Why does EBT fund junk?

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I am totally confused! The government is now regulating the type of food and fat content in schools. If the government is so concerned about obesity in young people, then why don’t they place restrictions on food bought and paid for by government EBT cards?

When I go grocery shopping, I see people in front of me in the checkout line with carts full of cookies, candy, chips and soft drinks, and they pull out their EBT cards to pay. All over supermarkets, you see junk food labeled “EBT-approved.” Why can’t EBT cards be restricted to nourishing staple foods such as chicken, beans, vegetables, milk, juice and healthy foods? If your family is hungry and you need to be fed by the taxpayers, then why do you spend the money allotted on junk food, expensive steaks and lobster that the average working taxpayer cannot afford?

Seems to me things are topsy-turvy with the EBT program. If EBT were used for cheaper staple foods, less money would go further. I don’t begrudge people in need being fed, but I do begrudge the total lack of common sense, and these people living high and eating junk on our dollar. If fast food is such a no-no, then why can it be purchased with an EBT card?

This nonsense makes me wonder if I’m the only sane person left, or maybe I’m the only insane one.

Linda Gregory

Martinez

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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 02/07/13 - 06:03 am
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Good letter Linda

I think EBT cards should only be alloweed for certain foods.
Many a time the person in front of me is bying steak, potato chips, candy and a host of other things that are what I call luxury foods. I know the technology exists to take care of this problem but I don't know why they don't implement it.
I don't spend my money on these luxury foods because I have other bills to pay.
Something is definitely wrong with the EBT system. I don't know what the answer is but something needs to be done
Again a very good letter!

bumblebeerose
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bumblebeerose 02/07/13 - 06:09 am
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I agree

I agree about the EBT cards. Certain junk foods should not be allowed. What bothers me more than the junk food is they pay cash for beer and wine. If you need EBT you do not need "BEER OR WINE"!!!!!

shrimp for breakfast
5460
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shrimp for breakfast 02/07/13 - 06:40 am
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Exactly bumblebeerose

If you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes you have no business having an EBT card!

nofanofobama
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nofanofobama 02/07/13 - 07:11 am
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amen to all---all programs

amen to all---all programs need to be reviewed, we have to much fraud, duplication and waste in the federal govt..we also need commom sense back in DC..NOT ONE MORE DIME IN TAXES TIL WE GET SPENDING CUTS AND REFORM..

dstewartsr
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dstewartsr 02/07/13 - 08:20 am
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EBT is the most glaring example

... of what is wrong with this country: Funding of EBT and related programs cannot be touched by budgetary constraints, but soldiers' pay can.

Jane18
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Jane18 02/07/13 - 08:29 am
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So Many Liars And Thieves

So, nofan, how do we get the "fat-cats" in D.C. to do this very necessary thing? They know it needs to be done, but, for sorriness on their part they ignore this problem! Another set of people that should probably not receive EBT cards are those with tattoos(those having so many they look like a human map), fancy haircuts and hairdos, manicures of one inch+ nails, do you get my meaning? Oh, don't forget the the trashy ones that don't care how they or their little children look, they are all the same......!! Hey--most businesses take EBT cards! I guarantee you, we would be so surprised as to what these card holders "buy"......................I wouldn't want the cards to be the only abuse checked out...how about SS Disability, Medicaid/Medicare, SSI, the "ENTITLEMENT" program, etc., needs a complete overhaul! Let me know to whom I start "buggin'".

deestafford
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deestafford 02/07/13 - 09:11 am
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We need to look in the mirror

because we are the problem! We elect them. And reelect them. This last election was a chance to turn the country around and we the people blew it. It is on a path to collectiveism that will not be totally reversed in our lifetimes. On the local level we put into office a congressman who keeps moving and moving to get elected...not to mention the inept candidate the Republicans put up. I'm as frustrated as anyone, but we are the blame for putting them there...96% reelection rate.

Bulldog1
223
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Bulldog1 02/07/13 - 09:41 am
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Failure

The substantial majority of EBT card holders are in their current situation because they have made a large number of very poor life choices. This is (for the most part) still America, where we can choose our own life path. I am pleased to see that the EBT still allows people the freedom to fail miserably. I want no more "nanny" laws; if fact I would love to see far fewer. People need the freedom to fail! It's what encourages most of us to get up and go to work every day...

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 02/07/13 - 10:25 am
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To answer the writers question

To answer the writer question as to why they don't make corrections or changes to the EBT system. The main purpose of the EBT system is not to help feed the poor. Just like everything else that comes out of Washington DC the purpose is political and that is to make as many people as possible dependent on them. This program as grown in size and scope and now has a record number of Americans looking to the Federal government. This is the same reason for Obamacare. How can you expect voters to support cuts to the Federal government that supplies food, shelter and healthcare. They now have a majority of voters dependent on them so they can retain power forever !

faithson
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faithson 02/07/13 - 11:16 am
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common sense...

it seems like common sense that 'free food' should be limited to the basics. The fact that there is no discussion at all in the halls of government to address the issue of how Red Bull can be bought with ebt says a lot.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 02/07/13 - 11:36 am
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Y'all are missing the point.

Y'all are missing the point. The more they can restrict what you spend your money on, the more of you will be kept healthy to work and pay taxes to redistribute the THEM.....so they can sit on their butts, eat YOUR twinkies, watch the cable TV you pay for, talk on their Obamaphone, laugh at you, and use the free healthcare you provide them.

You don't really think the government is concerned with your health because they love you? This is all about keeping the workers working so they can support their block vote constituents and keep them pinned up with just enough feed to prevent them from jumping the fence and running wild. Unfortunately the herd has outgrown the corral.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 02/07/13 - 11:46 am
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What strikes me as odd is...

When you see poor people from third world countries they are sickly amd emaciated. When I stand in line at the grocery store behind EBT people most weigh over 200 lbs and have a cart full of sweets, sodas and junk food. We have raised a society of wants not needs and Dichotomy is right the herd will stampede if they don't get their wants met.

bubbasauce
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bubbasauce 02/07/13 - 12:52 pm
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Another well said comment

Another well said comment Dichotomy! I don't need to make any additional comments. Enough said!

bubbasauce
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bubbasauce 02/07/13 - 12:56 pm
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Another well said comment

Another well said comment Dichotomy! I don't need to make any additional comments. Enough said!

Sorry, DROID got a headache this morning, or maybe I do from getting my blood pressure up from reading all the stuff going on in this messed up world we live in.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 02/07/13 - 01:04 pm
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Bulldog1...."The substantial

Bulldog1...."The substantial majority of EBT card holders are in their current situation because they have made a large number of very poor life choices."

I respectfully disagree. I think the substantial majority of EBT card holders have made a conscious decision to be wards of the state. Just a gut feeling based on all of the VERY healthy people I see using them. They are smart enough to operate an Obamasmartphone but not smart enough to get a job........or are they smart enough to not have to get a job and WE are the dumb ones.

nofanofobama
6856
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nofanofobama 02/07/13 - 01:29 pm
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JANE--i email our 2 senators

JANE--i email our 2 senators and our congressman once a week or so and try to shame them into doing the right things regardless of party affliation. i also call their local office.. the only ones who can change it are the ones who probably have no interest in changing it ..again both parties...i quess the 51 percent who pay income taxes can claim so many exemption that no money is taken out of pay...maybe this would get there attention...perhaps a national hour walkout of tax payers one day...the ones who play by the rules are the ones who get jacked around because we are busy working and not complaining...perhaps we all can work on ideas ...i am sure many feel powerless maybe we can start a movement.

burninater
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burninater 02/07/13 - 02:48 pm
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Why junk food? Higher profit

Why junk food? Higher profit margins and large corporate lobbies. The individual receiving EBT assistance is only the middleman in the spending chain -- ultimately EBT money ends up largely in the pockets of the processed food industry, which has huge lobbying influence and deep pockets. They buy Congress, Congress makes sure spending continues to flow to their coffers. Excluding junk food from EBT would withhold money from heavyweights like Kraft, General Mills, Pepsi/Coke, FritoLay, etc.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 02/07/13 - 03:48 pm
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Low socioeconomic groups are

Low socioeconomic groups are prone to health disparities and increased violence. Type II diabetes is becoming an epidemic in obese children-many in mostly low socioeconomic groups-the more educated and wealthy kids are much healthier . Here is a chance for the nanny state that Obama loves to apply. Restrict calories and only healthy food choice. NO alcohol because WHO suggest this will contain violence in scientific studies. Further he could teach parenting and diet classes to this population to decrease violence which is becoming an epidemic in our youth. Dichot explained the reason why this won't happen so let's just state the fact the Obama administration is ignoring the science and letting kids suffer from long term health issues (studies indicate) which will kill more than Sandy Hooks by a factor of millions. But Obama cannot alienate his voter base. It is shameful.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/07/13 - 03:53 pm
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How did I know....

How did I know that somehow a liberal would find a way to blame the republican Congress, and completely ignore Mr. Entitlement President. Blaming those evil rich republicans, right? Everything is the republicans fault and our precious King, has all the answers to fix it. Now, having said that; I can't completely disagree because common sense tells us that with the corruption in Washington, lobbyists probably are to blame a lot. But to mention the CONGRESS as the only offenders, is pathetic at best, down right dishonest at worst. They are ALL to blame, every single elected representative that ALLOWS this to continue.

I would GLADLY throw every single one of them out, if I knew they voted to allow this, if I could. Would the liberals do the same thing? Would they actually throw out their leaders who tow the party line, if they wouldn't vote to stop this? That is my problem; why is it liberals will NOT go against party lines? I WILL go against conservatives in a heartbeat!! I blindly follow NO MAN!! But throughout history there has always been a faction of society that blindly follows MEN. In history it has been kings, emperors, furhers, etc. Today it appears to be Presidents, congressmen, senators and evil dictators throughout the world. People blindly follow them, without resistance. I'll never understand this.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/07/13 - 04:05 pm
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RMSHEFF

Said it very well; the government uses entitlement payments no different than drug dealers use drugs. They use it for their very existence. Getting people addicted to them, therefore they can't live without them, even if healthy enough to work. When the people are addicted to them, they will NOT vote someone in who they think MIGHT limit the payments.

So Burninator was correct in one point. There probably is big money involved that keeps our representatives from more strictly regulating EBT. But it ultimately falls upon our elected representatives. If they had the HONOR and INTREGRITY to do what is RIGHT, and not take lobbyists money, they could work on getting it fixed. If our representatives would give the lobbyists the middle finger, positive things could happen. But politicians are the lowest form of scum, therefore they won't do a darn thing. They are more worried about their personal careers than doing anything with substance. We MUST, MUST, MUST implement terms limits for ALL politicians. I'm tired of seeing the same old faces in Washington, to include the Pelosi's, Reids, McCains, etc. But POWER is also as addictive as drugs. These people will NEVER vote to limit their OWN term limits. It needs to be placed on the ballot box, period!!

HenryWalker3rd
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HenryWalker3rd 02/07/13 - 04:19 pm
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EBT envy
Unpublished

Which is cheaper....junk food or healthy food? The most expensive item on Zaxby's menu is a salad....

You cannot buy alcohol on EBT.

Now, take all of this energy and use it to start up a convo about those THEIVING politicians....both local and national.

EBT abuse is peions compared to how we are screwed on a daily basis.

drops mic.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 02/07/13 - 04:40 pm
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EBT envy? When it's MY money
Unpublished

EBT envy? When it's MY money they are spending....you bet!!! Just because someone else is "screwing" you more does NOT justify the rampant fraud in EBT. But as usual there are those that try to rationalize poor behavior by pointing to someone else's poor behavior.

specsta
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specsta 02/07/13 - 04:57 pm
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The Reality, Not The Lies, About Food Stamps

Wow, it must be nice to live such a sheltered and pampered life that someone can actually spend time THINKING ABOUT the food purchases of someone else in line in at the grocery store.

So many folks love to wear the hat of judge and jury, sentencing every individual with an EBT/SNAP card to the status of loafer, lazy, and ward of the state.

I sincerely hope that none of these privileged folks ever find themselves on the losing end of a job, or have a spouse die, face a catastrophic illness, or get sued into bankruptcy. It's really easy to judge someone else when you are blinded by selfishness and greed. Maybe a few of these folks should try to subsist on the pittance paid for food resources by the government.

Just recently, in October 2012, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton attempted to live on food stamps for a week - "Stanton said he was barely able to meet nutritional needs and lost four pounds, according to Fox 10 News Phoenix. He skipped meals and relied on ramen noodles, pasta and coffee, according to KTAR."

Newark Mayor Corey Booker attempted the same feat in December - and barely ate at all the first day.

I wonder how many of these critics of SNAP/EBT can feed themselves three meals on an average of $4 a day?

Junk food and unhealthy food is cheaper than healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Also, many poor communities do not have easy access to markets that have fresh vegetables and fruits. That's the reality. Folks who live pampered lives cannot even fathom not being able to run into Publix or Whole Foods to buy something nutritious. But for a lot of poor Americans, those ramen noodles and chips and cheap soda are staples for survival.

I would challenge anyone on these opinion boards to take the Food Stamp Challenge and see for yourself what it means to struggle and go hungry.

"The SNAP Challenge gives participants a view of what life can be like for millions of low-income Americans. Most participants take the Challenge for one week, living on the average daily food stamp benefit (about $4 per person per day). Challenge participants find they have to make difficult food shopping choices, and often realize how difficult it is to avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy."
http://frac.org/initiatives/snapfood-stamp-challenges/

Darby
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Darby 02/07/13 - 04:56 pm
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3
"why is it liberals will NOT go against party lines? I WILL....

....go against conservatives in a heartbeat!!"

Yes, and so will just about any other conservative. That's why the right has so much trouble winning national elections. They are driven by economic, moral, and national defense issues all tempered by logic.

"Progressives" are driven by an emotion fueled, envy based agenda. It's so much easier to win when all you need to do is keep repeating to the troops, "They are evil, we are good! They are evil, we are good!"

That's always going to be tough to beat. get used to it!

john
1047
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john 02/07/13 - 04:56 pm
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EBT

They would rather go after kids homemade turkey on wheat sandwiches and force feed them soylent chicken nuggets at the school caf.

specsta
6592
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specsta 02/07/13 - 05:00 pm
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@Humble Angela

No one is spending "your money" nor is there "rampant fraud" in the food assistance program. Try doing some research.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 02/07/13 - 05:10 pm
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Spectsa, what these people

Spectsa, what these people are referring to are people in Publix, Kroger, and the major food stores; not hardly people who don't have access. (That IS a problem in some areas and I agree with you). I think it also misses the point to refer to the mayor's experiences as I don't believe food stamps (like Social Security) were intended to fulfill 100% of dietary needs, but rather to supplement, just like SS.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, but I believe EBT funds are distributed based on income, lowest income gets more EBT dollars than highest income among the poor.

So... Those that have access to healthy foods shouldn't be obese like so many seen swiping EBT's, it isn't because they are shopping at the local Minit Mart.

Maybe DOA food stores would be better. Show your card like CostCo and you get a month's worth of cheese, bread, milk, lean meats, flour, vegetable oil for cooking, etc.

carcraft
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carcraft 02/07/13 - 06:01 pm
3
4
I hate to say it but there is

I hate to say it but there is rampant fraud with the EBT cards. An Atlanta TV station did a feature on stores that offered both tabacco and alcohol for EBT card holders. EBT cards from Georgia have been used in Vagas, Puerto Rico, and California. EBT cards have been used for Tattoes and lap dances. Sorry but there is a lot of fraud.

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