be aware that anecdotal “evidence” is in fact no evidence at all, and often not even factual.

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            I believe I acknowledged as much in my statement, but there is much anecdotal evidence that is true. I experience such an instance, and having lived in many low-income areas in my life, have experienced and seen other examples. I do understand and know that most of the people who receive benefits are not like this, but that does not mean there shouldn’t be a discussion about the people who are.

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          She’s living with you, you’re the one driving her to the store, and you don’t say anything to her about what she’s putting in her cart? You don’t have these conversations with her?

          Why not, instead of complaining that your daughter doesn’t do what you think she should and therefore relies on your and you husband, TEACH her the things that you’re complaining about her not knowing here?

          Or, if it bothers you so much, why let her live with you? If you’re going to feel superior and bitter that she’s not doing it “right,” and you’re somehow not able to exercise any control, despite the fact that she’s living in your house, on your dime, then you should re-evaluate your situation. Because clearly it’s causing you a lot of angst, and you’re not managing it effectively.

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          Umm..Have you seen how expensive the healthy foods are versus unhealthy. I get foodstamps. I am a single, jobless, mother of 3 kids and a baby. Wen I do go back to work, what I do manage to make doesn’t even cover rent or untilities, much less food. I have tried to make full healthy from scratch meals before, and I noticed that buying the ingredients for a meal- one meal for one day- costs wayyy more than buying a couple tv dinners or boxed foods like mac n cheese etc. My food stamps get used up way faster buying halthy foods than when I buy cheap things that will last, things that are quick and easy to make and cost way less for them to eat every day. Yes I still occasionally will prepare a big meal, but it hurts my food stamp allowance for the month significantly. If they only would allow healthy foods to bought by food stamps, then they either should up the allowance they give us or lower the prices of said foods. Otherwise it gets gone way earlier than we need it to be used up.

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        I wish I could LIKE your comment Bob—
        Not being able to empathize or recognize that teaching nutrition and that whole foods cost way more than processed ones is a big problem here– Blaming the poor on their choices with benefits that keep them from starving is her 2nd mistake..

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          Actually, Beth, I seldom say anything to those who make the claim that fresh foods are too expensive but I don’t accept it, they just don’t know how to shop or live in large cities where there are few decent markets. I grant that I am one person but I eat almost no canned or frozen vegetables, only fresh which I cook myself. I also usually have fresh, in season fruit in the house. I am careful what meats I buy looking for what is on special this week. I do not have a problem, as many would having basically the same meal every night for a week so I buy family packs of meat. Bottom line, I spend $30 to $35 a week on groceries. I could shop for a family of four and spend probably less per person because I could buy more in larger amounts with the attendant savings per unit. When I was receiving food stamps I was so careful that when my circumstances changed and the monthly allowance was no longer applied to my card I had enough built up on it to buy all of my food for another six months. It is all a matter of being careful in choosing your purchases.

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            Which would play into the OTHER sort of “haters” trap–that if you can afford to buy so much at one go, you really don’t need the stamps.

            Haters gonna hate, and nothing anyone does is going to be right for the haters.

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            I spend about $100/wk on groceries to feed my family of 5 (2 parents and our 3 children 13, 4 &3). I buy meats on special that have manager coupons on them, fresh produce, no soda or sugary drinks other than 100% juice which I still mix with 1/2 water for the two little ones, I check the organic section of the market and buy things that are on sale that I can work into our weekly meals. I work 6 days a week and still cook real meals 7 nights a week. I will admit that I do buy frozen pizza, frozen waffles and gatorade/powerade when they are on sale or when I have coupons for them otherwise my husband thinks there is “nothing” for him to eat/drink. Food that is fresh/whole and good for you does not have to be expensive. You have to check the weekly ads, use coupons, use store discount cards, go to farmer’s markets, etc. but it works and we are not hungry.

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        I agree that “said person”should not be judged Bob! Did Ellen ever stop and think that maybe those cupcakes being purchased were bought so someones kid could take a treat to school for all their classmates to celebrate a birthday. Surely she has participated in such events being a teacher and all!I lost a job where i was making $60,000 a year. The plant closed. I needed help for the short time i went back to school to finish my degree. I didn’t need people judging me when i have paid out the ass in taxes and never asked for help before. Perhaps i could complain about my tax money going to pay a teacher that has no compassion and surely should not be teaching children hateful things!

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        I agree with you Bob! Most food assistance programs hand out JUNK food to poor people and most likely, THAT is what she is seeing the kids bring to school. Even the school lunch programs hand bags of chips to kids as part of their “nutritious”, subsidized breakfast and lunch programs. When the public is asked to give food for food drives to stock the shelves of food pantries – most of us give OUTDATED food, junk food, and non-nutritious food (well, let’s not even call it FOOD). Most food pantrys are not equipped to handle fresh fruits, vegetables, or meats. All of this non-food keeps the poor “in their place” and keeps the brains of the children underfed so they cannot learn as well as the well-nurished brain. Wonder what SHE contributes to food banks? The food stamp program is corrupt – it does not endorse healthy foods – in its current state, it is ment to subsidize the Big Food companies who care not a BIT about true nutrition, but only about their bottom line.

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          I will second what Kipp has said. My family has unfortunately had the need to access food pantry programs in a number of contexts. We received many helpful ingredient foods (beans, rice, canned meat, milk and vegetables, etc. ) We also, invariably received lots of weird junk such as lots of soda and off-brand “box meals” which were mostly just salt.

          My children also qualify for free or reduced meals at school. In my experience with several different school districts, school breakfasts are just bad – consisting mostly of sugar cereal, cinnamon rolls and juice. That’s just my little corner of the world though – I’m sure it varies from place to place.

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        Thank You Bob Cull. Teachers like Ellen are a pest and should not be teachers.

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      Ellen, do you realize how expensive fresh fruit, vegetables and lean meat are? Most people on food stamps have to buy the food that is more filling and will last the longest. Unfortunately that is usually “junk” food. I had 5 kids to feed after my husband left us and went to play house with his girlfriend. I was the sole provider and even though I worked practically around the clock (Bed & Breakfast), I still did not make enough money to feed all of us and pay the monthly bills. Did my kids eat a lot of white bread, peanut butter and chips? You bet they did! I had to find some way to make sure they didn’t go hungry!

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        I especially like it when people give me the DIRTIEST looks when they see us buying things like hamburger, steak, or roasts which go into 2-3 meals. It’s still the same if I’m buying something like frozen pizza because standing in the kitchen to cook a meal is severely painful. I honestly get 1/4 of the amount of food if I’m buying fresh fruits and vegetables for the same amount of money that I would spend filling the cart with food that is cheap and quick to make. The only time I don’t get a disgusted look is when my grocery cart is only ramen noodles and milk, even with my 3 yr old sitting in the seat and him having things like juice or popsicles, because I’m supposed to tell him that he can’t have treats because we’re poor.

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        i agree with you, good foods are so expensive. I am a single person with kids and grand kids in the house. I worry that they aren’t eating healthy enough. The, so called, junk food is much cheaper than the good foods. When you have lots of mouths to feed with little money you have to go the cheaper route.

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        I agree wholeheatedly with what you wrote! It pretty much says the same thing I was saying. Healthy foods are way too expensive!

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      I can understand you wondering why they do not have the proper supplies, but the rest of your comment is pretty judgmental. I wonder if your disdain is passed on to those kids who you think come from valueless homes.

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      All I can say, is hold off judgement. There will always be the ones who take advantage of things. I had a friend on foodstamps with a baby and only buying junk all the time. But not everyone is like that, and in fact, most aren’t. I have a crappy 40$ phone with a monthly bill more expensive than the device, I buy hot cheetos once in a blue moon, but fruit goes by fast and won’t nearly make enough meals on 200 dollars to last a month so instead I buy frozens and boxed food. I don’t pity you or see you as a bad person, I just think you should open up your mind a little. “Your” money doesn’t JUST pay for foodstamps, it pays for things that go on where you live, like road construction and law enforcement. Just don’t be stressing over what goes into other people’s baskets.

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        Good point. The person who makes 50K a year pays about $10 towards food stamps in their taxes. The vast majority of taxes goes towards the military-industrial complex and interest on debts for funding wars.

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          It’s actually 36$ per yr allocated to Food and Nutrition Assistance, so about 10c a day for someone making 50K a yr that comes out of their taxes.
          Im not making a soul go hungry so I can keep a dime–

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      It isn’t your business, Ellen, to decide what people using EBT get to eat or not. Tell me, do you obsess equally over what people using cash or credit cards get to consume? Or is it only the impoverished you feel compelled to put on dietary leash laws?

      Here’s a bit of advice (which you likely won’t take, but it demands being offered), start paying more attention to fixing your own baseless sense of moral purity and less on fixing what poor people buy. If you have so much free time and so little to occupy your brain that you’re obsessing over the contents of other people’s shopping carts, you need to find a hobby, stat.

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        Well said… thank you!

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        This is the problem with EBT mindset. If I am giving you the money, I should have a right to be slightly judgmental about what you are buying. Why should I be forced to spend time away from my friends, family doing work to support myself…and you, when in the end, you are not even remotely grateful for any of it. Sheesh.

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          Grateful, Bob? Grateful that you deigned to pay your taxes? Do you ask the police, fire dept., utility workers or the military to be grateful to you? Or is it just people who’ve found themselves in dire economic straits due to our collapsing economy or those who’ve become old or disabled who you think don’t grovel to you enough?

          Who do you think you are that the astounding THIRTEEN CENTS per year of your tax money going to the EBT program qualifies you to make decisions about anyone’s personal life or for anyone’s gratitude?

          And the “EBT mindset”. Wow. Because everyone who has ever needed assistance are all just one breed, right? I tell you, there is no “EBT mindset”. But there is a small-minded, ignorant, sociopathic, “it could never happen to me because I’m special, so screw the needy!” mindset, and you are a loathesomely prime example.

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          You aren’t giving them shit. You are not directly subsidizing the EBT. So hush. And even if you were, once the transaction is made it is no longer your money so it is not your place to tell them what to do with it.

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      People do not realize that people who are poor may not have always been so. So yeah, we’re poor, still trying to get disability right now, and yeah, my son has a video game console. We own things that you might JUDGE us not worthy of having. Because we bought them (not on credit, but BOUGHT OUTRIGHT) these items before we fell on hard times. Sell them? Yeah, I would, in a minute, if these systems were worth selling. They are not. No one wants the model from three upgrades ago. So yeah, I let my son use them, because he is a good student and works REALLY hard in school, and around the house, and even in the neighborhood to earn himself a few bucks, at the age of 12. Bottom line is MYOB. You do not know what each family’s life is like, who the hell are you to judge? Maybe that expensive jacket you think someone is wearing was a gift. Maybe they saved for a year and bought ONE “luxury” item because everyone needs to feel human once in a while. Maybe those Doritos you have judged so harshly were a once a year treat for a birthday. Yes, you pay into the system. Well, congrats to you. Fact is, we’ve all paid into it too, and sometimes bad things happen out of your control, and the fact that on top of having to worry about things you in your ivory tower can’t even imagine, we have to worry about people condemning us for using the benefits we paid into. I hope your God doesn’t judge you as harshly as you judge those around you.

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      Ellen, if you’ve never been in that situation your lucky. For your information when I had to be on them, yes a bought chips and pop, but it was the only treat or pleasure I could give my kids. I couldn’t buy them new cloths, new toys, take them to McDonalds. Couldn’t rent or take them to a movie. We didn’t have computers, internet, cell phones etc. So yey, I gave them what I could by buying them treats. Fortunately I was only on them for a year, and if it hadn’t been for a church showing up with bags of toys that year, they wouldn’t have had a x-mas. I was a middle classed person long after that and gave my kids what I could. Now I’m on disability and make too much for snap. I occasionally have to use the food pantries. So maybe I know what I’m talking about. I’ve seen and lived both sides of the coin. So until you live it, you have no right to judge, if God forbid a parent gives her kids Cheetos. That might be the only pleasure they get.

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      Tightening the program won’t fix the problem. Education will fix the problem. Lowering the cost of fruit will help even more. I can give my 3 kids snacks for a week on a $1 bag of generic cheese puffs or a $5 bag of oranges (if they are on sale). There are tons of coupons for Cheetos yet no coupons for oranges. Do I fill their bellies with Cheetos so they will do their homework or fill them with 1/5 of an orange and let them attempt homework while they are still hungry. Corporations know that cheap food is preferable to food stamp recipients so they make cheap food and get their chunk of the food stamp pie along with all the tax breaks and subsidies they get from the government yet nobody seems to look down on Chester the Cheetos cheetah for getting food stamps.

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      In the words of the great Ann Landers, people need to M.Y.O.B. Mind Their Own Business. Passing judgement on someone based on a, at most, 5 minute observation is irresponsible and thoughtless.

      Walk a mile before passing judgement

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      Thing is, Ellen, the flaming hot cheetos are so much cheaper than the fruit, it makes sense to them to buy those empty calories to satisfy the hunger their children complain about….especially if those cheetos are on sale.

      Sad situation….

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      Not ashamed to tell it like it is

      I don’t understand why you of all people (a school teacher) would have the gall to say anything about what students have in their lunch bag. If you would find out how much in fs you qualify for and then try to plan 30 days of meals you would be buying the cheapo junk foods as buying the fresh veggies, fruits and healthy other items you would not get a weeks worth of groceries. Then what would you do to survive the rest of the month… Ohhh yeah you would go right down to the food banks and hope and pray they have bread and milk this week because all those fs just didn’t go far enough.

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      One of the main reasons that people purchase these non-healthy “junk” foods is very simple. They are less expensive than fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat/protein. Even though someone may be receiving food benefits, it does not mean that those benefits are an adequate monetary amount to feed nutritious meals to their families. Why do all the high & mighty ones never take into consideration that expensive clothes, electronics etc. may be gifts from extended family, not mom and dad squandering food money?! I hope that my children never have an ignorant insensitive teacher such as you.

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      Have you ever compared prices, Barb? Your money, whether cash or EBT, won’t go very far if you shop in the Produce aisle. Sure, it’s better for you, but it’s also downright expensive. Junk food tends to be much cheaper, which is why you see so many poor people eating it. Maybe if some of those millions in farm subsidies trickled down to the consumer in cheaper prices, things would be different.

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      Your 35 cents in taxes a month that goes to the Food Stamp program, doesn’t feed many people. Mind your business. It’s bad enough that these people are struggling without people like you wanting to make their hard time harder.

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      Ellen you would also bitch if you seen someone buying bulk grain & organic everything with their food stamps like I do. You know what I hear all the time? “Oh it must be nice to be able to afford fancy food off of the backs of working folks” Or “Oh maybe I should get on EBT so I can by organic food!”

      I worked hard all my life in tell my neck was broke & while undergoing a 17 hour surgery to fix my neck my heart gave out FOUR time’s!
      I then had to have heart surgery. I have had several heart attacks & at any given time could have another & or could suffer paralysis. I try to eat the best I can & yet people like you and this women in this story can do nothing but judge us…
      In the last two months my food stamps have been lowered by 30$ with no reason what so ever given… Guess it will make all those haters out there something to be happy about aye?

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      I’m going to agree with Ellen. With the paltry amount of money given to families for food through the food stamp program, why should any of it be spent on junk food? How can a family even afford to feed itself for the month if the benefit is wasted on Cheetos? I would definitely like to see the dollar amount per person raised and regulations against spending the money on garbage. I know Bob said a single person on food stamps might get up to $400 but I don’t know too many people who get that princely amount. Most get a small fraction of that and it is truly shameful. I’m a teacher, too, and hear a lot from my students that their families run out of food before the month is up.

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        JC, it is used on junk food BECAUSE it is paltry. That paltry amount, as you so accurately call it, IS NOT ENOUGH to feed oneself, much less a family, for the month. Do you not understand that?

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        JC, it is used on junk food BECAUSE it is paltry. That paltry amount, as you so accurately call it, IS NOT ENOUGH to feed oneself, much less a family, for the month. Do you not understand that?

        You would love to see regulations on what they can buy? OH, GRAND ONE, who the hell do you think you are to tell someone what they can or cannot buy

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          William, I clearly stated that the amount families get should be raised. We can all agree that the benefits are not enough. I would also like to see benefits include such items as toilet tissue and cleaning products which I believe they currently do not since they are also necessities. To answer your question- items that are allowed to be purchased are already regulated. If a family does not receive enough to prepare nutritious meals as it is, why waste what little you have on crap? One poster stated that she fills her children up on Cheetos. The $3 she spent on that could have bought food that will enhance her children’s health. Not everything healthy is expensive. And, yes, I understand that not everyone has an oven or a way to get fresh produce. But for the average person, it is doable. How do I know? Because I’ve done it myself. I don’t judge anyone for receiving help, that person could be me again or just about any of us. None of us are immune to hard times. It is just my opinion that the food purchased should be food and not chips and soda.

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      Food stamps can be a bridge to prosperity. They can also be a lifesaver in troubled times. $90/mo. won’t buy much but it helps to make it through.
      What these Ignorant folks that criticize EBT don’t realize is they may need them sometime also. No one is immune from the whims of the universe.
      They seem to be short sighted enough to think every grocery store owner in America will march on Washington to stop this program.
      They are probably the same folks that think every business owner that employs Illegal Immigrants will be there too lobbying for fences at all the borders to keep cheap labor out of the country.
      As long as we have a society that blames each other for our situation, we will be in our situation.

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      I can’t believe that there are still people out there that don’t know about the free cell phone program. The poor don’t buy the phones. The phones are donated by people who buy new cell phones and by companies who have phones that were returned, due to defects, or the phones simply didn’t sell.

      Bandwidth belongs to all people but the government controls it and leases it to companies such as Verizon. Part of their lease agreement requires the companies donate free time to the poor, each month, so that the poor can call for emergency services and make appointments. I’ve known people to get iPhones through the program.

      The second issue is the choice of food. Jerky is a good choice for people who have no means to cook or a place to sit down and eat a regular meal. It is usually a fairly cheap source of protein and the peppers, in the jerky, help prevent intestinal problems caused by inadequate sanitation.

      The same goes for snacks such as potato chips. A lot of healthy food, such as milk, cheese, vegetables, fruit, and such, require refrigeration and a place to cook the food. How do you fix and store those things if you live in a cardboard box and have to use a friend’s address to get benefits and attend school? He may be limited to potato and vegetable chips.

      I learned this lesson the hard way. I used to work with seniors and was dismayed at how some of them would take three or four helpings of the daily meal at the senior center. They would stuff rolls and other portable foods in their pockets until there was no more room.

      One day I was shopping at our local grocery and saw one of the seniors in the pet food isle. She was checking labels on dog food and finally selected a few cans to put in her cart. When we chanced to meet, a few minutes later, I asked her what type of dog she had. She said she didn’t have a dog.

      I happened to mention this to my boss who informed me the dog food was for personal use. The seniors would buy dog food to eat so they would have enough money for their medicine. She warned me that there would be times when I might see one of them slip a can of cat or dog food in their pockets, in the store, and I was not to say anything, to anyone, if that happened.

      I cried all the way home, that day, from frustration, anger, and pity that this woman, who worked her whole life, was forced to eat dog food and occasionally even have to steal it.

      I’m just saying that things aren’t always how they seem. When we make uninformed judgments about people we do them, and ourselves, a disservice. In your case, you were angered by the choice of food and the cell phone. I imagine the young man felt your anger and distain for him.

      I still tend to make snap judgments about people but now I correct myself. I’ve even been on the receiving end of people thinking I’m scamming the handicapped system.

      They can’t see that I only have half of a functioning heart so I cut them some slack. They don’t know that I tend to walk in circles if I don’t have my service dog to help me walk in a straight line.

      I try to remember when I was the one harshly, and inappropriately, judging other people. So when I see someone, I think might be gaming the system, I give myself a swift mental kick in the rear and remind myself that I don’t know the whole story. Until I do, I have no right to suspect the person of abusing the safety net that has been set up to help the disabled and poor.

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      Ellen,
      As a educator myself I can understand where you are coming from. As a single parent of two small children i can tell you from experience, that Meat, Fresh produce and stuff costs dearly and it is much cheaper to buy Ramen, Potoato Chips, Fruit Snacks, PB, Jelly and Bread then it is to buy Fresh Fish, Carrots, Apples, Bananas ect. You think that buying only the cheap things and that accepting gifts from others who only want whats best for the children involved is wrong, that is sad. Parents might spend the money for the cell phones (or it could be a gift, or on the account of a GRANDPARENT or AUNT/UNCLE) as a saftey issue to help keep track of the children and guide them the right way. NO pen and paper, well that is unfortunately the direction life is going. If you dont have electronic devices you are not getting ahead in life now. They way things are going one day we will carry only tablets to school and pens and pencils will be things of the past. As for the sense of ENTITLEMENT, well everyone is ENTITLED to be treated the SAME regardless of their or their parents short comings. Do you teacher older children? whos to say that older child might be responisble for watching the younger siblings for hours after school and thats why she/he has such a fancy phone.

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      “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ” Matthew 7: 1-5

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      Oh, so people on food stamps can’t eat flaming hot Cheetos if they want to? How do you know that they already have fruit at home, bought previously or given to them, or grown by them. You don’t know the circumstances, in other words.

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      I’m on foodstamps and have felt the boring eyes of the cashier and the people around me as I check out, judging every single item I purchase. It’s a pretty awful feeling when I’m paying for a bag of M&M’s, 2 boxes of ice cream, and a bag of chips and I know people are upset because I’m using EBT. But what they fail to realize is that those items are for my daughter’s birthday party because I can’t afford to take her and her friends out to the zoo or something, and you also can’t see the huge garden I’ve been harvesting all summer. The point of this whole article, which we must all bear in mind, is that you do not know what someone else is going through, you do not know why they’re using benefits, and you have no right to judge someone or be unkind to them simply because they are on SNAP or some other government program. I guarantee about 99% of the time, their stories would shock and surprise you, and you’d probably stand behind the government in saying “this person actually does deserve some assistance.”

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      I have to add my two cents to this pathetic rant! Whats up with the whole fruit vs. junk food BS? When I was a kid and my family was on food stamps, we ate beans and rice predominantly, some fresh veggies, but mostly frozen veggies. Very rarely did we have fresh fruit, and even more rare was it that we had junk food. Milk? Are you kidding me? If i asked for milk my mom would hand me a bag of that dehydrated crap and point to the kitchen sink. So, I never drank milk growing up, but I turned out okay. I’m not even malnourished! Go figure! Soda? Nobody should drink that crap! Learn to drink water people! For Christ’s sake, its the only thing you should drink! Guess what else? Now I’m putting myself through college and l am back on the rice and beans diet. It was my birthday last week, what do you think I did about it? Nothing! Can you believe that? I didn’t even go out and drop $100 on junk food cause I was feeling sorry for myself! Who knew it was possible? Someday I will have steak and lobster on my birthday, and when that day comes, I will cherish every second of it. There’s no way you can justify the “I have to eat junk food because fresh fruit is too expensive” BS. As somebody that actually goes out there and grabs life by the cojones, this is my contribution to the discussion. Nobody prefers beans and rice over steak and lobster, but most of the world still eats beans and rice because they have to. Perhaps what all you people need, is to read a book or watch a documentary instead of the disney channel. How’s that for a thought? Put down the soda, and turn on the faucet. Get rid of your TV. Nobody has time for that crap! Go on a walks instead of sprawling on your reclining sofa with cheetos smeared all over your fat face! Huh? “Well actually sir, its doritos on my face, not cheetos. Please don’t stereotype, sir…” Shut the (expletive) up and listen to what I’m saying. Get outside of your little bubble and into the real world. My parting words? Give rice and beans a chance!

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    I grew up in Republican la-la land where the unanimous consensus was that everyone on food stamps is just lazy and won’t get a job. Take a look at my aunt. She’s a newly divorced single mom with three boys and a very high rent payment who works 12 hours a day 6 days a week for $1.60 more than minimum wage in my state. She needs food stamps to feed the family. The GOP’s answer to someone who works long hours and still can’t make ends meet is “get a job?”

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      The problem with this Trav, is that many of the Republicans that you are referring to are not particularly well-off either. They have trouble affording these very same luxuries, so It is frustrating watching people buy these non-essentials with government money.

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        Why are they watching? they should mind their own business. If someone is on EBT and wants to buy a cake or something for themselves, so what? Are they never supposed to have anything ‘luxurious’ for themselves because they are poor?

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    Say what you will, Sue. Doesn’t change the fact that you’re a mooch in life. Also doesn’t change the fact that people who aren’t worthy to lick the soles of my shoes will disagree.

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      If you were even being serious – dang, what a waste of oxygen, Rene. One day perhaps you will find yourself disabled, living in chronic pain or starving, and I hope you remember the toxic venom you just spewed everywhere. Karma’s a bitch.

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      Ellen, pound wise pound foolish. The money that you feel is wasted on food is a drop in the bucket for the wall street bankers have squandered. They are the ones you should be angry about.

      Rene The opposite is true for you . You are not worthy to lick any ones boots. You need to get counseling. You will die sad and alone. You probably are living hat way now. Values and morals are based on kindness and compassion. One of the greatest minds said that we are judged by how we take care of the weakest.

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      What the hell are you talking about and who the hell are you talking to, Rene? There is no one on the thread by the name of Sue! One too many hits on the bong today?

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        Rene, you are all that is wrong with this whole issue. You look down your nose at people you think you are better than, I’ll bet that if your closet door was open we would be knee deep in skeletons. If I ever see you or your kind do this to someone, I will personally remove your head from your ass and smack you in your arrogant mouth.

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        Sue is the author of the letter, Bob. I do believe Rene to be a troll.

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        The author’s name is Sue and I believe that is who Rene is typing to. That said I think it takes a very small person to say that a disabled person shouldn’t receive assistance and that its okay to look down on others because they are incapable of working or because other lowbrow people won’t pay them a decent wag to work because they are disabled. A part of me hopes the people that look down their nose at others for needing help have to beg in rags when they need help.

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        Bob, the author of the original letter is named Sue.

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      Rene, you are a useless human whom I would proudly kick the ass of. I hope that you lose all of whatever income that you have and have to be a moocher. Your soles won’t be licked, but your stupid ass should be kicked.

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      Everyone needs, and receives, help at some point in their life. Even if you refuse to recognize it, it’s still true. We’re all in the same boat, so to say.

      The fact that you feel you can talk down to Sue, and anyone who disagrees with you, speaks volumes about you.

      Sooner or later, most of us realize that the only thing that separated us from someone else’s life and issues was the flip of a few coins.

      My advice to you – Seek your peace, rediscover compassion, learn to understand others who are different.

      Who knows where we will all be in ten years, eh?

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      Rene… reading comprehension is your friend.. if you had been able to put words into sentences and understood their meaning, you would realize that the food stamps being used by the author are those of her 28 year old disabled son. She is a tax-paying citizen who has paid into the system her son is now drawing out of.

      Again, education is your friend. Your local HS might be able to provide you with a vocational reading program to enhance your skills and abilities.. I suggest you look into that.

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      Rene, my wish for you is the gift of needing government assistance.

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      Sue’s not the one on SNAP. If you can’t even figure out what the hell is going on, you have no opinion to express.

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      I’ve seen arrogance in my day, PLENTY of it, but yours takes the cake! Who do you think you are?! Sitting in judgment of everyone else whom you don’t like?! I wouldn’t even TOUCH your hoity-toity shoes with a bloody BARGE POLE! I hope that one day you get some compassion, but I highly doubt it! You’ve made your bed, “sir” (and you can bet I use that term LOOSELY) and now you have to lie in it. As for me, I have always made do with what I have had, and with the sense I have. I am on disability, that is true, and I use SNAP, and it’s people like you who make us feel ashamed that we’re not like you that makes me angry. Judging from your arrogant attitude, I would not WANT to be like you! But like I said, I don’t think you will ever change, or get any kind of compassion. For some people, it’s not even worth the effort to waste, and sadly, you are one of ‘em!

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      Rene, Wow. Not worthy to lick your feet. You sound as if you are a princess, guess what princess? We the common people don’t care. We the common people could give a rat’s bottom about whether or not you think we are worthy. I’d like to see you walk a day in the life of one of us. You probably would not even last an hour. Grow up.

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    I will spare all the nitty gritty details, but when I was child, there was a point when my family was in dire poverty (I can even count homelessness as an experience that I’ve had). My parents hated asking for help, but they did get food stamps for three months. My mother was treated so badly by a cashier in the store and other onlookers, that my parents decided to stop getting food stamps. (To add an extra dash of irony, my mother was working as a cashier at the time!) My family was plunged into months of food shortage and hunger. I will never forget that time period. I was a child, and I went hungry. The next time you feel inclined to make a disdainful comment or face when you see someone using an EBT card, think about the possible consequences of your derision.

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    Thank God for the ebt cards and pantries. I have my 3 granddaughters and my husband works ‘full’ time, and I’m part time. We get no help from the ‘mother’ and struggled on the income for just us 2 but now with 3 more mouths to feed, it is really a struggle. Don’t look down on the honest working people raising someone elses children. The amount of benefit you get depends on your income too. Don’t forget that. And if I do have a decent van, it’s paid for. Should I sell it? I think not.

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      How about don’t look down on *anybody*. If you are not experiencing the struggle yourself, you have no idea what is going on with that person. And we only have your side of the story. My ex-MIL probably talked about me in exactly the same way as she was raising my son. The part of the story she never told anyone was that I had to put her son in jail and she pretended to be concerned about me for as long as it took her to convince me to let her take care of my son til I got on my feet. If I could have afforded the lawyer to get him back after she had him, I’d have never sent him away. She and her husband (my ex’s stepfather) had been trying for their own kids for years and I was the answer to their prayer, a fact I didn’t find out til almost five years later. And you better bet I didn’t send her any money. Number one, she lied to me; number two, she kidnapped my son (and in the shell shock I was in at the time, it didn’t even occur to me to call the cops); number three, she and her husband were both working and whatever financial issues they faced in keeping my son were entirely preventable in the first place; number four, they’ve gone around all this time calling me all manner of names but I wasn’t the crazy uncontrolled diabetic with the alcoholic husband who got arrested at least once, IN FRONT OF MY SON, for drunken rampaging.

      After that fun experience I don’t trust anyone “raising their grandchildren” anymore. No, you DON’T get a medal. You are doing what you are supposed to do and for all I know, you weren’t supposed to do it in the first place.

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    Never judge someone else. You never know when you might be in their shoes. Only God gives & he takes away. You can have it all today & it be gone tomorrow.

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    I my self am on aid both my three year old and I have an allergy to latex,Mine being so bad that it is hard for me to even walk outside.Going to the store means I have to take a hand full of meds just to keep my throat from closing,Not that it stops the feeling of my skin being on fire.With our allergy we can not eat fruit it causes us to have latex reactions that are life threating,so I say to all of you that think just because we are on aid you can tell us what we should or should not buy,shove it you don’t know me you don’t know our story.And by the way I did pay into this when I was able to work.It is sad that people feel they have the right to look down on us “the poor” I pray that you never find your self in the place where you need help. To everyone who needs the help of foos stamps or other aid I am sorry you have to feel this way God bless you.

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    Normally I comment on geek culture but this, I think, requires me to get personal. I’m considered disabled because of mental illness (major depressive disorder, borderline personality disorder among others). I currently get SSI and EBT benefits, though I may lose the EBT card soon. I live with family because I can’t drive, also because of the above mentioned problems.

    Anyone who thinks that applying for EBT benefits is something that people just decide to do on a whim are kidding themselves, or just plain lying. For me, applying for those benefits was one of the most humiliating experiences of my life. I always had a good work ethic, and I still do. So are a lot of people trying to get off the system, but you never hear those stories.

    What I’m trying to say is never let anyone look down on you for needing help, and never be afraid to ask for it. It took me seven years to get the help I needed, and I had nothing. Literally nothing, except lodging with my parents. No assets, no money, no job, nothing, and I was denied over and over again. Anyone saying it’s easy has never been through the system.

    Lift your head up and don’t let them get you down. Even they needed help at some point in their lives, maybe not the same kind as you; but they still needed it from somewhere.

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    We’ve been on food stamps for ten years running. And it’s sad to say, but there’s not a whole lot you can buy on the limited amount they give you for married couples with no children.

    So while we do buy chips, candy, chocolate, and some junk food with our benefits from time to time, we also buy meat, bread, milk, cereal, canned goods, and non-perishables that will last us more than a month.

    Given our routine, we “stock up” every two months on the important stuff–we make sure that we get the food that we need. But we also spoil ourselves every now and then because we love one another and want to see ourselves happy and content.

    Do you know how much ice cream we go through a month because my wife loves chocolate peanut butter cup with fudge ice cream? Or how about some of the more expensive brands of ice cream that makes us both happy? It’s things like that we buy more than anything because we just love ice cream.

    But to those of you who believe that we’re just blowing our food stamps or selling them for money and drugs should do a serious introspective look on the actual number of people whom have limited amounts of money while faced with exorbitant prices of even the most basic essentials: NOTHING’S CHEAP ANYMORE!

    So having food stamps and using them becomes a monthly game of “what can we do this month”?

    It would be nice if we got an extra $50-$100 in food stamps to help us cover the remaining week that we’re out of them, but I doubt the GOP or their stingy, selfish, allies would go for it.

    As Rand Paul once said, “People don’t have a right to food, water, or health care.”

    So I guess making sure that we’re well fed and happy makes no little difference to people like him.

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      How can you read this and not hear the irony?? You treat yourself to expensive ice creams and chocolates and then have to scape by to be able to eat by the end of the month before it “ran out”? It’s not Monopoly money!! Someone else worked hard so that you could have your EBT to begin with and then you “treat” yourself and complain that the “stingy” govt won’t give you more??! I can’t even understand any reality where this makes a bit of sense. My husband and I both work very hard for a living. We both went into public service careers so we do not make enough to be able to afford the finer things in life. We have student loans to pay among our other bills. We don’t have cable or take vacations. We have to BUDGET our monthly income. Why is it different for me to have to budget but not a person on EBT? I wish we could afford the fancy ice cream, but it isn’t in our budget. Our priorities lie in making sure we have enough healthy food to eat so we do not get sick. Because if we get sick, we do not get paid. My boss would think I was a total nut if I went to him and asked for an extra $50-$100 a month so that I may be able to buy whatever I want at the grocery store instead of what I need. Absolutely nuts.
      And why is it okay to use an anecdote to write a story about why anecdotes aren’t reliable?
      It irks me to no end when people say, ” so poor people can’t have junk food?” Um no, poor people can have all the junk food they can buy with their own money, just like the non poor people. But no, I don’t think someone should be able to use an EBT card to buy candy and crap, it’s there so that people will not go hungry, not so someone can have as many snicker bars as the please as if it is a right! It is there for a good reason and should be used as if it were money that you did work for, not like a bonus.
      Those of you who are complaining that no one should be looking over EBT users shoulders to see what they buy are the same people demanding transparency for other taxpayer money expenditures.

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        I never thought I’d see the day that some entitled idiot would clutch their pearls over poor people eating Snickers bars. Pathetic.

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        More interesting to point out: “We’ve been on food stamps for 10 years”…really??? …I was on food stamps for a few months while I was pregnant and couldn’t work…as soon as I was able, I went back to work…and my children and me certainly weren’t eating ice cream and candy…they got cookies, the cheap ones and I rationed them out…that was their dessert…I’m with you on this one…I budgeted and planned every meal and snack for the entire month and I cooked those meals and snacks, too!

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        So, again, poor people are not supposed to have anything other than bread and milk because they’re poor, right?

        You don’t subsidize anyone’s EBT…your taxes that go into it amount to a whopping ~11 cents.

        What you need and what you can afford are two different things. You cannot, on the crappy amount of food stamps, buy enough healthy food to last a month so you buy the junk. When one is hungry, anything that can fill that space goes.

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    I have come into a situation where myself and my 9 month old daughter now need assistance. I was denied food stamps and it took all my mental strength to apply because of the stereotyping. But I did and was denied.
    The other day I was in the store and was appalled by what the lady in front of me had and how she got to pay! She had the EBT card.
    I then proceeded to check out and once I got to the vehicle I cried. I cried because of what the lady had actually purchased for herself. All I could think of was if my daughter and I were fortunate to receive assistance it would not have been on those items. We would have actually used it as intended. It breaks my heart that there are truly people who need assistance who do not receive it. It breaks my heart for those being judged for having it and are truly appreciative and utilize it. Then it breaks my heart that I have witnessed first hand why stereotyping exists.
    I truly believe that with EBT it should have struck guidelines on what may be purchased. I hope only the best to everyone who may be struggling and wishes for better futures.

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      stop looking at others’ carts.

      Who are you to say what someone does or does not purchase with it? If they fuck it up it is themselves who will be suffering, not you. Is it jealousy or something: I couldn’t get it so I hate those who do?

      It’s not good that you with your daughter could not get it. The rules need changing

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    I am truly sorry this lady had to endure the ignorance of some people but I am really concerned about the commentary that preceded the letter. I am a conservative and I don’t judge people for what they are going through. I have no insight into their lives so how could I possibly judge them. I am sure there are just as many if not more liberals who would act the way this judgmental person did so it’s not fair to single out conservatives. Makes me wonder if this person is a liberal.

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      There probably are some liberals who judge the poor, yes. But it isn’t *built into the liberal ideology*. They are actually *going against* liberal ideology to be judging poor people like that. Can you say the same about conservatism? I doubt it.

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    The most telling comments are those criticizing what is purchased with food stamps. My experience has been that those same folks complain about Michelle Obama and her eat healthy and get up and move programs.

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    The author notes “There are many, many extenuating circumstances…”
    Here’s the definition of extenuating: verb adjective: extenuating; gerund or present participle: extenuating.
    1. make (guilt or an offense) seem less serious or more forgivable.
    “there were extenuating circumstances that caused me to say the things I did”
    synonyms: excuse, mitigate, palliate, make allowances for, make excuses for, defend, vindicate, justify…
    No one should have to defend their station in life, whatever it may consist of. To assume ‘extenuating circumstances’ presupposes and perpetuates a stereotype; that living in poverty is due to a mistake, a lack of something needed to succeed, a ‘choice’ to drop out.
    There are 12,800,000 Americans on welfare, 46,700,000 on food stamps, 5,600,000 on unemployment. 4.1% of all Americans are on welfare. The yearly expenditure for the welfare program is $131.9 billion. That amounts to $10,304 per person, per year, on welfare. In contrast, the defense department spent $689 billion in 2012.
    Please don’t try to convince us of the absurdity that living in poverty is a lifestyle choice. Were it not for the fact that corporations are on welfare, the wealthiest people in this country are on welfare, half the industries in this country are on welfare, and our politicians are being paid great sums to do as little as humanly possible are on welfare. We have poverty in this country as an outgrowth of the migration of capital from the working and middle classes to the 1%. Many low wage earners collect welfare because they cannot survive without it. Major industries pay low wages because apparently, no one can prevent them from doing that. The tax payers pick up the true costs of corporate welfare, which are roughly $100 billion a year. Add that to the defense budget and you have a deficit. Any remediation of that deficit is being disproportionately required of the lowest earners.
    $689 billion in 2012.

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      Read an article earlier today that said the average American household pays $6000 in corporate welfare every year. I don’t hear anyone whining and complaining about Walmart, or McDonalds or GE’s shopping habits!
      I completely agree with Kimball’s statements.
      If we paid a decent living wage in this country a lot of the individual, but not all, welfare wouldn’t be needed.

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    First of all, why wasn’t the son who was supposed to be “introduced” to EBT with the mom and daughter?
    Secondly, and most important in my book, the couples who have both spouses in school at the same time—too bad. You need to make a choice, one works while the other goes to school and then switch. It’s what my husband and I did…it’s a CHOICE that you have.
    Most people who are on EBT don’t have a choice about it…you do, so stop complaining.
    And, I’m a Republican. And I was raised on food stamps. I make it a point to make eye contact and smile at people who are on EBT, because I know that they are more than likely embarrassed.
    I do have a real problem “understanding” the people I see with Coach handbags, iPhones and Escalades…that they are loading with the groceries they bought with their EBT cards. When I was a kid and we were on food stamps, we had no car, no phone, nothing. There needs to be more oversight in general with this program, but it is needed.

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      Hi. I used to work at DHS. I can tell you heartbreaking story after heartbreaking story about how some get those iphones and such. Most of these items are gifts (from parents) as anyone who wants to give the benefit of the doubt can figure out. As for my truly horrific cases who had no one, they did things that were once unimaginable to me in order to have one or two luxuries here and there. Bottom line is that you can choose to ASSUME the worst about others or you can choose to BELIEVE the best; it really simply shows/defines who you are, not them.

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      You are never going to get out of poverty if you have no car in most areas of the United States. Unless you lived in an area where it was possible to live without the car and still get a decent job, you had to have a car before you got completely out of poverty. Give me a break, I’ve seen what it is to go without a car and I know the obstacles involved.

      People don’t necessarily stay in poverty their whole lives. Sometimes they get the Coach bag before something goes wrong for them. A whole lot of people, in fact, had things go wrong for them in ’08 and were riding pretty high before then. Actually, is Coach even THE in-thing anymore? I know it was in the early to mid ’00s, but I don’t keep track. That alone should date the poor people with nice purses for you. And it doesn’t matter if you can sell the stuff. I have a dear friend who is very poor except he owns his home (and he had to sell away a piece of his future to make it happen) and he has several antiques from his family that he tries to sell when he needs ready cash for a medical emergency or what have you. He’s got another year to go until Medicare. But the thing about selling off property is that it’s for something you need, and then you HAVE to spend the money, and then it’s all gone. I’ve had to do that little song and dance too. Eventually you run out and you’re still poor.

      So if it’s going to be like that, you might as well hold on to the few decent things you own because you never know, you might need to go on a job interview later and who can afford a new purse for that? Believe you me, they WILL judge you if you go in looking shabby, and Dress for Success does not extend to every geographical area of the U.S.

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        Not ashamed to tell it like it is

        This is intended to go to all the unforgiving narrowminded people out there. I agree with those who have had to break down at the last moment to keep their family together or feed them. I think that this one statement will turn the thoughts to more understanding. Goodwill, thrift stores, and 2nd time arounds all sell items that the “rich’ throw away and yes they might have gotten it last year or even this year but I bet the wear and tear shows on the inside.

        I was once in need of assistance, I had to leave my childrens father due to some conflicts and with 4 children under the age of 18 it was impossible for me to get work as it would cost more in babysitting fees, after school programs, and other issues so I will leave it with that. Just like some of the others on here, my mother worked at JFS and everyone knew me and my children because of the pictures my mother had up. THAT is so degrading to know your mothers’ coworkers can see that I don’t want to get the help but at the same time know I need it and I pray that others didn’t talk behind hers or my back. The reason I don’t receive them now is that I finally received my back disability check from the gov’t, and no it wasn’t for not working before any assumptions are made, I was in the military and was injured to the point that I could not work if I wanted to. In any case I would like to say “Look in YOUR own back yard first, and maybe you will see a few gardens there need tended to…

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        No car for ten years. I walk to work, I’ve walked as much as two hours.

        Guess how much money I SAVE by not paying for insurance, or gas, or repairs.

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      Ever stop to think that they weren’t always in this situation and that they had those nice things before they found themselves here?…stop being so judgmental…some people on food stamps weren’t always poor and haven’t lost all self-respect…why should people have “look” poor just to eat?

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      Hey, guess, what…they might have been financially stable at one time and OWN those things (as in purchased with money).

      Guess what, that phone they have, could be either
      1)someone else’s plan
      2) part of the governmental phone program with 250 minutes started in the 80s.

      Car? it could be what they own and sleep in.

      So, no car, no phone…how do you suggest they hunt for jobs?

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    I have been shopping for about 50 years, and for the life of me, since they stopped using the printed food stamps, one has to really be staring to figure out if a person is using a credit card, an atm card, or an ebt card… If you are paying that close attention to another person’s business, you have more problems than just nosiness.

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    Wow I really cant believe how many people actually pay attention to what someone else has in their shopping cart and what type of card they use. That is something that has never interested me in the least. Of course I tend to mind my own business when Im in the grocery store. I am really concerned that people are looking when your paying and could see your pin number or something. I always look away when Im close enough to someone to see them punching numbers. People really get a damn life and keep your freaking eyes and nose to yourself!

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    I remember when the government actually gave you the food and not stamps/ebt. It was the republicans that did away with the program as it was first established. It seems that they wanted their cronies to actually get the money being spent by the recipients. You know the “food” packers and manufacturers weren’t getting theirs so the food program was done away with. Then “those” people on food stamps had to deal with the inability to store their food. If you don’t have a stove or a fridge or home or money to pay for electricity then you have to buy and consume what the puritans call junk food.

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    Back in the day before EBT cards my mom, sister, & I were at the grocery. My mom was adding up the items in the cart & going through the booklet of foodstamps. Due to numerous health issues my mother is a woman of size, my sister & I were typical scrawny kids. Two women, dressed to the nines with perfect hair & nails walked past looking down their noses at my mom. One says to the other, “look at that fat cow. I bet she eats all the food & doesn’t give those poor
    girls any.” The only reason I kept quiet was I knew my mother didn’t hear & I didn’t want her to know. They knew NOTHING of our lives – my mom skipping meals so we could eat, illegally going to college (we had a wonderful social worker who looked the other way so mom could better herself), her numerous illnesses & medications, & the most often non-existent child support. I have such a hard time keeping bad thoughts out of my head when I see what looks like well-to-do women…stereotyping goes both ways I guess :-/

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    Between my current job and the one before it, I was unemployed for fourteen months (right in the midst of the Great Recession). My husband is disabled, and could only find part-time work (which is all he could have done physically anyway), and I could not find even a part-time job (I tried). We had EBT for awhile, and I was appalled at the attitude of cashiers (“Oh, great. Another one on EBT!” they’d announce to the people behind us in line, as if it were any of their business, or as if EBT is any harder to process than a debit card for a checking account) and others who found out we were using the program. Even friends of ours, even knowing that we had been on the program, to this day, will make comments about people who are supposedly “gaming” the system, and when I point out that we used it, will mutter, “But that’s different.” I’m still unclear as to how.

    Sue (author of the letter), you have my utter sympathy. Some people are truly obnoxious, and you had the misfortune to meet one of them.

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    There’s good and bad to many different situations with food stamps…

    I get no help from any other source than myself, so I don’t feel bad when people make fun of me or talk down to me about paying with food stamps. I am a single mother and have 3 dependents (2 in diapers & my mother) and am the sole provider with only a part time job. Most times I end up making the people feel like shit about themselves when they think to ‘call me out’ on how I must be soooo lazy etc.

    I buy my kids quite a bit of ‘junk food’ as some people term it, but what people don’t know or see is how small of portions I let them have with as balanced of meals as I can provide. FS still doesn’t give me enough for the month to feed us all. I go without quite often so they can eat.

    People shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover is the simplest way to put it! Just because Jane Doe is playing the system doesn’t mean John Doe is lying too.

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    “We have all come across those chain emails and heard those second-hand stories about how someone saw someone else pay for their lobster, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. at the grocery store with food stamps, and then watched them walk out and get into a nice Lexus or Cadillac or whatever.”

    First of all I’ve never seen anything like this and know of no store that allows people on food stamps to buy these items with food stamps. If they do, they are probably getting some kind of kick back or doing it *out the back door*.

    @Yolanda: That’s EXACTLY what *they* want.

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      Glenda, the fact that someone put that in a chain email proves that they were misinformed about what food stamps can buy and throws the credibility of the email in question

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      Many who get food stamps also get cash assistance as well and that cash is available through the same card, it can be used to purchase non food items just like any other debit card. The card has to be swiped a second time to purchase the non food items.

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    I am one of those people on food stamps. Not by choice, it’s because I can not earn enough to feed my son. So I swallow my pride in order to feed my son.

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    **As Rand Paul once said, “People don’t have a right to food, water, or health care.”

    Oh YES we do!! Every single person on this planet DESERVE and have a RIGHT to food, water and health care. Who does he think he is? Uncaring selfish greedy bastard is what he and his ilk are.

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    @ Michelle Bressi, It is Dire Straits, not straights

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    @Tanya: I’m so sorry for your struggles. When my daughter was a baby I had food stamps, and back then there were stipulations on what you could and couldn’t buy with them. I think there is now too but maybe more relaxed. I know you can’t buy prepared food with them, like sub sandwiches that Safeway sells, You can’t buy booze or cigarettes with them, nor any paper products, Don’t know how you’re supposed to pay for toilet paper or toothpaste. It’s just so sad.

    My moms house was paid off and she only got about 600-700 in Social Security after my step-dad passed away and all she could get on food stamps is $10 a month. It was so sad. We helped as much as we could so she got by. But it’s just depressing and disgraceful. We should not have ANY hungry people in the United States.

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      You can buy prepared food with them, Glenda, as long as it is cold. You cannot buy hot prepared food. A sub is allowed.

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      Glenda: I think you may be confusing “food stamps” with “WIC”. There are still stipulations on what you can and cannot purchase with WIC, and they are very stringent, down to having to get certain sizes of some products. Food stamps, the restrictions are simply that you have to buy something recognizably “food”, not alcohol, cigarettes, or toiletries.

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        Even now there are some restrictions as to “energy drinks”. Some stores allow them, and the next store will make you pay cash for them. it is just how they set up their cash registers. And, lobster would be allowed; but very few food stamp recipients would waste their few benefits on such a high cost item. Food stamps are only meant to supplement your food budget, not BE your food budget.

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    The sad point is I have had a friend complain about the fancy rims on cars and the state vouchers that pay for them. Bad when even that tire places cringe and say how sick it makes them. There are people who play the system well and have nice cars with spinning rims and then there are those who struggle from day to today and have to make choices like medicine or a new pair of shoes for your child. Or junking your vehicle to pay your electric bill. To pay one bill and let another go the next month. Or having to buy junk food cause the good for you food is too expensive. food stamps (EBT) though for some is very small and one thing can make it smaller. Like a $12 raise a month in income for some loses you $20-30 in food stamps.

    Reforms need to be made. Some of them are out there, but they are not out there enough and Lexus driving, Ebt card holding persons give those who a struggling a bad name.

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      This is a interesting thing many years ago I saw a bummer sticker that said “Work hard Billions on Welfare depend on you”. I want to walk up to the woman with her bummer sticker and say thank you for working so hard. I have two children I work a minimum wage job and am going to school trying to support my family. and because as your bummer stick on your car says you work hard to help people like me have the benefits we need. I do hope that the program exist should you or any of your family have to use it since I still pay those same taxes right along with you.

      Many people do forget that even people getting food stamps still have to pay taxes. Some may get them back at the end of the year but not all do.

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      To Play Devil’s Adovocate: Who’s to say the car, might not be the only nice thing they own. It could have been a gift. they might have decided they needed a GOOD car to get to work. Maybe they commute 50 miles one way.

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    I have used food stamps in the past. I don’t remember if anyone looked down on me or not. If someone did, then that is a sure fire indication of how small that person is. Maybe someone in such a position needs our sympathy. Maybe not. But whoever it is or whatever someone deserves, it’s a waste of time and energy to feel resentment. That is just giving away free space in my head that could be used by a much better tenet.

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    I went without food for so long I started passing out all the time. My neighbors brought me food so I wouldn’t just starve to death. As a 55 yr old female who used to live a middle income lifestyle; who raised 2 children without any financial support at all from anyone, including any government programs; who found herself laid off in 2008 due to no fault of her own and not able to find work for so long… I was mortified to ask for help.

    The kindness of my neighbors who fed me for several weeks gave me the strength to go apply for food stamps – which meant FOOD. Not luxury. Just not starvation.

    Not everyone on food stamps is lazy, uneducated, wanting others to support them. Some of us darn near die before breaking down and asking for help.

    HELP – by the way- that I paid for as additional property taxes every single year. Yes, additional property taxes for social services. I finally needed those services. And it was darn tough to accept them. But I did not die from my own ego or other’s ignorance. Thank goodness. It has taken 9 months to gain 6 pounds (now up to 106 lbs) @ 5’6″.

    Let’s stop being so mean to others. You never know when YOU might be in my shoes. I certainly never thought I would be here either.

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    This letter was a lot nicer than mine would have been…I’m a cashier at my part time job…I see both sides…I see the ones that are embarrassed to have to use EBT and the ones that are mad about the ones that do…To the ones that are embarrassed and whisper “I’m using EBT”, I say “You don’t need to tell us that here, it shows up as “debit” on our side, just remember to always swipe your food card first, so that it takes off the appropriate taxes.”…to the ones that actually have the gall to whine to me about a customer that just used an EBT card? I respond by saying “That’s what we pay taxes for, so it’s there should you ever need it. No one should ever go hungry. Times are hard for everyone.”…I also see the ones that waste it on things that make me wonder if they know how to cook, that have no nutritional value and yes, even lobster. But hey, if they want to have 2 or three less meals this month just to treat themselves to lobster…who am I to say differently?…I’ve used food stamps, but when I did, I planned every meal, every snack (I rationed cookies! LOL) and cooked everything we ate for the entire month and left a little wiggle room in case we needed more milk or a birthday cake I might need to bake…and no, I never bought lobster or even nice steaks…I however, learned to cook healthy meals and snacks at a early age…that is where so many parents fail…they didn’t teach those skills to their children and they’re lost when put in such a position…

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    I use food stamps without shame to help supplement. I also spend about $600 out of pocket on food a month. I work hard daily to support my kids after becoming a single parent. I don’t buy junk food or processed crap. The food I buy does tend to be expensive. I only cook natural and wholesome foods. Even if I did that’s none of your business . There are worst things that we put in out bodies besides Cheetos.

    Foods expensive and it’s only getting worse.

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    I had a similar situation a couple of years a go. I worked for a doctor who did not pay well at all. Since i am a divorced mother with 3 children, caring for an elderly mother in my home, going to college part time. I qualified for FS.

    One day i went to the store and i picked up my items that i needed for my family, and i also got the cleaning supplies and household items that i needed. Since you can only buy food with the items on the EBT card, i was going to pay for my other items with cash. I must have made the cashier mad by thinking that she would just ring up my items normally so i may pay for them and leave. But she had other things in mind. After my items were rung up, and i was trying to pay for my items, she got nasty seeing i was paying for my things with EBT. She proceeded to announce to me and to the very long line of other customers that i did not have the money i needed to pay for any thing at that store. She then canceled my order and started putting my bags down on the floor.

    I explained that i did have enough and her talking to me nasty did not need to be. She then told me I was banned from the store. I insisted on paying for my items and she refused to ring me up. I waited patiently for the other cashier to ring me up and then i requested to talk to the manager on duty. I waited calmly and spoke gently as inside i was raging against the wrongness i felt.

    After about 25 min waiting just to speak to a manager i did get to talk to her and i requested she view the camera footage and audio. To which she told me she would, but i did not take her word for it.

    That night i filed a complaint with the Better Business B. and i also sent a letter in to the Dept of Agriculture about the employee harassment as it is against the rules and regulations for any discrimination toward FS customers, the stores must agree to this in order to be apart of the program. As this is what it was, plain and simple, discrimination and harassment.
    I did nothing wrong, said nothing wrong. I felt this lady was over stepping her place and needed some teaching about minding her own business. I do not need to explain to every Tom, Dick and Harry every time i went to use my EBT card, my personal financial reasons for needing assistance.

    I was contacted by the district manager for the tri-state area, who went on to explain to me how the store was sorry for the way i was treated. The video and audio were reviewed, and clearly the cashier was harassing me just because i was using assistance. I was then told that i was not banned from the store, and the cashier herself and manager were being retrained as we spoke.

    The man also stated that “not to get in to other peoples business, but the cashier herself was on FS, and was in no position to judge anyone”

    I know it can be hard to be in the class of ‘working’ poor, but NO ONE has the right to judge any one. My story may seem harsh, some people i told this story to said, they would have just blown the whole thing off, but that kind of behavior is part of the problem.

    By standing up for my self, i stood my ground for others like me. The store got a talking to by not only the BBB and the DOA, but also by the district manager.

    My story is simple, If you feel the need to judge someone else, how about take a step back and judge yourself first.

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    Bob Cull, I thank you for standing up for those in need. I for once obtained my first job when I was 13 years old. I am almost 60 years old now. I was always a workaholic and raised 3 sons on my own, without child support or assistance. I am grateful that even tough many times we struggled, the boys and I made it. They are independents adult and will be paying for their financial aid for college for many years to come. The reason I am telling you all this, is to address the Food Stamp controversy. It is a real shame that we are always ready to judge others without having walked in their shoes. For instance a few years ago, I had a terrible car accident that forced me to stop working. I had no other choice than to start collecting a disability check. I live from check to check every month and must admit, that as incredible as it might sound, I have lost a lot of weight because I cannot afford to eat. Most of the time I have to decide between buying my medications and eating. I have been ashamed to apply for food stamp. I fear the way people will look at me in the grocery store. if I pull out an EBT card. If my children were small, I guarantee that I would swallow my pride, in order to put food on the table for my sons. In this day and age many parents have no other choice than to apply for food stamps to feed their children. Not because they are lazy, no one I know wants to be on food stamps, there is just no other way out for many people. The value of the dollar has gone down, and as incredible as this may sound, employees are making a lot less for the same job I was doing in 1985. Does any one thinks for a minute that I wanted to lose my home and be unable to work? Sometimes life happens and there is nothing that we can do about it. I will no longer be ashamed to apply for food stamps. I am getting better now, but I will never be able to hold full time employment again. I have pay my dues by working all those years, my boys practically had to put themselves through school by working part-time since they turned 14 years old. Our system is geared to benefit the rich. The bankers pay less interests than my boys do for their student loans. The Republicans have changed America as we knew it. Each day you see more and more how there is no longer a middle class. There are the working poor, the wealthy and the poor like me who has no choice at this point than to live off a disability check which hardly covers all my expenses. The first deduction from my disability check is $110.00 for my medicare premium, I have to pay a deductible for specialist and medications, and believe me I pay a lot for medical visits and medications. Now to those snobs out there, I have this question, what are people like me supposed to do? What are single parents supposed to do? when they are earning salaries that have not gone up with the cost of living. I ask the Republicans, How can my children plan to have families, when they are paying an arm and a leg to pay off their student loans. My youngest son is an Iraq Veteran, who by the grace of God came back in one piece and so far appears to have been able to re adjust to civilian life. he is only 28 years old, my grandson is six years old and the war took its toll, causing my son’s divorce. He is a great father and support his son a 100%. How about those that never came back and their children are now part of a single parent household through no fault of their own. How dare you turn your backs on them because their parents did the right thing and went off to defend our country and spill their hero’s blood.
    Tell me Republicans, how many of your children have paid the price of war? while many of your friends have made a bundle out of the suffering of our children. How many of your wealthy sons have gone to shed blood for our country? My youngest left college to go serve his country and to this day is part of the reserve National Guards. Is it fair, for a mother like me to feel ashamed to ask at least for a little food assistance until I can find a part time job? I am telling you my story, so that maybe some of you snobs and so called Christians can stop and look at yourselves and stop judging others so harshly, instead of asking how you can help. Do you have any idea how our young veterans, in particular the wounded warriors can support their young families. Food Stamps is no longer a White, Black, Latino or any minority problem, it is an American problem. It is time, for you that are so quickly to judge others, to start offering assistance to those less privileged than you. The two wars alone have made many more single parent with younger children to raise. Do you have any idea, how expensive it is to raise a child these days? It is no longer what color anyone is, because our veterans come from every group in the USA, it is what are we going to do for those left orphans because of the wars started by you, Republican/Tea Party. To those fathers and mothers that are raising children you do whatever you need to do to give your children a good life, and that life should include shelter, food, clothes and the right to a good education. I know it is a lot harder to raise children now and a good education should be a right for all American children. Education is one of the way out of poverty, and even though the the Republican/Tea Party wants to deny an education to those that are not wealthy. Every child deserves a proper nutrition plus a place to learn with dignity, whether their parents can pay for it or not. How about some of you snob changing places and living our lives for a few days? Let see how you feel about it then. All that I have left to say is this, Lets remember 2014 and vote the Republicans/Tea Party candidates out of office. We must do it for the future of all children and for the future of the United States of America. I am sorry, I hope I am making sense, because I am angry at the ignorance of so many snobs. No American should be going to bed hungry, particularly our children, they are the future of this Nation. My apologies for the many things that I am unable to express at this point. I know that I am sick and tired of the snobs and the racists in this country.

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    Back in the ’90s, a good friend of mine got laid off and it took a while for him to get a new job. His wife told me that they were getting unemployment and were eligible for food stamps, but she declined the food stamps because she didn’t want to hear the comments get the stares when she drove her nice car to the store and wore her fur coat because it was cold. She preferred to skimp and save to make the unemployment dollars cover the food.

    A grocery clerk recently told me that my credit union debit card is the same colors as the local EBT cards. I thought that was funny. So, if people are just trying to be snoopy, they might get a glimpse of my card and think I’m buying with EBT. No one has said anything to me or made any comment (other than that one clerk).

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      The color of the card means nothing to many of these idiots, they are stuck in the 19th century and when they see someone pay with a card they assume that it is an EBT. Recently an idiot TEApub Congressman went on a rant about being in a store where he saw that everyone was “paying with EBT cards” and said that the cashier “seemed confused” when he paid in cash. He and others of his stripe, are so ignorant they don’t know that almost no one carries cash anymore, I seldom have more than $30 in my pocket and pay for everything with the debit card that my SSR is deposited on it is easier. The problem lies in the tiny little, tightly sealed narrow minds of the right. Their attitude is “I got mine to hell with the rest of you” or as in the case of narcissists like Paul Ryan, that their family was deserving of the assistance that they got but everyone else applying is just a lazy leech. Pond scum has more character than these losers.

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        I don’t mind folks that need some help getting help, but I despise those that seem to think it is their RIGHT to get welfare their entire lives not because of being unable to work, but because of their poor life choices. Poor, is one thing, but poor and lazy is another! I am the son of a ‘sharecropper’ n Mississippi and we were so poor we did not have ‘dirt’! With my parents insistence I managed to get out of school, get some service time then get a full time job and get a degree. It is called WORK and many of the responders here seems to think work is a bad word.

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    My adult son is on the autism spectrum. He can’t work and he can’t be left alone for the time it would take me to compute to and work a full-time shift. I have worked through every program available and he does not qualify for anything besides food stamps and MA. He is still waiting for the Social Security appeal which isn’t likely to be until 2 1/2 years after we applied.

    He also can’t eat processed food that is laced with petroleum derivatives – cheap, junk food is not an option. Nor is filling up on pasta, bread, rice, etc. which he also reacts to. It took forever to figure out all the food triggers and now if I keep him off that stuff, he is fairly stable – still can’t leave him home alone for long – but he’s fairly stable.

    EBT doesn’t go far at all when 2 bags of groceries is $100 but making him sick with that processed, petroleum laced food doesn’t work either. I no longer feel any shame about it.

    The problems we are facing – we as in all of us not just me and my son – are system problems – not individual failings. As long as we individually believe the shaming – we cannot find ways to work together to do something about the system problems. Glad to see all the comments here – something new may be starting to break through. Be kind and carry on!

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    The one true path to happiness

    Honestly, no one wants to have to rely on government assistance but people make mistakes. Like having unprotected sex. For the love of humanity, people need to stop breeding so much if they don’t have the mean’s to fund their mistakes. Not all births are mistakes. However, breeding when you hold a job at walmart or your local quickie mart, make 7.50 an hr, just isn’t going to cut it. If you prepare first and get a good job, inherit money, or are just financially well above stable then you should feel free to breed. I am sick of giving my tax dollars to people who collect from all forms of government assistance programs and do not even attempt to find work. I am a single man with 2 jobs work 70+ hours a week and still am not able to save a dime. I took a second FT job to provide for a surgery and to replace my car that was stolen while I was at work. I would be unable to afford either of those had I only one FT job. I will never ask for government assistance (GA) because I know of social stigmas. It isn’t always the right attitude but neither is getting GA and not holding a job at the same time. Remember hurricane Katrina? GA doled out millions to those who lost their homes and ultimately fled the state. I was at ricks cabaret when a guy in front of me at a ATM was using the Preloaded CC he was issued to pull out $2500 for STRIPPERS! He was not the only one who apparently did such a thing. He should have used that money to build a foundation for which he was going to live his life and rebuild a new. People need to man up to the decisions they have chosen.

    As for “special needs” individuals and old retired people, I am totally understanding that they won’t always have someone to take care of them. There are legitimate people that need GA. Those should not be denied. If a couple has a child they MUST provide regardless how little of an income you have. Remember its a decision and NO ONE owes you a god damn thing.

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      you are a small, shortsighted human being.

      Not all people have babies because of unprotected sex. You ever heard of birth control failure? or Rape?

      What about: they had kids when they were financially stable. Never heard of that either huh?

      It’s a choice and nobody owes you a goddamn thing? No, people who are struggling their hardest to survive deserve a goddamn helping hand. Even people like you

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      Something is desperately wrong with this country if people who are gainfully employed are still considered unworthy of becoming parents.

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    I was diagnosed two years ago with Early Onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. I am now on disability and am a SNAP Recipient. I live in Texas and have a Lone Star Card. When I check out the register automatically deducts grocery expenses from the card and the cashier tells me (Example) “there’s $3.40 cents due” from a non food item.
    But I am very suspect of this letter and similar claims. When I am in line waiting to cash out, I am reading the tabloid headlines, looking at the P-O-S items, etc. I am not fixated on the person ahead of me to see what kind of card they pay with. I don’t know if it’s a Citibank or a Chase or whatever. How a non-SNAP person could recognize a SNAP EBT card in one quick swipe is beyond me. I think this urban legend is right up there with the recipient buying lobster and driving a Lexus.

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    Food Stamps is a USDA food surplus program, and the items accepted — milk, wheat products like bread & cereal — are based on US production. See the usda publication “100 years of service”.

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    I have to LMAO at people listing the food stuffs that ppl on food stamps have in their grocery carts~what do you do, take a pic with your i-phone?WTH do you/anyone care what they buy??? It’s not going in your mouths!!! Not to mention, as much as I question “Lexus-driving” EBT recipients, I question the authenticity of Sue’s letter~just seems too contrived, jmho, so don’t y’all go nuts because that’s all it is. Lastly, shame on you Bob Cull for name-calling~it’s disgustingly disturbing that Libs, Pubs, & now Progressives can’t resolve disagreements without the proverbial mud-slinging~it makes you no better than the person you are bashing!

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      No, Mari, SHAME ON YOU for accusing me of something that I knew I hadn’t done unless I had got up in the middle of the night, turned on the computer and come here to post something in my sleep. Now shame on you again for making me scroll through the whole thread to make sure that hadn’t happened.

      I guess we know where your sympathies lie, that tactic of accusing the other side of name calling is trademarked by the Koch brothers’ TEA Party. You messed up though, you are supposed to call me names while you accuse me of doing it knowing full well that I am not.

      I DO NOT call names, I leave that to you people who are trying to create the United States of Koch, which will never happen, you cannot have our country nor can your churches.

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    My fiance and I are both in our early twenties, and as I have severe multiple sclerosis he is the only one able to work. If I am to be ashamed of the fact that once he and I are married and have a place on our own that we will need EBT, then that is asking me to be ashamed of the fact that I have a medical condition that I have no control over. I am not ashamed of my physical disability because as I said, I have no control over it as it is just a sad fact of life that I have poor genetics. I refuse to be ashamed of who I am and how I am just because people are petty and assume that all disabilities are visible to the eye.

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    I have to LMAO at people listing the food stuffs that ppl on food stamps have in their grocery carts~what do you do, take a pic with your i-phone?WTH do you/anyone care what they buy??? It’s not going in your mouths!!! Not to mention, as much as I question “Lexus-driving” EBT recipients, I question the authenticity of Sue’s letter~just seems too contrived, jmho, so don’t y’all go nuts because that’s all it is.

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    The saddest part of this article is that even in her open letter the writer feels the need to explain her situation. Why you get food stamps, who gets the food stamps, what you use them on, why you’re dressed the way you are and how much you owe on your car is no one else’s business. Why can’t people just assume that if people get EBT it’s because they meet the requirements and therefore NEED them. Why isn’t your business. Their car, clothes, cell phone and dietary choices aren’t your business. Nothing about them is your business. Anyone who believes all that crap about how people are living the good life on the paltry benefits available to the poor is stupid. Just plain stupid. You can be sure EBT isn’t the only thing they’re judging everyone around them on, either. They’re judging your looks, your wardrobe, your kids, your parenting skills – all without knowing anything at all about you. People like that are petty, small-minded and unworthy of your time. For the record – no, I don’t receive EBT.

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    These are the rules for students:
    nefits. However, students may be able to get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible and they:

    Get public assistance benefits under a Title IV-A program;

    Take part in a State or federally financed work study program;

    Work at least 20 hours a week;

    Are taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 6;

    Are taking care of a dependent household member over the age of 5 but under 12 and do not have adequate child care to enable them to attend school and work a minimum of 20 hours, or to take part in a State or federally financed work study program; or

    Are assigned to or placed in a college or certain other schools through:
    A program under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998,

    A program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974,

    An employment and training program under the Food Stamp Act, or

    An employment and training program operated by a State or local government.

    Also, a single parent enrolled full time in college and taking care of a dependent household member under the age of 12 can get SNAP benefits if otherwise eligible.

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    Also, if 12-15 million illegals can come here and get steady work, why cant some of the 52% of the US that is on welfare get off their lazy buts and get a job?

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      Roflmao,,,dude, I have 2 jobs and I work 55 hrs a week. I get SNAP and a modified form of medicaid. So am I lazy?? Most people on SNAP are working, that is the problem. Also 47% of all SNAP recipients are children not old enough to work with another 17 % being the elderly

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      52% of the country is NOT on welfare, you don’t get to pull “facts” out of your nether regions.

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      Some more sober statistics to consider:

      According to NELP real wages fall across the board by 2.8 percent between 2009 and 2012 and real wages for five of the top 10 lower-wage jobs (restaurant cooks, food prep workers, home health aides, personal care aides and housekeepers) fell by more than 5 percent during that period and 58 percent of all recovery growth being in low-paying jobs.

      In 1968, minimum wage was $10.71. Since then, it has decreased by 32 percent, resulting in millions of Americans working full-time hours and yet being unable to feed their families without assistance. Escaping poverty became, and is, a struggle. Of course, that isn’t true — the minimum wage in 1968 wasn’t $10.71. It was $1.60. However, $1.60 doesn’t have as much buying power as it used to, and when adjusted for inflation (as of today, June 29, 2013), that number is $10.71. Minimum wage was designed to increase with inflation. It has not done so.

      According to the USDA, in 2011, 14.9 percent of Americans (roughly 50 million individuals) had difficulty securing food “meaning that the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted at times during the year because the household lacked money and other resources for food.”

      Global food prices continue to rise, “Continuing a decade-long increase, global food prices rose 2.7 percent in 2012,,,” devaluing SNAP benefits by 7%.

      According to the Center on Budget and Policy Prioritiesr SNAP provides estimated 22 million children a nutritionally adequate diet; 47% of all SNAP recipients are children.

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    Sounds like a made up story. She gives away her motive when she talks about her daughter pursuing a career in ‘social justice’. This story is to launch her daughter into the spotlight with a story meant to mainstream food stamps/EBT.

    This woman is a Senior Director in the healthcare field and also works with the CMSA presenting marketing strategy to government healthcare officials. Oh – and she is abusing the food stamp program. Hang in there, kiddo. Life is rough on the dole for a Senior Director living in the suburbs.

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      And another troll crawls out from under his bridge. You are irrelevant.

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        Bob Cull why is it that you are very intolerant of anyone that doesn’t share your view? You call names and are very rude about any view other than yours. May I suggest using some of what you preach? You want everyone to fall into line with your view or you are just nasty to them…. time and time again I have seen it. If you want everyone to show kindness and respect to those who use EBT than may I suggest you use some kindness and respect to those who don’t share your view?? Both sides think the other side is wrong to think they way they do but you judge the other side so harshly they will NEVER look at your side of things.

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          I have had to deal with people like you for a long time, Paula, and the tactics are too similar for it to be coincidence, you people must have a training manual. You are the second troll on this thread to accuse me of name calling. Newsflash, those who do not rely on Faux News, and all of the right wing propagandists online for “information” avoid them for a reason, we are intelligent, have an actual memory and know how to look back through the comments to see if maybe we did something that we didn’t recall. You people all call those who disagree with you names and accuse the other person of being the one doing it. Are you possibly referring to my reference to Rand Paul as a narcissist? That is not name calling, that is descriptive and ACCURATE, he is a narcissist. You can crawl back under your rock too, I have not been nasty and I have not called anyone names, that is the territory of you TEApubs.

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    I live in an area where a lot of people need foodstamps to survive. A few months ago I turned into a person who needed them for my daughters and I to survive. I’ve never felt ashamed of it because to me I have them for a great reason. I had a good paying job and I could afford many nice things for my kids and I. My daughter who is disabled needed more care, care that I didn’t qualify for through my insurance or public assistance. It would have to be paid out of pocket. I had to options; one was to continue working and not afford even groceries because 75% of my income would be going to that care or two quit my job and survive on my daughters ssi and food stamps and qualify for that care through medicaid.
    I invested so many years to a job that I loved but I loved my daughter more. Yes I have a few expensive items that I have held on to for old times sake. Items that I know I will never be able to have again but my daughter was worth it.
    There is only one grocery store I avoid in this town and in any town and that is albertsons. This is the only grocery store that every time I make a purchase with ebt I get looked down on by the cashiers. I tried complaining to a manager once but his attitude was just as bad as the cashiers. I wish I could just explain my story and the reasons I have ebt to these ignorant cashiers every time they give me their attitude but that would just be too time consuming. I know there are people out there that steal and lie to the system. But just because one dresses nice and has pride and pays with ebt, this should not give people the right to judge and mistreat others.

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    Hogwash. Pure liberal agenda here. I work in the office that distributes welfare. Yes, there are some who need it but a large portion, actually about 30% are gaming the system – facts, not anecdotal. Thanks Obama. I’ve had strippers coming in for “clothing allowance” I.e. lingerie, I’ve had mothers bring their pregnant teens to show them how having more out of wedlock babies can get you more $$$, I’ve had single moms need utilities paid cause they spent their last paycheck on drugs. Bull$hit. Every receipient should be drug tested, tubes tied, and forced to report all income. That’s why my country is broke.

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      I call your anecdote and raise you another.

      Go read the SNAP website. 30%, did you haul that out of your ass?

      Your country is not broke. All the money just went to the top to the useless idiots who don’t give a damn about you

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      You need to find a new job

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      Oh of course the useless poor are the cause of all the problems in this country, it has nothing to do for tax breaks for the richest of the rich and corporate welfare. No it’s the little guy. let me tell you an illustrative little story I heard recently:

      A Koch brother, a TEA partier and a union worker are sitting in a room. A woman brings in a dozen donuts on a tray, the Koch brother quickly grabs 11 of those donuts and then leans over and whispers in the TEA Partier’s ear, “watch out, that greedy union guy is going to try to steal your donut.”

      That story is exactly what is going on you people buying into the TEA Party BS are the tools of the Koch brothers, the TEA Party is NOT a “grass roots” movement, it is wholly owned and manipulated by those low life sacks of steaming crap and learned these techniques from the Nazis in pre war Germany, it worked then and it’s working now.

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    Not to stir the pot BUT I live in Rhode Island. A few years ago in our grocery stores it was cheaper to buy Lobster than most meats. Lobster was going for 4.99/lb some days!!!! So a lot of EBT users started to buy lobster instead of the 8.00 chicken breasts or 6.99/lb beef that was available. So when you hear the stories about people using EBT to buy lobster, stop and think for a minute. Where we live, it sometimes IS cheaper.

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    I have no problem with people using food stamps if they truly are down on their luck and need a little assistance; however, the ones that usually get the benefits are the ladies that think applying for assistance is a job. One it is not a job, let me give you a job application to complete. And two they think their job title is “Broad Mare”, Laying on your back is not an occupation. This is what I have become accustom to viewing in our local market. I have 4 kids and 3 babies daddy’s (yep I had 2 kids to one guy) wow.. and I receive 2600.00 food stamps and buy 4 freaking charts of junk food..nothing to make a good meal, maybe next month i will buy something healthy. but probably not.

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    I am a nurse and a mother of 4, two college grads and two in high school. I now work in a hospital in an outpatient clinic but formerly worked in public health with WIC moms. It took me a long time to tell them that I was a former WIC mom too when my last two were little (we had transferred cross-country for my husband’s job and I was out of work because of it and living on one income in Southern CA was difficult for six people. It took so long because of the shame and guilt factor, but I also wanted to show them that not everyone who participated in Federal programs to assist families was considered a “loser” or a “nobody” and to encourage them to go on and pursue their dreams they had to continue their educations. I did not finish my BSN until my 4th child was in elementary school and I know it was a FAMILY effort for me to get through – older siblings babysitting younger ones while I attended clinicals or afternoon classes… But I still remember the feelings of shame being in line with my coupons paying for Milk, eggs, peanut butter and the cashier saying (snottily) “You got the wrong kind of cheese” and it holding up the line and people behind me being so frustrated… I wanted to explain to them the I wasn’t someone who was just sitting on my butt having babies to stay home and be on assistance. We moved 3500 miles when I was 32 weeks pregnant and no one would hire a pregnant woman; then I had no contacts in my new city to know what was a decent daycare or crap and I started back to work part-time with a friend watching my child, but it wasn’t enough to make up the money I used to earn. I got pregnant again (whoops~!) and now I had two under age two and the daycare costs would be more than I’d earn. My husband was working 50+ hours weekly and we were 3500 miles from family and had no support system. People need to know that many different reasons contribute to family’s participation in any government program and they’re one injury, one job transfer, one car accident, one surgery, one slip-up at work away from being in those same shoes. Judge not lest ye be judged.

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    the writer of the letter admitted they were defrauding the system, since she did not need food stamps and her son would not need them since she was a professional working at a local corporation. which means she was very well off and getting a very large retirement and could easily afford to take care of her son’s needs for the rest of his life

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    To those who say food stamps should be eliminated. I say this, Yes my boys and I are on food stamps, I am a single mother, widowed, I work a 30 hour a week job because its what i could find in this economy, as well as the child care that i could find in my small town, where reliable night or weekend childcare is next to impossible to find. I am working on advancing my education further so maybe i can find a better job. My boys are both small and have health issues. Without food stamps we would not be eating healthy in any way shape or form, it would be ramen noodles every night. You want to judge, wait until you have walked in the shoes you are judging and then say something, but no…. because you were lucky and yes i do mean LUCKY enough to find the right job and come from the right socioecomonic background that you dont have to even think about money being a problem does not mean those of us that work for a living are not trying. Just because you can afford a NANNY (which is unecessary), a Maid (Which is a luxury), and a COOK (which is just plain LAZY…. well we could say a lot of things about you too.

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    AND To those Who think some one is paying for ALCOHOL or Ciggarettes with FOOD STAMP… THAT is impossible. Alcohol and ciggarettes are not accepted on food stamps.

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    From someone who used to live in minnesota, this doesn’t surprise me one bit, I knew it was going to be bad as soon as EBT and Edina were in the same sentence. This is a town in Minnesota that is the uppity, snobby, cruel area in the state and honestly the mean lady’s actions don’t surprise me. Contrary to popular belief from my experience people in Minnesota are mean, that’s why I moved away from there. I have a slightly physically disabled brother myself, he can walk some but it strains his body, so he’s in a wheelchair most of the time. He has to rely on food stamps because places won’t hire him, they say it’s do to lack of experience but in all honesty I think it’s because they don’t have wheelchair accessable doors and that it’s hard for a wheelchair to manuver inside, and they don’t want the lawsuit. So he has to rely on food stamps as well. Now I’d be the one to take him grocery shopping and let’s face it, I’m a good 40 lbs over weight, so seeing me and the scrawny guy in the wheelchair using EBT I’ve gotten my fair share of looks and whispers too. It’s disgusting the way people judge these days, you don’t know their story, you don’t know the personal battle they are probably facing. Who gives you the right to judge? What makes you better than them? You got lucky enough to hot have hardship? Applying for food stamps, making that personal decision to accept help from someone else because you are not capable of it yourself is HARD! It took my brother nearly a year to fill out the paperwork because every time he looked at it he felt ashamed.

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    The woman behind her has or hasn’t used food stamps…maybe she has and was ashamed of it or sees herself above that. I believe, that when you harbor resentment towards something you don’t understand guess what, karma, God, the universe whatever, has a way of teaching you. I bet she gets a quick education when a close family member or herself finds they need to apply for food stamps. Ayn Rand the left’s goddess (Atlas Shrugged) preached no one should get public assistance…also who Rand Paul was named after, died poor and on social security and medicare.

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    My question is, why is it anybody’s business what’s in someone else’s grocery cart or wallet? Why do you stare? Who cares if people use coupons or have an EBT card? Are you that much of a busybody that you HAVE to oogle? People need to mind their own business for once and stop worrying about what others do.

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    I understand the social stigma….I was afraid to apply, because I viewed it as something for people who had so much less than I did. I lost my job when I was six months pregnant, and trying to find another when youre that pregnant is difficult. Now I just view it as, well, I have paid my taxes and such, so I am just utilizing a service I had hoped I never would need. I am still receiving such assistance, but I am also looking for work because I had to drop out of the nursing program I was in because we needed more cash in the house, but as soon as I find that job, whatever it is, I will gladly give up my EBT card and any other benefits I may receive, so that there is plenty for those who need it.

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    I can’t believe that there are places where people can use food stamps for things like liquor or tobacco. I think that’s just ignorance. Here, where I live, you are not even allowed to purchase hot food, which can seem a bit ridiculous when a roasted chicken from the supermarket is the same price hot or cold, but only after the chicken has been allowed to chill is it food stamp eligible. Ironically, you can purchase sushi, but not a roasted chicken. As to stories about crab or lobster, well, while it may be identified with luxury, it is nutritious food, and could be an ingredient to something like gumbo that could go a long way. At any rate, the meager food stamp allotment wouldn’t last long buying lobsters. These stories are just anecdotal,and there’s not some big scandal with everyone on food stamps eating like the Romneys every night.

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    I’m not going to post to put anyone down or get angry. I am 55 and have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes type 2. In 2010 I was working full time overnights at Walmart. I had moved to overnight people greeter because of extreme pain.So the managers decided I could stock candy as it was up front and I could see door. My limitations were not to lift over 10 pounds. Some of the candy boxes were way more than that. I couldn’t climb a ladder so top shelves were very hard to fill not to mention bending to do bottom shelves. So in April of 2010, I quit because I couldn’t handle pain. Getting in and out of car was painful. I filed for Social Security Disability and got it without hassle or lawyer. Now 3 years later I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment in a disabled/seniors building. I don’t like it but it’s a home and HUD helps with rent. My disability is $954 a month and I qualify for the least amount of food stamps which is $16 a month.I am also paying on older bills like medical when I had no insurance. My son lets me drive his 2000 Buick Century because I can’t afford down payment or monthly payments right now. I don’t complain that it’s only $16. I use it to buy milk, bread, eggs during the month. The last 2 weeks of the month I eat a lot of cereal and toast because I have no money left out of bills. I pay my own bills. Cable, internet, cell phone (no home phone because with cell I can take it where ever I go). I pay electric for apartment. If I’m at son’s house where I do laundry I am invited to stay for supper. Plus I enjoy time with my 14 month old grandson. I do not buy steak or any expensive meat. I buy a lot of store brands to save money. I buy what I can afford. I’m not going to complain about what other people have.I am not them, I am simply me doing what I can to survive. To people who get angry about full carts in an express lane. At Walmart express lane is 20 items but it doesn’t really matter. In my early years there I cashiered and if you weren’t busy on express we were told by management to check out full carts so it’s not always a cashier’s choice who to check out. Just something to think about.

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    I have been on both sides of this coin, as a cashier and a food stamp recipient. As a cashier, the only time I was ever upset about a foodstamp transaction was when I would get two or three people that where all in the same transaction, using two or three EBT cards. I have witnessed these types of transactions buying steak, Lobster, crab legs, and so on, and they were paying with food stamps while I, as a cashier making crap wages, supporting three kids by my self one of whom was disabled, didn’t qualify for food stamps. I also didn’t make enough to pay the bills and feed my kids so I ended up at the food banks every month. As a food stamp recipient, after I myself became disabled and unable to work. The looks of disapproval I get when I go to the store for groceries and pay with my EBT card really makes me feel like less than human. I use coupons also, but since I was a cashier, I don’t try to get over by using too many coupons, or coupons for things I didn’t buy.

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      Lori, in some places, those foods are cheaper than the ‘normal foods’ e.g. in Rhode Island or Maine lobster being cheaper than chicken because they are close to the sea.

      Hopefully the time you were on SNAP got you to stop looking at people in such a judgmental way

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    This was the stores fault not the EBT customer. I go shopping with an EBT card for my 90 year-old mother. The register automatically separates the ineligible items from the eligible. Your store needs to upgrade it’s system. Write to them and let them know.

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    I just wanted to say that I have seen people abuse the system so many times. It is hard to see. They will get any benefit they can. But choose not to work. Sometimes they will lie and say they don’t know who the dad is of their kids (but he lives with her!) so that she can get everything.

    I FEEL THE PEOPLE THAT NEED FOODSTAMPS are the people that work, they make enough for bills but not enough for food. Those are the ones that need it the most. But they are sadly the ones that get turned away or get so little it doesn’t help one bit.

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    Many people just assume things and it angers me deeply. My mother uses SNAP and is on unemployment while she waits for disability. She had a massive heart attack right after being laid off. While I have a stable job as a pre school teacher, I can’t afford to pay for her medications, food for both of us, etc. As well as the fact I am leaving in a few months because I am getting married to a man in the Military. She needs to be able to afford to take care of herself, and she can only work part time. It angers me when people judge her although she was only a few years from retirement age. She doesn’t like requiring help but she has no other choices. If you don’t know someone’s story you shouldn’t be judging them.

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    I would be less likely to blame the person in line with a cart full of items, coupons and an ebt card. A cashier needs to be prepared for this as I was when I got the customer with several wic transactions, coupons and foodstamps. And it would also be the choice of the person next in line to. Stay or move to another line. Kudos to the woman for being a savy shopper with coupons. I wish I had that kind of patience to cut coupons. I don’t judge anyone with wic or ebt btw. I’ve been a cashier, I’ve been a customer and I’ve been unemployed on food stamps. So I’ve seen all sides. Like one person said..something could happen out of your control one day and you lose everything and need the same assistance, so don’t judge.

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    I don’t have a problem with those who truly need help getting the help they need. What I have a problem with are those people who are capable of working, but choose not to because they make more on welfare than at a paying job. Case in point, I know of a family who has a cognitively disabled daughter who had a 30 hour a week job sacking groceries and when the mom and dad found out that her social security would be cut, they made her quit her job. Now she sits in their house doing absolutely nothing. She would have benefited greatly with the social interaction at the grocery, but now she sits and does nothing. Or as I witnessed in a fast food restaurant, a grandma buying the the kids meal toys with her EBT card. Just yesterday at my local mom and pop grocery store I see a sign on the energy drink cooler that EBT cards can no longer purchase those drinks. SERIOUSLY! EBT cards should ONLY be used for basic food staples, never energy drinks, pop, or kids meal toys.

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      well then lower the costs of good food. Healthy food cost too fucking much to use EBT on it

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      If she gives up her social security disability benefits it is incredibly difficult to get them back. That means if her circumstances change for the worse she may be left completely without resources. Don’t blame the parents for making a pragmatic decision, blame an inflexible system.

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      You do realize, don’t you Terri, when you tell us that you have “witnessed” people using an EBT to purchase an ineligible item such as a toy, we automatically know that you are either lying or confused.

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        Are you one of the “takers” Bob?

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          I’m sure you would call me that, Jeff! I have had a lot of little punks like you tell me what a POS I am, “picking their pockets” every month when MY EARNED SS retirement benefit comes in. I am qualified for a small SNAP benefit but because I don’t really need the tiny amount I qualify for I let it expire the last time I was up for re-certification.

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            I’ll never retire. If I can’t work, I might as well be in the ground.

            The retirement you claim to have earned is being paid for by people like Jeff and me. Our social security taxes are going to pay YOUR benefits.

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            Dream on TEApunk! I paid for my retirement and no snot nosed little…shall we say person of questionable parentage is gong to tell me that I didn’t. You don’t like it here? I hear Somalia is a libertarian paradise, no rules, no taxes, no government and you can own any weapon you want, why not look into it!

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            A) the money that you paid in went to pay other recipients at the time you were paying it in.

            B) you are getting back more than you ever paid in.

            Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Do you think those investors EARNED their returns? No.

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            That would not have happened if the money had been left alone as it was supposed to be. It was taken and replaced with iou’s from the government, so, yes I am owed it. As for your ponzi scheme crap keep kissing the Koch brothers ass and you will wake up one day and see what all of the intelligent people knew all along, they are NOT your friend, they are laughing at you while you demand that their taxes be lowered so that they can “create” jobs, they won’t and you will see those same TEApubs you are electing raising your taxes to cover what the Kochs and their friends no longer have to pay. They are already paying at a much lower rate than you anyway. I reiterate, you are a punk!

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            Where did I imply the government is my friend? They’re in it for no one but themselves. Screw them. In fact, I’d like to see a complete end to government in my lifetime. They do not represent, and have never represented, the common man. They are nothing more than figureheads, the puppets of the people who have power in this country. Screw them–I sure don’t need them.

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            Yep, saw that one coming. Another anarchist who thinks he’s a “libertarian” people like you are the reason that so many who used to identify as libertarian can no longer do so, the term has been co-opted by followers of Emma Goldman who don’t want to be called what they are ANARCHISTS.

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            Where did I claim to be libertarian? I didn’t. I think you need to go back to school and learn to read.

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            Do I think the people who have paid into SS have earned the payout? Yes. Do you believe Jamie Dimon earned his decamillion salary last year for losing trillions? No. You are the weakest link. Move to Somalia.

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            You’re right–I do NOT believe Jamie Dimon earned his decamillion salary. He’s an office boy. The only people who EARN wages are blue collar workers like me.

            Why should I move to Somalia? I was born in the U.S., and there’s NEVER any reason to leave the place you were born. In fact, you should never even leave the city you were born in!

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            Really? You live just to work until you die? God, the 1% must love you! Walmart might pick you up for an employment recruitment campaign if you pitch it right!

            You deserve the fate you’ve chosen for yourself. 99 years old and still a greeter at Walmart. Thankfully for you, Alzheimer’s may kick in and you’ll forget you were an idiot, and you may change your mind. Thankfully for you, my taxes will still be paying for your social security, so smarter, Alzheimer’s riddled you can enjoy a few years before you knock off the world.

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            I don’t mean being a greeter–that isn’t work. I mean HARD, PHYSICAL labor, that’s the only kind of work that has any kind of value.

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            So Doctors, Lawyers, Software Designers, Nurses, Architects, anyone who works with his brain, is according to you worthless? What is your IQ? About 2 would be my guess. Ignorance can be cured, unfortunately for you, as Ron White says, “You can’t fix STUPID!”

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            When I was 7, it was over 200. Not really sure what it is now, but it’s up there. Mental work takes NO effort…so it isn’t work, and it isn’t valuable. I exercise my mind in my FREE time, by doing things like learning new languages. I currently know seven of them.

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            Why would you learn 7 languages if you don’t even plan to leave the town you were born in?

            With a 200 IQ score, if you’re actually doing manual labor instead of inventing 17 new ways to cure cancer, you’re doing the world a disservice.

            Your story has holes in it.

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            Holes is being kind, John. An IQ doesn’t change as you grow older, it is only a measure of your capacity to learn not what you have already learned. 200 is in the super genius range and his writing does not sound at all like he is in possession of that kind of intellect.

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            I had to learn to dumb it down for your third grade reading level, Bob.

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            I was reading at a first year college level when I was in 6th grade, “GENIUS”!

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            You expect me to believe some redneck is that intelligent? You must be even dumber than you look.

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            Your ignorance is staggering! How many redneck progressives have you known in your pathetic anti social life. I happen to have an IQ of 140 and that is a real score, not one that I pulled out of my a$$. If you knew what an IQ of 200 actually means you would not have exaggerated it b that much, that is in the super genius range and you have displayed no evidence to make one think that the term would apply to you.

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            It takes nothing more than a look at your photo to determine that.

            Looks like a duck, walks like a duck…it’s a duck.

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            You only prove your ignorance when you say that you can tell all about someone from a photograph. Now although I am an agnostic I do find a lot of wisdom in the Bible one little bit is very appropriate in this situation and I will follow that advice that says; “Go then from the presence of a foolish man when you perceive not in him the words of wisdom.” Bye, Bye loser.

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            Also says something along the lines of “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

            And by YOUR fruits, you’re a redneck. Clean up and look presentable, and it may be a different story.

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            That was me, with seven languages. Do you really think a redneck like Bob would know even one all that well?

            I do it mainly to exercise my mind–because I can. But also, I don’t support the English only crowd. This country is a melting pot, and everyone should be able to speak their own native language when they come here. I’m starting to work on Vietnamese because of a clerk in a convenience store I stop in frequently. I know some words, but I’m nowhere near fluent yet.

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            I was talking to you, not Bob. People who speak 7 languages and have a 200 point IQ should be working on things more important than manual labor. I’ve done manual labor, but fixing the country seemed slightly more important than building porches.

            You could be translating textbooks, or a diplomat. Why are you wasting your immense IQ on internet threads you disagree with when you could be curing cancer?

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            There is no point arguing with a megalomaniac, John. Timmy does not have a super genius level IQ, he made that up with no knowledge of what an IQ that high means. He gave that away when he said that was his IQ at seven and didn’t know how much it had increased by now. An IQ is not a measure of education, it is a measure of ones ability to learn and means nothing without an education to back it up and it varies by very little throughout ones life. He also shows his ignorance by referring to me as a redneck even after reading my posts which clearly show that I am NOT. When was the last time you met a progressive redneck?

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            Physical work is more of a challenge…and it means I’m earning a check. Instead of being paid for sitting on my rear end and getting fat.

            I’m not interested in helping other people, so why should I want to cure cancer? I don’t like other people.

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      Kids meal toy? So she was just trying to buy a toy? I highly doubt that. More than likely she was trying to buy a meal not just the toy. Some people are uneducated on what their benefits cover so that would actually be quite understandable. You on the other hand just sound like another ignorant person who refuses to step into someone else’s shoes. I agree with Shorelines. If she lost her benefits there is a lot more she loses than just EBT. She loses health insurance as well. My brother is on disability and without social security my parents would have had to file bankruptcy. If you don’t understand and know the system don’t talk about it. You just sound ignorant which you are of course.

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      I agree, Terri, that energy drinks should not be on the approved list of ‘food items’. But the SNAP program is responsible for declaring what is an appropriate food purchase—not you or me or the store.

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      What r u Terri the neighborhood spy or what?? u sure seem to know an awful lot of “details” about everyone’s business especially those that sound as if they would be very vulnerable and at risk.. Maybe u should consider volunteering at a local homeless shelter or something, u sound as if u would benefit greatly from helping ur neighbors instead of monitoring them.

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      if that is really happening don’t confront the person making the purchase — talk to the manager about retraining his staff – if it is a major chain write or call the main office — because they can loose the option of accepting food stamps

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    This woman has proven herself to be a bit selfish and self absorbed but the whole thing could have been avoided had the store (either the cashier, mgr, or person in charge) noticed this woman in line and helped her find a shorter line to get her through faster. It is called customer service and it doesn’t appear to exist in most grocery stores these days. My other point is that we tend to presume we know why somebody is using benefits. There could be a million reasons, including the disabled person sitting in the car because they are too sick to walk into the store. This letter writer stated another perfectly reasonable explanation. As if it were anybody’s business. Clearly we are not a people who practice what we preach. I believe it was Jesus who suggested we not judge our fellow man. We’ve become quite good at doing just that.

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    Um. This article is a small percentage of people. I worked as a cashier and saw this DAILY with MOST food stamp recipients. I do not go to work for you to buy LOBSTER AND FILET and eat ALL ORGANIC. Why should you eat better than me and my family when I am paying for it. I am not going to keep quiet because I might “offend” someone. Maybe if we all spoke up and quit worrying about offending someone. People would try a little harder. My husband, a manager, has had too many to count come in and say they don’t want him to pick their application, they were only applying to KEEP THEIR BENEFITS. So all this don’t hurt the EBT recipients feelings is BULLSH*T. When they have their nice purses and cars and clothes… and we work our tail off and BUDGET and don’t have as nice of things… there is a PROBLEM.

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      My husband and I both work full time. And not full time unskilled work. We both hold management positions, believe it or don’t. We are both college educated. We are not young. We both are experienced workers with good employment histories. Like many, we have faced struggles.

      We have one vehicle, a car in the “compact” class with 289,000 miles that we paid $500 for. We use to transport our family of five.

      We shop at rummage sales and Goodwill for most of our clothes. I fully clothed our three children for school this year for about $175. I did buy work clothes at Kohls on clearance earlier this year – they have some really good deals there. I also saved my rewards points at K-Mart for the whole year so I could buy some brand new things for my daughter who started seventh grade this year – that’s included in the $175. I have one pair of summer shoes, one pair of winter shoes and one pair of shoes I wear with my black dress pants – oh and winter boots.

      My purse is a giveaway black canvas bag that I received at a conference in 2005 when I owned and operated my own business – in better times.

      I paid $60 for my cell phone a year ago and pay for service on a monthly pay as you go plan. My husband’s iphone and service is paid for by his employer.

      I have never had my nails done – ever. I have never had my hair colored – ever. I get my hair cut once per year at Great Clips when they have their $7.99 special. I do get my children’s hair cut more often – 3-4 times per year but I always use coupons to help pay for it.

      We have a single analog TV that we picked up for free when someone else got their flat screen. Our cable in included in our rent. We live in a rural area (where we also happen to work) so we wouldn’t get any reception at all without the cable.

      We have internet access. Our computers (2!) are ancient hand-me-downs – cast-offs from others’ upgrades – but they work and we are grateful. I would love an e-reader of some sort, and an ipod and a sewing machine too – but I have none of them and probably never will since they aren’t necessities.

      I use coupons for everything I possibly can. The up side is that you can stretch a budget pretty far when you are a hard core couponer. The down side is you often end up with a lot of processed foods. The fresh foods come from the none coupon side of the list. They take up a large portion of our grocery budget and they are gone FAST. We have to drive about 30 minutes to an affordably priced grocery store. We constantly have to weigh the cost of driving there against the savings to be gained by doing so. Every purchase is planned and considered and measured down to the penny.

      By husband does like to splurge on chips, ice cream and root bear (always off brand). It frustrates me a bit but his argument is that we work hard and rarely have the money for anything fun – we deserve a treat now and then. How can I argue with that?

      All of this is the god’s honest truth – cross my hear t and hope to die………

      and we receive SNAP benefits.

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        Also – for the record – I have never purchased lobster with our SNAP benefits – nor have I purchased filet mignon. I have purchased actual fish fillets though and even frozen shrimp if the deal is good enough – do those purchases offend you?

        Go ahead – ask me about other luxuries that you assume we “poors” are spoiled with. I’ll tell you the truth – at least as far as I know it.

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        Soda pop is cheaper than juice or milk. Just saying.

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          And water is cheaper than soda. Although I strongly support an increase in the amount of food assistance given, I am surprised at the support given to people buying junk food because it is “cheaper”. The amount being given is not enough to take care of a family, so why would you waste the little you get? Chips instead of food. Lobster at $4.99 a pound even though that would hardly feed 1 person and $5 worth of steak mixed with veggies (fresh, frozen, or canned) would feed more. Soda instead of healthier water. Stop making excuses for bad decisions. If you have a stove or oven, and I know not every recipient does, a pot of soup or a casserole will feed a family better than a bag of cheetos and a bottle of soda and for the same price. I know because I’ve been there. If you want to waste your benefits on junk, then it’s difficult to gain sympathy for extended benefits, which are so desperately needed.

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            Was your comment directed at me? Did you miss the “now and then” part when I described my husband’s desire for a treat?

            I do invest most our budget on fresh foods, but NEVER on steak. I can hardly bring myself to buy hamburger and that is less expensive and can be stretched much further than steak. The red meat we consume comes from the venison that my father harvests each year for our family as a Christmas gift. My husband and I process it ourselves in our kitchen. We cut almost all of it into stew meat. I’m quite skilled in making soups and stews to feed my family. You’re right – they go a long way.

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            No, Shorelines, it was not. It was in response to Timothy Kramer’s comment and several others that I have seen.

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            I don’t get food stamps. I buy the absolute cheapest stuff I can. When my wife goes shopping, I go with. We can’t afford the $3 can of asparagus, or the beef at $4.59 a pound. Buy the hamburger meat. Buy pasta, and bread.

            Cheapest food you can get, go with it. Even if it’s 20 packs of ramen noodles.

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            So, Congress should give us back our money, is what you’re saying, right?

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            I don’t care if they do or not I’m not going to take a fucking handout. I’d rather starve first. I’m going to work, and struggle, until the day comes that I can’t do it anymore, and then I’m going to do the honorable thing and keep myself from being a burden on the taxpayer by NOT taking Social Security or Medicare, or any of that crap. When I can’t work, I’ll take advantage of the Smith and Wesson retirement policy, and I advise all of you to do the same.

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            Here in Liberal world, we call that Darwin.

            Sincerely hope that you don’t follow through. Far too many people kill themselves every year for lack of a better option.

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      the fact that folks have nice things hold no barring — on food stamps – i can have a ncie car i bought 2 years ago while married and then get a divorce and wind up laid off or down sized folks— I would still have the same car when i move out i would have all the “designer hand bags/ clothes you seem to hate with a passion” thank the gods that be that you don’t have to leave all your stuff in a dumpster and wear sack cloth when getting food stamps —- by the way those so called designer stuffs i can get at the second hand store – or good will at a huge discount ,for less than $20 – so what if they buy shrimp or lobster — they are eating — if you choose not to purchase these things then so be it — i have often bought this type of things because they were marked down —- at huge discounts – cause the large chains get tax refunds for making these donations— and by the way maybe they are waiting on the better job instead of a mini wage that they can’t survive on alone with there 2.3 kids -or they are using it temporarily cause they qualify to complete school – i baby sat for a neighbor who was divorced worked part time had a chance to go full time because her husband paid no support she qualified for the food stamps for her kids meals . The food stamp recipients is a small drop in the bucket compared to the corporate welfare- (paying low wages and getting huge tax breaks) – that is going on now and places like WALMART that train there workers on how to file for food stamps instead of paying a living wage — want to protest ? and really make a difference ? boycott major national chains- walmart, papa johns, McDonald’s Ect go back to the mom and pop places buy local — farmers markets, eat fresh — Support your local merchants and not some major chain that only cares for there bottom line bringing in materials and food stuff from out of the country they have NO real investment in your community – I have a local Italian restaurant that I have gone to for 31 years now — my husband has grown up in this restaurant they started going when the owners kids were in elementary school back in the 60′s – we go there for our Italian night out we support local venders – that pay a living wage – and yes folks it is ALL connected

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    Most adults living in SNAP households who are able to work do work. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3894 We really have to stop thinking of safety net programs as charity for the poor and start thinking of them as workforce supports. We as a society have decided that the private sector can not be expected to pay living wages to the those who perform unskilled work – no matter how necessary that work is to profit accumulation. Yet these people need to be – you know – ALIVE to be able to perform this very necessary work. SNAP keeps them from starving. Section 8 keeps at least some of them housed. Medicaid keeps them more or less healthy.

    Barbara Ehrenreich puts it this way:

    “When someone works for less pay than she can live on — when, for example, she goes hungry so that you can eat more cheaply and conveniently — then she has made a great sacrifice for you, she has made you a gift of some part of her abilities, her health, and her life. The ‘working poor,’ as they are approvingly termed, are in fact the major philanthropists of our society. They neglect their own children so that the children of others will be cared for; they live in substandard housing so that other homes will be shiny and perfect; they endure privation so that inflation will be low and stock prices high. To be a member of the working poor is to be an anonymous donor, a nameless benefactor, to everyone else.”
    ― Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

    The paltry benefits the working poor receive so they can get up each morning to work another day are not charity. They are a subsidy, in lieu of fair wages, for their invaluable contribution to keeping prices low and profits high.

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    I’ve struggled my whole life. I would STILL never take a handout from the government. I’d starve first.

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    Here’s my take on people’s snap judgement on what they “think” they are seeing.

    When the economy went down the toilet, the shop I worked at closed down and because I had a child to feed I was forced to apply for Food Stamps. After nearly two years of unemployment in a small rural town in Alabama my sister decided that I deserved a treat for my birthday. She sent me a Coach purse. I had never had such a nice bag, I was in tears when I opened it and was feeling pretty sporty with my beautiful new bag…..

    Until I had to go to the grocery store. And I stood there, trying to pretend that I could not hear the rude person behind me commenting on my paying for my groceries with a Food Stamp card which I had pulled out of my Coach bag.

    You see, my teenage son and I were receiving a whopping $167 dollars a month in benefits. I guess that means that we did not deserve to also get birthday presents – or enjoy them. I guess that I should have pawned my gift????

    Well a few short months later, I finally landed a job, and had to drive 1200 miles to do it – and I interviewed with my beautiful Coach bag. I think of that lady and her friend sometimes and wish I had said something, but think that would have been stooping to her level!

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    I work as a grocery store cashier, and while the process sometimes takes longer than with a credit or cash transaction, I do my best to not judge people that come through my line with a EBT payment, or a WIC check (Women, Infants, Children), or a pile of coupons, or multiple forms of payment. Everyone is just doing what’s right for him or herself, and it’s not my job to judge. In the same way, I hope that I am not judged by the customers of the store. While it doesn’t appear so from my situation, I have a college education, a WI state teachers license, and work as a cashier in the evenings and weekends to support myself in my transition from a divorce. Someone assuming that I was an uneducated, unworthy, or unmotivated person because I am a woman in her 30s working as a grocery store cashier would be the same as me assuming that a person is uneducated, unworthy, or unmotivated because of his/her method of payment. So let’s all try to offer each other the opportunity to have dignity and respect. Thank you.

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      The folks that use the “pile of coupons ” are smarter than you are for paying full price — your a complete fool if you aren’t using them too – my grandmother refused to shop any where that did not have S&H Green stamp program – she collected those things with a passion — We would come in to visit and all be together putting the stamps in those blasted books — The glue you had to lick to get them to stick was horrid — lol I was under 13 — (but she got some real nice things when it came time to shop for Christmas and birthdays ) if your not using savor coupons and store brands your loosing out — BIG TIME

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    You have no idea what you are talking about. How many blog sites have you seen that just post everything without first looking at it? If you did not post anything outside the limits of acceptability your post will not be deleted but it will not show until it has been moderated. Do you see total agreement in all of these posts? I think you’re just another TEApub troll myself that is one of their standard tactics, accuse others of the things they would do themselves.

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    I must say this to everyone. As a former Manager of one of the Largest Chains in retail, through all this is the cashier who gets all the guff day in and day out from angry customers. Non-EBT; EBT and every walk of life. They are trained to treat all customers the SAME and not respond in a negative manner. If you are in line and can help this cashier in any way, do it. A little goes a long way especially when they are trying to please a “Costumer from Hell” which by the way can be both EBT or Non-EBT. Give them a compliment or “good Job”.

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    I WORK at a grocery store. Because of the Affordable Health Care Act, my employer will not allow me to get over 29 hours a week. I receive food stamps myself, and for reference, I drive a 1990 pickup with no heat or ac, one working windshield wiper, a passenger door that doesn’t open..etc..

    For people who actually need them, food stamps are a great program. I couldn’t make ends meet without my benefits right now.

    Since I work at a grocery store, I do see the other side of the argument as well. I have (FIRST HAND) seen customers buy 20 pounds of crab legs and gourmet cheeses and whatnot with their food stamps. I have also noted that quite a few food stamp recipients buy a lot of unhealthy foods with them. I know people that sell their food stamps at 50 cents to the dollar so they can buy drugs, and I know people that would starve and die without them.

    Not everyone is a con, but some are. It is an unfortunate truth about every government entitlement program, that if there is a way to scam the system, there will inevitably be those that do.

    I see transactions like the one this letter talks about EVERY DAY at work, and all I can say is don’t judge, and be the best person that you can be and that’s all that matters.

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    My husband is active duty Army and up until recently I was too. I got out because my contract ended but at the time I was also 4 months pregnant. Once I was out and I realized quickly that my husbands pay check would only just cover our bills I decided to brave my fears of discrimination and go on WIC which we just barely qualify for. Lucky for me, having sacrificed 4 years of my life for this country with 1 being in Afghanistan, I qualified for the Post 9/11 GI Bill which gives me a small amount of money each month for housing while I am in school. Also lucky for my family WIC does not count housing allowances from the VA so we are able to afford groceries and gas with the help of WIC paying for some groceries. I am so grateful for these benefits and that every month I know I will at least have bread and milk and vegetables to help sustain my pregnant body and help me once my baby is born and I am breastfeeding which I choose to do for a multitude of reason with one being that it is FREE! I just sometimes wish that when I go to the store I dont feel like I need to hid my WIC checks even though I need them out to double check that I have the right things so I don’t cause problems at the checkout. I wish that I didn’t feel the need to constantly check my cart and triple or even quadruple check it when headed to the checkout in order to avoid rude stares and criticism from other customers if I even had one thing off. I wish that I wasn’t nervous the whole time I was checking out and wish that I didn’t need to flash my WIC checks like a warning sign to both customers and the checkout clerk that Oh no your going to have to deal with a WIC person. The majority of the time the clerk acts like it is nothing and I hear no complaints from those behind me but there have been times where I didn’t exactly understand my check and I would even contemplate just doing without in order to not face that judgement if I was wrong. I was wrong once and the girl at the counter was luckily for me also on WIC and said she was confused by that same check first time she had it so she was very kind and helpful but the people behind me were not so understanding. I apologized and even took my items and went back into the store to fix it so they didn’t have to wait on me and my horrible WIC checks but I still heard annoyed sighing and under the breath comments that just made me want to leave the store and never show my face again. But I knew my family needed that food and without it I would be denying them and most importantly my growing baby the nutrients he needs so I fixed my mistake and braved the same line. I understand getting annoyed in line when you have other things to do and it is a lot like driving but I always try to remind myself that that driver ahead of me or that EBT or WIC user ahead of me could be me. Misunderstood and mistreated just because someone else refuses to understand. The important thing to remember is you don’t always know where people are going or where they are coming from so before you become that jerk who cuts me off or that lady that makes me feel ashamed for being a military spouse, think and put yourself in their shoes. Pretty simple for a grown adult to do, no? I mean I see toddlers do it so Im sure you can too.

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    Catalan obviously has mental problems if she cannot exhibit patience in a grocery store and empathy for a person trying to save money with coupons. She has a gross naraccistic entitlement complex. What makes you so entitled over others that you cannot conduct yourself with basic good manners,. What a sad person you are. I fully support the use of food stamps and the use of coupons. My elderly Mom lived on less then 500 a month and had to have food stamps. I always went with her to be between her and the gross amount of judgment she received by both clerks, box people as well as people in line.

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    Sorry Nancy, but the GOP took the SNAP program out of the AG budget. Another way to screw the poor in this country. They are also going to vote on removing billions of $ from the program in the 10 years. I just hope Karma comes their way–and SOON.

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    I have a nice car, my hair is done, my nails are manicured, I carry designer handbags, and I shop with an EBT card.

    Let the judgments begin…………

    When I go to the market for groceries, I get the looks. The looks from those judging me for having a cart full of food and an EBT card. But you can stop judging me now because I will release you of the pain of not minding your own business. I shop for my household and that of my disabled uncle. He can’t do his own shopping because he has progressive arthritis. He worked for the past 20 years and had to stop working and apply for social security disability because of his disease. He walks with a cane and can’t be on his feet for too long or he is in terrible pain and can’t walk at all. It’s too much of a hassle to separate our item so I pay with his EBT card for everything for both households. When his benefits are used up for the month I purchase anything else he may need when I shop for the remainder of the month. I’ve been doing this for 3 years now and I know from experience that his benefits aren’t enough to feed him properly for the month. I hate to think of the situation he would be in if I didn’t have the means or the desire to supplement his benefits monthly. I shop weekly and I witness the difference in other customers’ and the cashiers’ attitudes when I use EBT benefits verses when I use cash. I always shop with coupons, not because I have to, but because I love to save money on things I need to allow me to enjoy the things that I want, like my bi-weekly mani- and pedicures and my designer handbags.

    I say this all to let you all know how ignorant this argument is. We don’t know someone’s situation unless we ask, therefore, the judgement of people using EBT benefits is just arrogant on all levels and to challenge the critics to think before they judge.

    I’m signing off as an Authorized Representative for an EBT Recipient.

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    If you lived in an area where the majority of people use them, you may have different views. The day their money comes in the stores get flooded and they take longer to checkout. The majority of the people using them where I live have lived that way for so long it’s now part of their culture, they don’t care to change it because their needs are being met. I loathe the concept of welfare in any form for more than a few months, unless there is significant medical issues that would prevent that person from working.

    EBT/Welfare is a plague that is spreading, not the crutch it was intended to be to help those that really needed it.

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    As a cashier, nothing is more infuriating than customers arguing about expired coupons or coupons they did not meet the item number requirement on. If they want to use coupons, it’s their responsibility to read them and pay attention. Fir this reason, i don’t begrudge the lady with the first comment anything. Trust me, the cashier was just as steamed as you. MANY customers demand to pay two separate transactions, even if the machine can sort the non-eligible items. Second most infuriating is when they don’t read the sale signs correctly. The customer might “always be right” but they’re very often wrong in doing so. If I use expired coupons or override sale items, I could lose my job. Do any customers outside the services career ever even think about the cashiers? The way myself and my coworkers have been treated, probably not. To the few who try to smile and thank us by name, you are the few who make our jobs bearable.

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    I was a cashier for 4 years and I saw people pay for lobsters and 3 carts of food for their friends with their food stamp card. I have also seen people use their food stamp card that were in suits and covered in Jewelry. I don’t think that the food stamp program should be eliminated though because I myself have fallen on hard times and needed it. I do however feel that the government should keep a better eye on how the people are spending their food stamps because the ones who abuse it are the ones that make the people who legitimately need it look bad.

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      If you saw it and KNEW positively that someone was using them in violation of the rules, Wendy, and failed to report it to Social Services, then you don’t have any right to be complaining about it to anyone else, you are just as guilty as they are. It is very easy to report food stamp fraud the reason most people who “know” that they have seen it don’t report it is because they are just bitching because someone is getting “free stuff” or at least that is what is happening in their own closed little minds.

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        It’s not her job to enforce the law. That’s for law enforcement.

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          Who the hell said it was her job to ENFORCE the law, genius?! I have seen the posters in grocery stores with the 800 number to call and report abuse or fraud. I guess if you saw a guy being robbed on the street you would just cross the street and say, “it’s not my job to report him, the cops should have been there to see it.” What a citizen you are! No loser who doesn’t think he has any responsibility to his society has any right to criticize others for anything, so just shut the hell up!

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            You’re damn right. I mind my own business, and that’s not any of my business. I have no duty to society and society has no duty to me, except to leave me alone, and keep their nose out of what I do. You make the mistake of sticking your nose in MY business, you’re going to wish you hadn’t, I’ll see to that.

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            You had better hope that I don’t see you committing a crime because contrary to what you seem to think, that is my business and not your personal business, I will report you and despite your threats I will NOT be sorry, you will especially as your new boyfriend, Bubba bends you over in your cell as the guards look the other way. Now call Lassie and run along home Timmy.

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            I call foul! I can’t believe that you actually allowed a threat of physical violence directed at another commenter to be passed, Dan. You have always had a higher standard than that. Timmy should not be allowed to post ANYWHERE!

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            I took that comment down, Bob. Thanks for the heads up.

            Tim, if you want to have a civil discussion without threatening to beat someone up, feel free to do so. I let most things go here but I won’t tolerate that kind of crap. Thanks…

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            Thanks, I’m okay with the nasty, I do enough of this to be used to it, but the threats I get a bit touchy about. It wasn’t long ago that someone threatened me and then came back a little later and told me exactly where I live. I looked him up and he was only about a two and a half or three hour drive from here. Scary crap with the shoot first attitude of the right wing crowd these days.

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            Bob Cull- I’m curious about your comment about the person who emailed you and let you know he knew where you lived. He isn’t from Northern CA by any chance, is he?

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            No, JCC, he was from eastern Ohio and he actually contacted me through a FB page where we were having a political disagreement.

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            Tim scares me also. He says he doesn’t like pple & minds his own business & expects people to do the same. I can’t figure out why he is even involved in these discussions if what he says he wants is true. Very confusing, I am new here & his comments stick out like a sore thumb to me.

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            He only showed up recently and seems to have tired of trolling here, it’s been several days since he lost posted, J. He definitely is not what he says he is. He is obviously unaware of what constitutes an IQ score that would be impressive yet still believable or he would never claim to have an IQ of 200-that is in the super genius range. He also thinks that an IQ increases with age, it does not, your IQ is not a measure of what you know it is a measure of your ability to learn and that stays relatively constant throughout your life. All Timmy is is a trouble maker looking for a physical fight.

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            Can you point to where I said that it increased? I said it may have changed. And those who work with IQ are actually fairly confident that it does change over time. Which would be obvious, actually, if you examined how the IQ is determined. It would actually tend to DECREASE over time. Because your chronological age and mental age would likely start to get closer over time.

            I was tested at the age of six, I do not believe I’ve gotten any more intelligent than I was back then, though I do have more facts stashed away in my memory for easy recall.

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            Though memory is not the same as intelligence. There may be some correlation between the two, but it’s not direct.

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            It’s really very simple. People don’t stick their noses where it doesn’t belong, and they don’t get hurt. I’m fairly tolerant and peaceful, but I keep to myself, and I don’t like people in my business. I find that other people are nothing more than a threat to me, so I am not going to wait to find out. I am going to protect myself.

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            Jesus, Timothy. You want a hug? You seem lonely.

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            Not lonely. I don’t like people. I mind my own business, and expect others to do the same.

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        Bob, You are absolutely right! If it is illegal it SHOULD BE reported.

        And Wendy,
        As for someone buying lobster or wearing suits and covered “jewelry”… Most people don’t realize how far some people have fallen after the crash. My own parents were set up to be comfortable for the rest of their lives before the crash. Their pensions took a major hit, and now they are eligible for complete coverage by Medicaid. The people appearing to be affluent may well be wearing the only decent clothes they have left and have been living in their car or an RV because they lost their house. And they may be pooling food stamps purchasing to get bulk food for a large group of homeless or indigent people… and finally, lobster is very healthy… not junk food. It can be made into lobster stew or salad and feed many, many people. Try thinking outside the box.

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        Love ur response to this one. Complaining, gossiping about others “misuse of F,S.” . Cashiers should maybe trained & mandated to report fraud/abuse/misuse of F.S. EBT, just as many other jobs require mandated reporting (Child care workers, nurses, teachers, the list is long) . They should also b paid a fair wage.

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      Wendy I think you have a point about food stamp abuse but why did you not report it?? I hate it when they buy a lot of junk food with them! I had a woman go through my line and spent about a hundred dollars worth of junk food and paid with a food stamp card! I understand people eat junk food ( I am guilty of it myself) but there should be a limit!

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      The Food Stamp program is one of the most monitored and scrutinized programs in this nation. Since Obama has taken office fraud in the program has been reduced from 3% to 1%.
      All those Food Stamp recipients who buy crab legs, lobsters and steak seem to shop at the same few stores, and are apparently in the same neighborhoods. They are actually healthy foods, but not wise purchases. If someone uses up their allotment on those items, they will probably have no food for the rest of the month, but it is not illegal. 99% of recipients cannot afford to do that and don’t.
      Why are people annoyed at the TINY percentage of people who cheat by selling their FS for drugs, and not realize the program actually works for 99% who would otherwise go hungry? What kind of American or human being are you that begrudges people in need because a few cheat the system? Not very nice people. That’s what kind you are.

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      you don’t know they maybe shopping for someone who can not get out- my mother in law wore very nice looking jewelry daily she had 3 pieces out of all of it that was real — The rest nicely made JUNK – She also knew how and where to shop and got the most expensive items at deep discount end of the year- closeout type sales so she was always dressed to the nines for PENNIES on the dollar – folks you just don’t know — “You think you know but you have No Idea” I am angry at folks who cast judgement when they don’t even know the person

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        As one who had to rely on SNAP for a couple of years, Lynn, I can confidently say that you are guilty of at the very least, stretching the truth. There is no way that anyone could possibly purchase “3 carts full of food” with their food stamps. A one month allowance will not buy that much food. I had enough to eat but I had to be careful of what I bought, it is not as all of you naysayers seem to think the life of Reilly, no one on public assistance is living in luxury, they are SURVIVING, no more. You know what, I retract my previous statement, you are not stretching the truth, you are LYING in true TEApub fashion.

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    However, when I WORK, there is a direct correlation between the money I receive and the work I have done to EARN it.

    If you’re not working, you didn’t earn a damn thing. If you’re paid for vacation or sick time, you didn’t EARN that money.

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      “If you’re not working, you didn’t earn a damn thing. If you’re paid for vacation or sick time, you didn’t EARN that money.”
      Stupidest comment I’ve read today. If I’m paid for vacation or sick time, it’s because I earned that time as part of my benefits package. If I receive disability (and I do, due to service-connected injuries), I earned those dollars, too.
      You may want to take a basic class in human resources, business management, etc., before posting again. You’re clearly not operating from a fact-based set of talking points (I’m guessing you’re likely a “graduate” of Beck U), or perhaps you suffer from coproencephaly (hopefully you’ll get the treatment you need once Obamacare kicks in)

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        An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

        If you aren’t working, you shouldn’t be getting paid. In fact, I usually work through lunch to make up for the fact that they sometimes pay me for more hours than I actually work (paid holidays, even though I generally work those days, we get paid for 8 more hours than we actually work.)

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        Trying to talk to a wall is going to be more productive than trying to talk to Timmy, Joe. I have concluded that he is either a paid troll or a sociopath and pathological liar. I am leaning heavily toward the latter.

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        Timmy manages to come up with an even *stupider* (intentional) comment than the previous. Wow.
        Severe coproencephaly. It’s a wonder he manages to breathe on his own.

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    ok let me explain something I am a cashier and food stamps do not take that long they are like using a credit card! writing a check takes longer! also if you go to the store expect to wait in a line if you are in a hurry do not go to the store! I have seen a lot of people who use ebt cards and I do not judge them cuz of it, I do not know their situation! However I do not understand why people are on food stamps who pull out a big amount of money from their pocket to pay for non food items?? again I do not know their situation! so who am I to judge them cuz of that? but when you live from pay check to pay check it is hard to understand. last month I did not have food in my house for the last week of the month and no cash to buy any it was very hard to see all the people who had all that money and food stamps ! I managed through the week eating left overs til I got my check! we all go through hard time but we manage to make it through so stop b**ching about people and enjoy life! just saying!!!!

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      Mary, not everyone who uses food stamps are food stamp recipients. I used to work for a disabled man who was bed ridden and he had people who were authorized to use his card to buy his food for him. Sometimes it was someone who made close to minimum wage to assist him, or it was well off neighbors.

      And All, I have to say, a store I used to shop at did have some problems with EBT. They regularly priced their discounted food items as grocery items instead of food items. This always caused a delay in the line to 1) figure out which item caused the problem and 2) call over a manager to back out the wrongfully labeled item. After 6 years of the management not training their people properly (on how to properly label their discounted items) I finally stopped shopping there. And if I spent 1 penny over the available funds, it also meant they had to call over a manager to void the transaction, and rering it with an amount that would be approved, and I could pay for the remainder. This was over a year ago, so maybe they finally fixed the part of going over, I don’t know, since I stopped shopping there. I figured the least I could do is spend my food stamps at a local business, to benefit my local economy, but one can only do so much if the business doesn’t correct problems that are known to arise. I was spending $400 a month in their store before I quit shopping there.

      I have to agree with Mary, though…if you are in a hurry, that is not the time to go to the store. Save yourself the frustration (when I encounter a long or slow line I take the opportunity to read one of the magazines at the check out. It does no good to get my knickers in a twist.)

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      mary eating left overs is NOT going through a hard time — a hard time is having to choose whether to use your pets caned tuna for your own salad or splitting it with your cat – you should be eating left overs if you don’t want left overs you are cooking too much and buying too much – hard times is sleeping on a side walk during winter or going dumpster diving for food —- sleeping in a van on a friends land with no access to fresh water or bathroom facilities or heat during the night during winter and below freezing temperatures — it isn’t deciding which take out menu to use next — give up your cable and internet and ipod – fancy phone that does 153 things go work at the home less shelter serving food for next 6 months talk to the folks coming through the line find out what a hard time really is — you don’t have a clue

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    You know, I can see it from many different perspectives and quite frankly all of them have value and merit. Nothing is ever black and white. I used to be on food stamps as well as welfare. I was foolish and got pregnant at a young age…too young and I paid for it. I went to school and struggled through to get to where I am today. I no longer qualify for either one. One thing that I do remember is that YES, those who complain about people who just use these programs as meal tickets DO have valid points. I saw it with my own eyes. You have NO idea how frustrating it was to be working so hard to get off of aid and dealing with a system that works so hard to keep you dependent…and then seeing people who seemed to make it a lifestyle…even joking about it. The article says that very few people do it but…I saw it a lot. On the other hand, the shame I felt as people looked at me as “just another welfare mom…” How humiliating it was! It made me want to get off of aid as fast as possible. Now today, I am a taxpayer and probably could be the poster child of how programs like that CAN work. I have a bachelor’s degree. I worked for that. I own my own home. I worked for that too. Unless something beyond my control happens, I will NEVER need aid again. THANK GOD! I now sit on the other side of the fence. I can see how these programs work but, I know their flaws. Poverty is an industry. They work to keep you dependent and you have to FIGHT to get out and move up. If a person does not have the determination to succeed, it can be daunting. These programs require a complete overhaul. sitting a bunch of people in a room to draw smiley faces on balloons and feeding them this BS about how “Cal works…WORKS!” is just that…It’s BS. I am thankful everyday for the aid that I got. I feel that I have showed my appreciation by making something of myself. I think that Americans need to have a REAL conversation about this topic and stop judging each other. You ALL have good and valid points both Conservatives as well as the more liberal views.

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    OMG my husband lost his job, I am disabled and we tried for food stamps and both thought it was horrible. Our son was accepted to chips and we had not had a employment issue for over 30 years yes 30 years. This is the first time we are living on a fixed income and making it. OHHH food stamps turned us down because we had a savings, home and two cars yes we didnt meat the “destitute” person. I get aggrivated at people who are on EBT who have many children at their sides and don’t get off their butts to get oral conterseptives along with the ability not to know how to keep their legs shut long enough to get a job. Yes I am totally pissed by this posting. No one knows the issues the person has when asking or needing food stamps. We were not accepted we accepted that fate and moved on. Being disabled is not fun and hubby being unemployed with a teen is what we are living up to on our savings. Yes the money we put away for a rainy day we are tapping that tree now. Our son wants for nothing in his last few years of school. We bit the bullet and buckled down our finances. We are bless that we do not have a house payment or auto payments but that was our choice to pay them off in the first place. I am one of the supporters to get rid of food stamps now. People are lazy and want a free ride and those truly needing assistance do not get the aid.

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    only thing that really ever bothers me is where ebt can be used.
    those over priced stores like 7-11 they should not be allowed to accept them.

    than you have what is considered food redbull,starbucks, rockstar,sodas, and candy, what the hell

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      There is a problem with your proposal, Steve. In many urban neighborhoods people have no other viable option, they have to shop in convenience stores, if those stores were prohibited from accepting SNAP where would they get their groceries?

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        in my community we are working with local farmers and the farmers markets to get fresh food to the urban areas where folks walk to the “quicky mart” type grocer mater of fact there are local government programs that help with that — check your local communities for a start up program — oh and quite a few of them are selling fresh fruit at the check out line the lady at the gas station said it sells out quick in my neighborhood a lot of low income folks don’t have access to transportation so the local walk to it market is there only access and option for food you want better things offered in your local markets it is just like major chains talk to the management if you get more folks asking it will be provided. they put out on the shelves what is sold quickly

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    hey folks; at our local farmers market they take EBT and the program allows you double — so they scan the card for say $10 you get $20 worth of Wooden tokens to use at the farmers market you can even save them from shopping trip to shopping trip great way to buy fresh local good food – instead of processed junk —– check your area and see if that is available-

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    I loath that look of disdain. I’ve experienced it a few times myself and described it as exactly that. The “Bertha Better than you” type folk who would dare act that way, don’t realize they are one illness or one traffic accident from being there themselves.
    I was injured while working in 2002 and part of my diagnosis was over looked for three years and then I developed nerve problems in my arms in 2006. My Neurosurgeon wanted me to see a Sacro Iliac Joint specialist and the attorney for my employers Insurance argued the the doctor’s opinion was hearsay and the OJCC judge agreed, which left me without health care in Florida’s Work Comp system. (thank you Jeb Bush)
    So in my resolve of what to do, other than give in and give up, I just decided I would do my best to outlive my Mom and then if she passed before me, after that time I will reevaluate life and whether I want to stick around.
    Fortunately in 2010 I found out that I could get health care through the VA, which has been awesome!
    I had tried to get Medicaid in Florida, but being that I was a “Single Male Home Owner” I couldn’t qualify. They wanted me to be homeless first.
    So any way, I’ve lived with lots of pain while having no access to health care and it hurts my brain in a PTSD way to think about the administrative abuses that I have been through and endured. The experiences for me I’ve considered as torture.
    All that being said, I get those looks of disdain from the Conservaturds or teatards here in Northwest Florida whether shopping for groceries or using a handicap parking space at the hardware store.
    I no longer have the patients, that the person in the story has, to take crap and move on. I fear I will confront the verbal abuse, which means I’m going to dropped 11 years of pain and resentment on anyone’s opinion that comes at me with a look of disdain and/or opinions based in only a false political narrative that they have chosen to believe in order to justify their bigotry and hate toward the poor and disabled.

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    Hey I think everyone needs to chillax.

    Who am I? Well I am the mother of two and step mother of one and the wife of a soldier. I have worked hard all my life and have been forced to pursue food stamps twice. Once successful and this last time not so successful. I have also been on wic. WIC is the worst for grocery shopping and there is no way to escape the stares and groans while you use them. My husband and I always got such anxiety(to the point of me personally almost having a panic attack upon leaving a grocery store) when we had to use the WIC and/or food stamps because we always had our kids with us and we were so scared that someone would start something with us with our children present. My husband and I are very protective of our children and have never been anxious people until we had them. The exact opposite as a matter of fact, very bold and blunt. Anyways, anytime I think about how I use to be so afraid of grocery shopping I would get so angry. Like why? This isn’t a big deal. I shouldn’t have to be worried that someone is going to start a fight with me because they feel that I have ruined their lives just because I used WIC while grocery shopping….grocery shopping….like seriously. There is so much more important stuff to be worried and scared and angry about. My husband and I are not perfect people, we are not better than you, we are not a shining example of what a family should be…..but we do not judge….ever. We do not go out of our way to make someone elses day harder. If anyone has ever shopped at a military commissary, holy lines batman….be prepared to be there for a couple hours. Regardless if you are in a hurry or you are free to take your own time, getting so bent out of shape at a grocery store is beyond my comprehension. You are in a hurry and need to get stuff for dinner, ok how is that anyone elses problem? It was poor planning on your part and you have no right to make someone else feel bad because you feel bad. That is absurd. I do not care if someone is arguing about coupons forever and a day, guess what I can leave if I do not want to deal with it. It is no skin off my nose. My first thought if I am in a hurry, “man I knew I should have went shopping earlier, oh well such is life” not “oh my god look at this inconsiderate person in front of me, aren’t they a mind reader and fortune teller and knew that I was in a hurry and was going to pick this line, I bet they did….and I bet they have expired coupons too! THE POX ON THEM!”.

    PS look up the definition of inconsiderate, a lot of you are using it wrong….in fact YOU are the inconsiderate one making any kind of scene because you are waiting in line. Inconsiderate means PURPOSELY going out of your way to hurt those around you. PURPOSELY. Someone using coupons or EBT card or WIC didn’t pull them out while evilly laughing….”MWAH HA HA HA Now everyone will have to wait!”. However you are PURPOSELY trying to make them feel bad with your of so sly groan, sighs, remarks, whatever. Hey and maybe you are having a bad day and your anger isn’t really about the person in front of you. Hey man we all have bad days but what is bothersome is that people do not seem to be aware their anger is not really directed towards the people in front of them and hesitate to own up to what is really going on.

    In the end, everyones reasons for any kind of assistance is varying. Mine for instance was not finding out I was pregnant until I was 30 weeks along leaving no time to save money and then moving far from anyone I knew(military) and having issues finding work that would be willing to accept the fact that a military wife cannot always work sundays because her husband is deployed and the day cares do not have openings that day(etc etc etc)…..some folks on assistance that have iphones and nice cars and clothes and whatever hey guess what….they may have had those before they went on assistance or someone gave it to them…..or heck they could be borrowing a friends car. Whatever, who cares. Double PS there are just as many moochers in big business and wall street…..way more frauds too…..and they have sucked more money from our taxes than assistance programs so please stop following whatever political agenda is being falsely presented to us and start looking at things. Countries that heavily support their social programs/assistance have been thriving and have less unemployment, etc etc etc. Really do the math on these things and realize that maybe just maybe you are judging someone based on false pretenses and maybe you are the one that is being inconsiderate, not the person in front of you. Oh and for the love of god stop assuming people on assistance do not work hard, holy crap my husband worked 50 hours a week and i worked 35 when we were on wic, money was just awful back then. And we didn’t have cable, a brand new car, and I shopped at thrift stores…people were getting laid off left and right and just business was not good.

    It is grocery shopping, relax.

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    Baloney. The letter writer has made a choice to be offended and expend serious energy blowing off about it. And “harshly treated” hardly describes what actually happened–the other customer muttered something under her breath.

    I used food stamps off and on from about 1991 to 2012 and never, ever encountered abuse from other customers nor clerks, despite buying most of my groceries at Whole Foods. If I had, I would have shrugged it off as their problem, not mine, because I see no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed about it.

    I’m also skeptical about the separating-items part of her story, because it just doesn’t happen like that. You swipe your EBT card, the amount for the eligible items is deducted, and then the register displays the remaining, ineligible amount to be paid in cash.

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    Bruno Bizier, Ste-Anne-des-Monts, QC

    Too many comments for me to read’em all. BUT, in case a point would not have been covered: MAYBE, (only maybe) the “slow lady” in front of Catalan had problems with either snility or poor schooling, as a lot of people and was doing HER VERY BEST with the tools she has to live with. Maybe she was sick and maybe had no one to do the necessary groceries for her, etc. There may be a ton of reasons why people, at times, are not preperly functionning. If you have no patience, change lines! But, in all circumstances, if you can’t offer help, at least RESPECT the people! And if that lady was willingly bugging you and if it was obvious that it was her intention to bug yuo, then you should have let her know gently. Still, changing lines is the best thing to do, in circumstances like that. But STOP THE CONTEMPT! You do NOT KNOW what is weighing on people’s shoulders. RESPECT. RESPECT. RESPECT. And, if at all possible: compassion and help!

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