Food Stamps & Junk food!

[deleted account] ( 323 moms have responded )

The other day I was at the grocery store and the lady in front of me was paying with food stamps... which I have no problem with, I have a few friend who use government assistance for one reason or another. What I had a problem with was the contents of her purchase!

We are a fat, poor nation! I understand that! I understand that a lot of people can't afford the healthy foods and have to buy the processed foods. But in my opinion, when you are getting the food for FREE, you should get the healthy stuff! There is NO reason why her cart should have had anything other than fresh fruits and veggies! No, her cart had 12 pack sodas, snack cakes, chips, JUNK! ALL JUNK!

I know a little junk now and then is nice to have, but I think their should be a limit!

Any thoughts???

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Jodi - posted on 06/20/2010

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I know you were kidding. My ex wants to know where my massive $165 a month goes (that's when he pays it) because he wants to make sure I am not spending it on myself. I pretty much think he should pull his head out and realise that I am raising his almost 13 year old son, how far does the idiot really think $165 a month goes? Laughable IMO.

Meghan - posted on 06/20/2010

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LOL @ Jodi!!! I really was kidding! But while I agree 100% with what you are saying, I actually DO use my child support for my car payments and ins...when I do get it, it happens to be around the time I have already bought diapers and groceries and the above things are what I need to spend money on...I am sure my ex would be pissed off but he can suck an egg!

Sherri - posted on 06/20/2010

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You can't buy beer or cigarettes with EBT has to be food items only and can't be already prepared foods either. Can't buy any paper products either.

Jodi - posted on 06/20/2010

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It shouldn't matter what you spend your child support on anyway. That is no-one's business because it isn't public money. It is also none of the ex's business how you spend it as long as the kids are not missing out :)

Meghan - posted on 06/20/2010

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I use my child support (when I get it) to buy booze and smokes! (I am totally just kidding!)

[deleted account]

Other than food stamps.... I currently LIVE on $600/month. That pays all my bills (I have rental assistance too), gas for my vehicle, household supplies, and if we are lucky... maybe a trip to Starbucks or McDonald's on rare occasion. Though right now I'm in a very tough spot cuz I only have enough for my bills and I need to find a way to pay my lawyer too....

Now, I don't drink or smoke. Never have, never will. I personally think it's stupid for anyone to do those things (please don't be offended if you DO those things), but who am I to judge if some 'idiot' would rather drink beer than pay their bills? They are the ones that have to live w/ the consequences of those actions.... not me.

Of course, I also live where the cash benefits only last for 5 years in your lifetime whether you can survive on your own after that or not. Want to waste those 5 years and then be royally screwed? Your (their) choice. Personally, I've got to get my act together a whole lot faster than that. ;)

It is a screwed up system though. Even I'll agree w/ that. Everytime my cost of living goes up... I get more food stamp money. I don't NEED more food stamp money... I have WAY more than enough every month. I need more cash... not for crap, just for survival. Which is why I don't fault anyone that sells their benefits to others. I don't, but I can understand how someone else could be that desperate.

[deleted account]

I get irritated when ppl spend their EBT/foodstamps on sugary crap or on the same note, it pisses me off when they live it up and buy lobster/crab etc... Most of all, I get pissed off when I see someone buying a bunch of food on their EBT and then buy beer w/cash... OR when they use their EBT card (welfafe bene) to buy cigarettes or beer...HOW F*d up they can use their cash assisstance on cigarettes and beer! I think that the state if they plan on giving someone $500/mo they should just pay that towards rent...give then 500 credits or some BS...maybe have you take your bills to them and they can pay them direct deposit or some crap? Maybe use it as a learning exp? IDK...And I know its not to say that they would use their freed up $ on something other then cig & beer.

IDK...its a f*d system...

Erin - posted on 06/19/2010

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@ Teresa, nope they do not recredit it. I just had to return 2 bunches of cherries the other day (all of them were rotten...UGH!!) and they gave me cash back.

Tanya - posted on 06/19/2010

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I have had people come up to me at the store and say they will buy me 80 dollars worth of food for 40 cash on the EBT card. EBT is the food stamp card in SC.

I think they should be able to buy whatever they want. Maybe they don't know any better. I think that until we start feeding children better in school then we can expect to have a nation of unheathly eater. I was watching Jamie Olivers Food Revolution and I had no idea that the flavored milks they serve in school has more sugar than a soda. No wonder every other child is hyper.

Funny story my brother worked as a cashier at a super market in high school. 2 about 10 year old girl bought like 60 dollars worth of junk food on their moms card. I bet they were in so much trouble. He said it had everything chips, ice cream, cookie, candy bars, soda, and whatever else you can think of

[deleted account]

Holly, they don't just recredit the card? I've never had a need to return any food items, so I did not realize that. I figured they'd just recredit the card. They shouldn't be allowed to give cash back for food stamps.

[deleted account]

Just throwing it out there... I think food stamps should be more regulated (like WIC), but only a little bit. I do enjoy the flexibility at times, but there are just (IMO) too many ways to get cash out of the food benefits. One example is that some people use their whole food stamp balance to buy lots of baby formula and then they return the formula. Instead of putting the money back on the benefits card (it's like a credit card), the stores give cash back. This way people can get cash instead of food... Yes, it's a flawed system, and it could use some serious rethinking, but it really does help some people who use it honestly and in the manner it is intended to be used. I don't think those people should be punnished, but at the same time I really can't think of a way to strengthen the system without punnishing the good people.

[deleted account]

Thanks for that info Jodi! I know it wasn't totally relevant, but I enjoyed reading it anyway.

About the topic, I don't have a problem with people using them to buy whatever food they want. Why shouldn't those who need a little assistance have the same choices and freedoms as the rest of us? But on the other hand, I wouldn't be opposed to food stamps being more like WIC, where there is pre-approved food and products you can buy. I don't have a strong opinion on this one. Though I wish people would feed themselves with better food. But what someone puts in their body is their business, so long as it's legal.

Jodi - posted on 06/19/2010

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I think it is a misconception that healthy foods are more expensive. Maybe the initial price is, but wholegrain foods, fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins keep you fuller for longer, and you therefore need to eat less of them to keep the hunger at bay. Most junk foods contain faster burning sugars and fats so your stomach empties quicker, and you feel hungrier sooner, and therefore need more to fill you up. Junk food is a false economy. I know I can pay 50c for a fresh, seasonal apple, or $1.00 for a packet of chips. I know I can pay $7.00 for a frozen microwave dinner (multiply that by 4 of us = $28), but I can cook a nice roast lamb and vegetables for $20. I know I can buy a loaf of white bread for about $2.60, and a wholegrain one for around $4.00, but it takes 2 sandwiches to fill you up with the white one. I can make cookies from scratch much cheaper than I can buy them.



Just saying :)



Anyway, that is irrelevant to the topic, LOL. We don't have food stamps here, but I often think we should have. Then maybe the families who need it won't spend their welfare on cigarettes, booze and drugs......so it could be worse!! Junk food isn't so bad when you think of it that way.

Rosie - posted on 06/19/2010

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oh yeah, and another reason why they may be buying the junk food. it's a HELL of a lot cheaper than food that is good for you. i really think health food needs to be cheaper and if people want junk food then they should have to pay more for it.

[deleted account]

I am a single mother who recieves a small amount of food stamps every month. This will soon end because I just finished school and am starting a new job so my new income will allow me to get off of government assistance. I am a pretty healthy eater and try to feed my son that way too. Of course, being that he's 3 he is stuck in the hot dog and mac & cheese phase. While I buy mostly healthy foods, I do allow myself to splurge on one ice cream and maybe a bag of M & M's. I agree that someone who recieves food stamps shouldn't buy just junk, however, no one should buy just junk food. Of course, we can't tell people what they should or should not buy. It's unfortunate that some people who are able to get help for food each month may make bad choices, but some people who do not recieve assistance make those same bad choices.

Rosie - posted on 06/19/2010

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i think that people on foodstamps should be required to take classes on nutrition, but i don't think that banning junkfood is the way to go. and the only reason i think they should take nutrition classes is because if they are on foodstamps most likely the government is paying medical as well, and we all know that eating bad leads to more medical issues, which in turn leads to more money taxpayers are shelling out.

[deleted account]

My family is on foodstamps right now and we buy mostly healthy stuf, but like Teresa said, sometimes we do buy "junk food" (ex: sodas, cakes, snacks, etc.) when we have a birthday party or a family event. Who's to judge? I feel it's fairly judgemental to base an opinion on what you (general you) see someone buying one time, you just never know if that is their usual grocery trip or if it's for a special occasion. Now, if you (general you) see the SAME person week after week buying the SAME junk food and trash in what is obviously a habitual grocery outing, then judging is a little more justified.

BUT, saying that I feel that we should never judge others for our opinions vs. theirs. If they CHOOSE to feed their family like that, then it is their own CHOICE. All you (general you) can control is what you feed your family. One of my favorite sayings is "I can't control what others do, just how I react to them." I CHOOSE to not react in a negative manner because the only person it affects is ME and when the effects are negative, then I am, by association, negative as well, and I choose not to live my life like that... :)

[deleted account]

I don't have any clue to how food stamps work as I live in the UK and there's no such thing over here but I think at the end of the day it's up to the individual to choose what he or she eats not the government. When I go shopping I only do top-up shopping in shops as we do our big shop which includes all the veggies and fruit etc. online so the stuff I do buy in shops is "junk" and I'd hate to think people thought that was all I ate!

[deleted account]

Don't ever go shopping w/ me.... ;) We don't drink soda though and don't buy ALL junk. We buy a lot of healthy things, but I refuse to be made to feel guilty simply because we also like to eat ice cream and cookies and stuff on occasion. Maybe she already bought a 'houseful' of healthy food and was getting stuff for a birthday party....

I've been involved in quite a few various food stamp 'debates' and it never ends well.

Meghan - posted on 06/19/2010

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I am on Income Assistance (not food stamps but I do get some help)...and yes I buy the occasional bag of chips..but I chose to eat healthy and I can bribe my son with broccoli just as well as I can with a cookie.

My personal opinon is that diet affects everything in our day to day life! I think a lot of this ADD/ADHD buisness has to do with the food we are putting into our kids.

But bottom line, some people are ignornat when it comes to food...some people are lazy when it comes to food...and I don't know where this idea that buying processed crap for ourselves in benifical. In the long run, they really are wasting money.

LOL, there is my vent hope it made sense

Sherri - posted on 06/19/2010

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You can spend all your food stamps on Lobster and shrimp if you wanted to there is no regulation as to how the food stamps must be spent. If that is how she chooses to feed her family I feel that is her business. I feel that I would have veggies, fruits, organic snacks and so forth but not everyone eats the way I do. So that is purely there business.

Joanna - posted on 06/19/2010

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You're allowed to get that sort of stuff with food stamps? I guess I wasn't aware, I always figured food stamps were like WIC, where you only get a certain array of foods to choose from. That's sad that they are wasting government money on all junk food. I can understand getting a bit of soda and a snack, everyone needs that once in awhile, but you also need food that's good for you. Seems like maybe they should teach nutrition classes before handing out food stamps.

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