The Food Stamps War

So just a little venting. I would also like to hear everyone’s thoughts on this matter. I work at a gas station. The first of the month is always a horrible day for me because I work third shift. At midnight everyone gets there food stamps or EBT for the month. I know that this will probably start controversy. It is not meant too, I promise!

However I was very discouraged and annoyed last night. I believe that we need food stamps here in our country but I also believe they are being abused and misused greatly. Last night I heard all the grumbling and complaining that the government has sent letters out cutting back on some of my customers monthly food money. I do have compassion and feel bad for the people that are truly in need of the help and that use it wisely. However,  I see so much abuse of food stamps. For instance, one family bought 20 different types of candy bars, 6 bags of chips, 15 different kinds of hostess, 10 bottles of red bull and a tiny little half liter of milk. Really? I believe this is abuse, I know some people will say it is not my business what they spend the money on. But, um, the last time I recalled it is my money going to pay for it? I am NOT judging these people either. My mother and I had food stamps at one point when my dad was away. We used this money to get all the food we needed first and never really bought any kind of excessive junk food or energy drinks on it.

The only reason I even really mention this is because I hear so many of the EBT customers complaining that they never have enough. I understand that I don’t know everything that goes on in there household or their expenses. But honestly? I have to work so very hard just to keep food on my table and I have to portion and watch everything I spend. While 9 out of the 12 customers last night bought many of our candies and donuts and junk. If I have a candy bar its a treat.

By the end of the month, they barely have any money left and tell me their cupboards are empty and even have the audacity to ask me for money or free food, while here I am struggling and scraping to make a life for myself.

I really want people to understand I am not saying everyone who has EBT is abusing it. But there is a problem with misuse here in America. We need to stop this. I am sorry but I work very hard for the little I have, and I have medical problems. I just wanted to vent about this a little, I hope no one takes offense and feel free to comment and let me know how you feel about this issue.

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17 thoughts on “The Food Stamps War

  1. i’m not an expert, but what you witness there is a general problem with food/diet education connected with potential depression and that’s a social problem, because it hits more the weaker social classes. a couple of studies showed that children who eat junk food are more likely to get fatter but to be happier in mood. another study connects junk food consumption to rise the chance of depression in the subjects. junk food is known to have the same addictive effect of cocaine, a substance that some people use to heal depression – or at least to live with that.
    so i see how the money thing stirs your nerves, but the problem is not that. there’s something wrong in the “model” of our societues – something that causes need for junk food with all the consequences of that.
    the links:

    http://www.livescience.com/19450-sweets-fast-foods-depression.html

    http://www.medicalobserver.com.au/news/junk-foods-consolation-prize

    • Thank you for the websites! I will definitely check them out! I agree with you. I think that it does make someone feel happy and secure but then when the high is over they are left depressed!

  2. This is obviously a hotly contested topic, so I will tread lightly. First, not everyone has a sense of what is healthy or necessary for good health. Processed food is very expensive, but very convenient, so that, coupled with a lack of basic health knowledge probably leads to many empty cupboards by the end of the month. The biggest problem, and to my disbelief, was the introduction of EBT at gas stations. There is almost no possibility of finding something healthy at one. Then there is the expense. A 16 oz Red Bull where I live is $4, and children should never ever have one.

    The thing we have to remember as the working class is that our system straddles the democratic/socialist fence. They cannot work efficiently at the same time, if either work at all. As long as our country is run as such, there will be plenty of abuse, with us taking the burden. So unless we become wealthy, there is no alternative to watching this abuse with our own eyes. You’re not alone. 🙂

    • I didn’t want to start a mean or controversial subject but everyday I get more and more annoyed. I do believe some of these people have a poverty mentality but it’s not sometimes there fault or the kids. I don’t really have any answers or information like you Johnny : ) you always sound like you know so much! But I can tell when something is being abused and I know that food stamps at least where I live is being abused. And I agree with you on the country is seems as though we have become more of a socialist country. I don’t really know any answers or what I can even do to help or stop because I am just one person but I do feel better after this post and I am always polite and kind to my customers. I just wish there was a class or something to help people understand.

      • You’re fine; I was only giving a disclaimer for the sake of spontaneity. 😉

        My state offers nutrition classes, for EBT recipients, but they aren’t required. Alabama is the fifth poorest state with almost 1/3 of residents using food assistance. The classes are not well attended. There are states starting to do drug testing though. I’m not sure if there is a solution at all, but I do know that everyone should have food to eat. I study this kind of stuff for a living, so I know how corrupt all of these systems are. Everyone needs to know before anything will be done. Good rant. 🙂

      • 🙂 thanks and I think it is awesome that you do study all this stuff and inform people. I do think people should have food to eat as well, especially the little kids. I do think that people who get upset with the abuse have the right to be upset though. I see this and I get upset but the only thing I know I can do is not repeat this and try to teach the ones like my family what I can. I would never want someone to not have food though. I just feel there is abuse and also I see a lot of people who do need it or could use it not qualify, like war veterans, it makes me so sad that many of our vets are not getting the help they do deserve. I guess this world is just messed up. I don’t know what the answers are or if there is actually and way we can fix the mess. All I know is that there is two sides to every story and no one is absolutely right.

  3. For me I really liked your post. You actually witness people using the EBT in unwise ways, and you actually talk to these people. You are sitting in an $100K house somewhere assuming what these people are doing. I think everyone knows the system is broken, what we need are people who are going to figure out a way to fix it, and implement that plan.

    • Smile! No I am not sitting in a 100k house LOL. And I do witness it. I don’t even necessarily blame this people, I blame parents, the whole system, if I blame anyone. Although I do have to remember I grew up in a home that struggled a lot but my parents learned and taught themselves so we cant give everyone a pat on the shoulder and say its not your fault at all. Thanks for the comment :)!

  4. I’m unfortunately one of those people (though not nearly to the extent that you point out with that one particular family; that’s boggling). It’s more out of necessity for me, though I’m likely in the minority of abusers. I have agoraphobia and leaving my house during the daytime hours is not an option; I can only go to stores in the middle of the night anymore without having panic attacks (it’s extremely difficult for me to even walk down the street to see my doctor); going to walmart in the daytime is simply not an option. I also don’t drive, which greatly complicates matters, as there is no night-time public transportation option even if I could get on one (I can’t.). So it ends up being a local gas station cold-subs and frozen pizzas for my main diet with the occasional eggs and milk (at inflated prices because of the ‘convenience store’.

    I’m not disagreeing at all with what you are saying; there is definitely rampant abuse that some take advantage of. But for my own particular case (and I’m sure I’m in a very small percentage), it is the only option available.

    • That is awful that you have to just eat our subs and stuff : ( and you are the exception dear! I wasn’t trying to be harsh on these people as I said my mother and I had food stamps but we need to have a class for some people who do abuse it! But I totally understand your situation 🙂 and I would never be mean or rude to someone I understand we all have things we abuse and stuff!

      • Oh I agree with that you are saying… spending it on nothing but twinkies, potato chips and the sort is disgruntling and disturbing to watch. I hope those children are getting better nutrition elsewhere; that’s simply terrible.

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