Food Support for Frappuccinos?

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Food Support for Frappuccinos?

http://www.kptv.com/story/16160615/fox-12-investigators-find-food-stamps-used-for?hpt=us_bn7

SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Food stamps for Frappuccinos?
It may sound shocking, but the FOX 12 Investigators discovered you can use an Oregon Trail Card, which is part of the food stamp program, to purchase the luxury drink at certain Starbucks counters inside grocery stores.
With the help of Jackie Fowler, who has an Oregon Trail Card, FOX 12 went to an in-store Starbucks within a Safeway in Salem. Fowler purchased a tall Frappaccino and slice of pumpkin bread and paid for both using her Oregon Trail card.
POLL: Should food stamps be allowed at Starbucks counters?

"It's crazy," said Fowler, who showed us the receipt for $5.25.
"They're overpriced as it is," said Fowler of the specialty drink. "That's money that somebody could be eating with -- a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk."
Fowler, who made the purchase only for the purpose of our story, says she thinks it's a huge misuse of the food assistance program.
"There are a lot of loopholes," she said.

A spokesman with Safeway told FOX 12 the store recently made the change as an added convenience to customers.
"We think that compliance with state laws is something we can easily do," said Dan Floyd, of Safeway.
According to federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) guidelines, people cannot buy foods that will be eaten in the store or hot foods. However, luxury items that are allowed include soft drinks, candy, cookies, ice cream, even bakery cakes and energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label.
While FOX 12 learned you cannot use an Oregon Trail Card at a corporate, stand-alone Starbucks location, the Starbucks inside Safeway is run by the store. Fowler tried to use her card at a stand-alone Starbucks, but was denied.
However, the register at the in-store location considers the purchase a "grocery item" and as long as it's cold, it's allowed, according to store employees.
"It shouldn't be allowed, whether it's a cold item or not," said Fowler. "It's a luxury item. If you really want one (Frappuccino), save your money and go buy one. Don't use the system.
A spokesman with the State Department of Human Services told FOX 12 he wasn't aware this practice was happening.
"We'll contact these grocery stores to get more information and make sure they're operating within the SNAP guidelines," said DHS communications director Gene Evans.
"They need to do something to stop it," said Fowler, who receives around $118 a month for food stamps.
The number varies depending on each person who applies and is deemed eligible.
"It's just enough to get by," describes Fowler, who says there's not much room for splurging. "Don't go abusing the system. It's not what it's for."
FOX 12 also contacted other local stores with in-store Starbucks, including Albertsons and Fred Meyer.
Employees at those locations said as long as the beverage is cold or an approved food, which includes sweets, it would be allowed. Certain additions, such as syrup, are not allowed.
Copyright 2011 KPTV. All rights reserved.

Do you think that it's acceptable to be able to use food support benefits at Starbucks or other coffeehouses? Where do you think the line should be drawn as to what foods should be allowed for the food support program and where they can purchase them?

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

People need to stop worrying what poor people eat. If someone wants a fraking coffe or a bag of Doritos, I could care less.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I think the program should be run exactly like WIC with substitutions for people with allergies. I'm sick to death of reading about people buying crap that they shouldn't be able to with tax dollars. If you are using any tax dollars to feed and shelter your kids, provide healthcare, or provide daycare you shouldn't have enough left over to buy luxuries. That's not what the system was set up for. It was set up to provide necessities for people who are struggling, not to fund their fancy coffee habits.

I do care. Our country is spiraling past debt and into scary. Our grandkids will be paying off ****tons of money because of these little purchases by millions of people. Add in the interest and our greatgrandkids will still be paying off Cash for Clunkers, this new job bill, these wars, and the absolutely terrible way our welfare system is set up. God forbid they have as many lazy people as this generation does or as many who don't care about being able to afford kids before having them or we'll have a third world country on our hands.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Aren't most supplemental nutrition programs administered and funded by states and not the feds? If so, the rant about the federal deficit and welfare doesn't really apply IMO.

These people are getting $118/ month in assistance. Total. I doubt very many of them will drop $5.25 at Starbucks in a grocery store.

Heck, they can spend their money on Rockstar energy drinks and Lucky Charms....how is that any worse than a Frappacino and pumpkin bread?

And isn't this story that the card works, not that hoards of SNAP recipients are doing it? The card doesn't work at other Starbucks-- only those in a grocery. And they can't use it to buy hot or convenience foods-- only bakery items and refrigerated drinks. I think there are already guidelines in place that address these concerns.

What next-- do you want to regulate that SNAP recipients can only shop at WalMart and buy generic items? Don't let them shop a "real" supermarket or buy name brand? Eh, I'd rather that they get to make the decisions that they think are right for their family.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

The Feds supplement the state programs and the state programs have to follow the Feds rules to get that money. No, it's 125 for food stamps. Most people on food stamps also qualify for WIC, if they qualify for WIC they often qualify for their state healthcare program. And not everyone is getting 125, that is just the one family in the article. I know a girl who gets over 600 a month to feed her three kids and her. A majority of the time it's their bad decisions that put them in the spot to be needing the welfare anyway. And they can use it for convenience food. Most gas stations will accept them for anything on the shelf as long as it's not heated. So almost anything besides the hot dogs.

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm

The average is 134 per person a month. In food stamps

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

If poor folk wants a frap, let them have one. Throw in a free cupcake, as well (Disclaimer: you have to show proof that you're poor in order to get the free cupcake. Non poor people, don't even think about it).

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I really don't know enough about how food stamps work to say? Are they allowed to get any food they want or is it designated like WIC?

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

They can buy any food item except hot food, liquor, and pet products (though if you feed your cat tuna or your dog steak, of course you get around that). So if they decide their family is going to eat frozen pizzas or steak or organics the entire month, the program doesn't stop them. They can even buy already made bakery cakes with them as long as it's inside a place that also sales normal food. The card usually works at meat stores too. The money also carries over on the card and all you need is the pin to use it. So for those who don't need as much as they get, they can (AND do) sell the extras to people for other things.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

I am sick of people judging what others spend their "tax dollars" on. When DD1 was a baby, we qualified for WIC. $80/month worth of formula. I had a college degree; XDH was E-4 in the military. Yet, we qualified for WIC. Guess what else? We were able to buy a few "luxury" items here and there like an occasional beer, meals out, books, CDs, oh, and we had cable and Internet. Yep, your tax dollars hard at work.

I've also received MediCal and EIC. Believe me, I have paid more into the tax system than the actual dollars I have received through WIC, MediCal, and EIC. (The total benefit I have received from taxes far outweighs what I could ever pay in - grant money, state school tuition, paved roads, food inspectors, court system, police, fire and military services.) Nobody has ever judged me for buying an iPad or taking trips to Vegas when I could have used that money for my education instead of the taxpayers' money.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

Wow. It seems like it would be beneficial to run it more like WIC helping the people to make healthier choices. I used to be on WIC before my DH got his raise. It did help me get into better habits (wheat bread instead of white) that have followed through after we are no longer on WIC. It seems if child obesity is a major problem among the people on food stamps it would make sense for the government not to pay for them to have all junk food. I do understand though that that would take a lot of work to implement.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Wow. It seems like it would be beneficial to run it more like WIC helping the people to make healthier choices. I used to be on WIC before my DH got his raise. It did help me get into better habits (wheat bread instead of white) that have followed through after we are no longer on WIC. It seems if child obesity is a major problem among the people on food stamps it would make sense for the government not to pay for them to have all junk food. I do understand though that that would take a lot of work to implement.

I don't see that it would matter much. If I am given an extra $100/month in the form food - even with restrictions - it frees up money for other stuff. Being given wheat bread means I can spend the cost of that bread on lottery tickets.

I work in a district where a large percentage of students are on free/reduced lunch which must meet federal guidelines regarding nutritional quality and portion size. Placing diet restrictions on those programs is not currently working with regards to obesity. In spite of WIC and free/reduced lunch programs, many Americans are still obese.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Its their money, I don't care what they spend it on.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

damn being poor really sucks. Not only do you have no money, but every one and their grandmother gets to decide what you should eat, how much you should weigh, and when you should piss in a cup.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

"wlillie" wrote:

. A majority of the time it's their bad decisions that put them in the spot to be needing the welfare anyway.

I think this speaks volumes about what you believe about folks who receive assistance. That if you were in their shoes, that you could "make better decisions" and avoid the need for help. Seems kind of arrogant to me....

http://www.utexas.edu/depts/ic2/et/learner/general.html

It also seems that you are misinformed about most welfare recipients. 90% of recipients are single mothers. Only 10% of recipients have more than 3 kids. The majority of them are not on assistance for the long-term. It is "temporary" for the vast majority.

Most of them have recent work history-- but are only able to secure positions that are low paying and/or unstable. Or that don't earn them enough money to pay for childcare.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Don't forget college students can apply for food stamps as well.

willie-I think you have a lot of issue when it comes to your stereotypes and discriminatory thinking about the "kind of people" on welfare and assistance. I don't know how to debate someone who just has false beliefs.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

You are never going to have a system without any loopholes or people who abuse them. That doesn't mean that the majority of recipients aren't being judicious and using the funds in a way that gets them the most food for the very small allotment of funds. Unless you are going to apportion out meals or specific raw ingredients that work for everyone (hello, huge expense), you have to trust that the majority of people will use the funds to feed their families as intended. There are plenty of stories about WIC abuse and also about how people are hungry because they have 11 gallons of milk, etc, and are short other key items. We should keep trying to improve, but just because a system isn't perfect doesn't mean it should be trashed (not saying this is what anyone here is saying, just that it's a sentiment I have heard often).

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

But I don't think someone buying the occasional frap at the Starbucks at teh grocery store is abusing the system. Actually I bet not many people even have done it, but that it is just a possibility.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

I agree with you, Lana. But, in theory, I guess someone could qualify for food stamps who actually has other means of getting food and then use (abuse, depending on personal definition) the funds to buy fraps or whatever. Or buy items and resell them. Or whatever other forms of abuse there are. Someone will always find a way, you know? Doesn't mean the whole system is broken or even that the vast majority of people aren't using it as intended.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I totally agree, Karly. And when the vast majority of the beneficiaries of the current system are kids themselves, it is hard for me to get too angry.

I'm sure there is room for improvement. I just haven't seem a proposal for a way to improve it yet.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"culturedmom" wrote:

But I don't think someone buying the occasional frap at the Starbucks at teh grocery store is abusing the system. Actually I bet not many people even have done it, but that it is just a possibility.

Same here. The cost of that snack was almost 4.5% of that woman's monthly allowance, so she's probably not going to be doing that everyday or she'll be hungry by the middle of the month. There are plenty of restrictions on what can & can't be purchased with food stamps or WIC, so if she wants to spend her money on that crap, that's her decision to make.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

It is broken. People keep saying that obesity is often caused in those in lower-income brackets because of the cheapness of junk compared to the cost of living healthy. While I disagree with that to begin with, I do have to point out that a lot of health costs are because of the terrible diets that our nation are keeping. If you have someone who is receiving even just $125 a month and they spend $4 on a bag of chips and another $4 on a 12 pack of soda and then another $4 on a coffee on the way out, they've spent 10% of their allotment for food for the month on items that have no nutritional value. And since we all know that junk doesn't usually maintain the feeling of fullness for very long, they probably are still eating the same amount of foods they would otherwise. Get rid of the junk allowed on food stamps (fancy coffee, baked cakes, chips, soda, little debbie, candy, ice cream, and anything else with no health benefits) and only allow fruits, vegetables, meat, basic staples (flour, sugar, noodles, bread) and we'll see a huge difference in the health and wellness of those on the program.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"wlillie" wrote:

It is broken. People keep saying that obesity is often caused in those in lower-income brackets because of the cheapness of junk compared to the cost of living healthy. While I disagree with that to begin with, I do have to point out that a lot of health costs are because of the terrible diets that our nation are keeping. If you have someone who is receiving even just $125 a month and they spend $4 on a bag of chips and another $4 on a 12 pack of soda and then another $4 on a coffee on the way out, they've spent 10% of their allotment for food for the month on items that have no nutritional value. And since we all know that junk doesn't usually maintain the feeling of fullness for very long, they probably are still eating the same amount of foods they would otherwise. Get rid of the junk allowed on food stamps (fancy coffee, baked cakes, chips, soda, little debbie, candy, ice cream, and anything else with no health benefits) and only allow fruits, vegetables, meat, basic staples (flour, sugar, noodles, bread) and we'll see a huge difference in the health and wellness of those on the program.

Again, if that were true, there would be no obese kids on free/reduced lunch and/or WIC.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

I agree with you about the inexpensive nature of processed foods and the impact on health, Lillie. But since most states (and the federal government) are looking to cut costs, how would you propose supporting the higher costs of a program that provides only healthy ingredients? Also, do you have any support showing that someone getting $125/mo would be able to survive while spending the amounts you listed? Or that this is the average use of the program dollars? Maybe it's because the state I live in has been hit very hard by the current economic crisis and I am biased because I see many stories of people needing to supplement government support with overwhelmed food banks, but I find it hard to believe the majority of people are misusing the program. Obviously, I could be wrong, so I would love to see any information on the overall trend of most recipients to "misuse" their funds.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Again, if that were true, there would be no obese kids on free/reduced lunch and/or WIC.

Huh?

To Khaki-I personally do not believe that it costs more to eat healthy.

If you cut out junk food, you have more money to spend on regular groceries. Everyone can agree with this right? To replace the nasty junk people are purchasing, they can probably spend a little *less* than they were before with foods that will actually keep them full longer. If I eat a hostess cupcake, I'm going to be hungry again before too long. If I eat a banana, I'll be full longer AND I'll be healthier on top of that. People feel better when they eat healthy and once you start one aspect of healthy living it's soooo much easier (for most people) to continue that trend into other areas.

I haven't seen any statistics to prove or disprove my opinion.

I think WIC is much much more appropriate for our country than SNAP. Combine the two programs and save on administration costs and time for applicants. You'll be able to serve more people, save on healthcare and sick days for the people on the program, and we won't have to worry as much about the next generation being morbidly obese before hitting double digits.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"wlillie" wrote:

Huh?

To Khaki-I personally do not believe that it costs more to eat healthy.

If you cut out junk food, you have more money to spend on regular groceries. Everyone can agree with this right? To replace the nasty junk people are purchasing, they can probably spend a little *less* than they were before with foods that will actually keep them full longer. If I eat a hostess cupcake, I'm going to be hungry again before too long. If I eat a banana, I'll be full longer AND I'll be healthier on top of that. People feel better when they eat healthy and once you start one aspect of healthy living it's soooo much easier (for most people) to continue that trend into other areas.

I haven't seen any statistics to prove or disprove my opinion.

I think WIC is much much more appropriate for our country than SNAP. Combine the two programs and save on administration costs and time for applicants. You'll be able to serve more people, save on healthcare and sick days for the people on the program, and we won't have to worry as much about the next generation being morbidly obese before hitting double digits.

Nope, I don't agree.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796
Prices in our area

3.52- for family size bag of chips
3.50- 5lbs of apples

1.25-Little Debbie snack cakes
1.50-lb of carrots

2.50-box of cookies (10 servings)
3.00-bag of low-fat string cheese (12 servings)

10.00-1.00 hamburger, 1.50 french fries for a family of four
10.00-feed a family of four with chicken, a vegetable and a starch

eta- What do you mean by that? It is a fact.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

Box of generic mac n cheese = $.36 - feeds 3 kids
Jack's frozen pizza - $2.00 regular price - feeds 3 kids
Tostino's frozen pizza - $.89 on sale - feeds 2 kids
crap hot dogs = $.50 for 8 people
can of spaghettios with meatballs = $.93 - feeds 2 kids
Pot pies - $.50 on sale
**********************************
I could go on... I can see why those that have a low food budget would choose to make things that are cheap versus healthier choices.

Joined: 10/22/06
Posts: 1033

Agree with you on your ideas of healthier food and that it *can* be less expensive (assuming that everyone has time to cook food from scratch and the knowledge on how to do so), just not that the majority of people receiving assistance are living on Little Debbies, chips and Starbucks.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"Beertje" wrote:

Box of generic mac n cheese = $.36 - feeds 3 kids
Jack's frozen pizza - $2.00 regular price - feeds 3 kids
Tostino's frozen pizza - $.89 on sale - feeds 2 kids
crap hot dogs = $.50 for 8 people
can of spaghettios with meatballs = $.93 - feeds 2 kids
Pot pies - $.50 on sale
**********************************
I could go on... I can see why those that have a low food budget would choose to make things that are cheap versus healthier choices.

Where are you living and are you serious? I can't imagine my kid sharing any of those meals and I've never seen those prices and we have the commissary open to us and I've lived in three different areas too.

What are the prices for the healthy options I listed?

If they aren't living on this stuff, then they won't mind it being cut out. Biggrin Win win.

eta-I don't know how to cook from scratch and wouldn't take the time if I could. We eat healthy 90% of the time for less than $5 a meal without taking more than half an hour to cook. I know not everyone has access to a deep freezer or a nice pantry so I'm not trying to compare how we eat, but how easy it is to replace crap that people buy with a healthier option

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"wlillie" wrote:

3.52- for family size bag of chips
3.50- 5lbs of apples

1.25-Little Debbie snack cakes
1.50-lb of carrots

2.50-box of cookies (10 servings)
3.00-bag of low-fat string cheese (12 servings)

10.00-1.00 hamburger, 1.50 french fries for a family of four
10.00-feed a family of four with chicken, a vegetable and a starch

eta- What do you mean by that? It is a fact.

Ha, well maybe were you shop. What chips cost 3.52? Ruffles? Sun Chips? We bought generic Sedanos chips for 95 cents a bag. Red drink costs about 99 cent a gallon. Generic mac n cheese for a box at the sh*t grocery store is 89 cent a box. Generic hot dogs 1.00 for 8 and buns .99 for 12. Mayeb chips ahoy cost 2.50 but WalMart generic oreos cost 1.25.

Not to mention in the sh*t part of town there is no Whole Foods or fresh market.

Corn is the biggest crop with the most subsidies from the gov't. So corn syrup is the cheapest food product around. That's a fact. And that's why obesity is higher among those in low SES, because crap food is cheaper and quicker.

That's what I mean by that.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

I am not concerned if someone uses a food stamp for a treat. Sometimes when you are really poor you don't get a lot of treats and it can really make a difference to be able to buy a nice coffee or a muffin or some lucky charms for your kids. We are just coming off a really tough stretch money wise (without social assistance) and I haven't had a nice coffee since summer. I put everything to the real food. So that one coffee means a lot.

"wlillie" wrote:

If you are using any tax dollars to feed and shelter your kids, provide healthcare, or provide daycare you shouldn't have enough left over to buy luxuries.

Life is really hard without any luxuries at all. Being in survival mode all the time is really rough. It weighs down on the soul and makes life that little bit less livable. And feeling horribly guilty for buying a $4 coffee instead of milk and bread once every 3 months really sucks.

I know that you think that it is poor decisions that put people in these places but that isn't always the case. Sometimes life can deal some really hard blows that we have no control over. In out case it began with a major illness. That is why social assistance is there. To help people when they need it. I don't feel that I can judge those who need it without knowing about the place that they are in. I have walked the mile (or 10!) in the poverty shoes and they are not comfortable.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

I don't think you disagree with me though. If you didn't buy those things listed, you would have more money on your card to buy healthy things. Even going off the prices you guys are coming up with, if you didnt' buy those items, there would be more money to spend on real groceries.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"wlillie" wrote:

I don't think you disagree with me though. If you didn't buy those things listed, you would have more money on your card to buy healthy things. Even going off the prices you guys are coming up with, if you didnt' buy those items, there would be more money to spend on real groceries.

Um, the point is a pack of hot dogs chopped up in mac n cheese will feed more people in the family per cost then your chicken breast and veggies bought with the same amount. That's the point. When you only have $100 for the month to feed 3 or 4 people you buy things that will get you farther, not go bad, and you can buy more of.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

While I have compassion on the people who need to be on assistance, and think no one should be looked down on or judged for it, I think if it was possible it would be best if it was healthier choices. I have no experience with food stamps, but I know several people who use the food bank in my area and it is almost all junk food. Twinkies, Little Debbie Snacks, Sticky Buns... And boxed meals (hamburger helper) I have no idea if this varies by area, or if they are given choices to get those things but there has got to be a better way.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I wanted to add that I disagree that the people on assistance made bad choices to get there. Maybe some did, but not all. And certainly the children on it did nothing to deserve to be there.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"culturedmom" wrote:

Um, the point is a pack of hot dogs chopped up in mac n cheese will feed more people in the family per cost then your chicken breast and veggies bought with the same amount. That's the point. When you only have $100 for the month to feed 3 or 4 people you buy things that will get you farther, not go bad, and you can buy more of.

We eat mac n cheese with hotdogs. At the stores here, the vegetable version of Kraft is .99 and consistently has 1.00 off of 3 coupons. For a while the vegetarian hotdogs were 1.50 for 8. I don't think most people on food stamps only have $100 per month to feed 3 or 4 people. The national average is $125 *per month *per person in assistance. Add in whatever WIC gives the family and their own financial contribution and you should be able to feed a family of four more than canned noodles and crap hotdogs/chips.

I never said all people on food stamps made bad decisions and never will. I do understand that things happen that people could never have even guessed would happen. But it is a fact that the majority of adults on food stamps *have* made bad decisions that lead to their need for help. It bothers me that so many kids are being raised with parents who are not ready financially which often leads to them not being prepared in soooo many other ways and continue to have more despite realizing that. It bothers me a lot. I feel so bad for those kids it hurts my heart almost as much as the ones who are really living in poverty that we're more detached from despite them having much less.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"culturedmom" wrote:

Red drink

Haha. I loved red drink when I was a kid. Much better than orange drink or purple drink.

To the OP - I just can't worked up about an article about something poor people *could* do. I can totally picture an ad for a news show with the guy's voice saying "Are poor people buying Frappaccinos with your money? Find out at 10:00." I want some nice hard statistics like "Studies show that the government paid $4.2 MM last year to feed poor people's addiction to fancy pants coffee and pumpkin bread" before I decide whether or not I care.

Haha, I bet there is an upswing Oregon Trail-funded fraps at the grocery store now that this news story has alerted them to the fact that they can.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

Willie, you said the majority of the time it is people's bad decisions. No, you didn;t say all but the majority to me is just as stereotypical as saying all.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Can you tell me how you would get to be on food stamps without making some bad decisions for the majority of people?

You guys realize there is more than one millionaire right now who collects foodstamps? More than one millionaire. More than one who gets a monthly benefit. Now if we have millionaires who are collecting the money taken out of our paychecks (and our kids future paychecks) to feed themselves, can you imagine how many other people are collecting who shouldn't be? How many that have absolutely no need for it, but use it to splurge on things that they can buy wiht the money they would have spent on groceries? It's a jacked up system and needs to be completely overhauled.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

Where are you living and are you serious? I can't imagine my kid sharing any of those meals and I've never seen those prices and we have the commissary open to us and I've lived in three different areas too.

What are the prices for the healthy options I listed?

If they aren't living on this stuff, then they won't mind it being cut out. Biggrin Win win.

eta-I don't know how to cook from scratch and wouldn't take the time if I could. We eat healthy 90% of the time for less than $5 a meal without taking more than half an hour to cook. I know not everyone has access to a deep freezer or a nice pantry so I'm not trying to compare how we eat, but how easy it is to replace crap that people buy with a healthier option

Yep, very serious. Walmart sells most of these items for these prices in our area. The hot dogs, they're sold that cheap at our local grocery stores via Super Valu and Nasch Finch warehouses. You can easily get cheap hotdogs well under $1, especially when using coupons. Lay's chips $2/bag.

Fresh broccoli is currently $2/head, cauliflower even more. Bag of fresh spinach $2.18, apples $1.49+ lb., bananas $.59/lb. Onions $.89/lb, potatoes $4.49 for 5 lbs. Hamburger - Minimum $2.49/lb for 80/20 (higher for leaner)...

Even $5.00 per meal for a family of three is pushing it if they're only allotted $125 in food support. $5/meal * 3 meals/day * 7 days/wk * 4.3 weeks/mth = $451.50/mth. Gotta cut costs somewhere.

Your kid would eat an entire box of mac n cheese? :eek:

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I was just thinking of this while doing the dishes. Duh moment. I think I figured out why our area food banks are full of Little Debbie snacks. McKee Foods (The makers of Little Debbie) corporate headquarters here so they probably donate a lot of food.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

Can you tell me how you would get to be on food stamps without making some bad decisions for the majority of people?

You guys realize there is more than one millionaire right now who collects foodstamps? More than one millionaire. More than one who gets a monthly benefit. Now if we have millionaires who are collecting the money taken out of our paychecks (and our kids future paychecks) to feed themselves, can you imagine how many other people are collecting who shouldn't be? How many that have absolutely no need for it, but use it to splurge on things that they can buy wiht the money they would have spent on groceries? It's a jacked up system and needs to be completely overhauled.

Divorce is what drives many single parents in to apply for assistance. Loss of employment by no fault of their own is also a huge driving factor for most applicants. Nevermind the applicants who became injured or have a disability be it temporary or permanent that are applying. It may have everything to do with what they have no control over. These that I list are the vast majority of applicants.

What type of income is the millionaire you're referring to receiving? They eliminated asset limits in our state for the majority of applicants because it found to be very hindering on the majority of families who even have assets because they couldn't sell them in this economy fast enough to provide them the food they need. They've also found the vast majority of those that even come in to apply have very little in assets to begin with.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I was just thinking of this while doing the dishes. Duh moment. I think I figured out why our area food banks are full of Little Debbie snacks. McKee Foods (The makers of Little Debbie) corporate headquarters here so they probably donate a lot of food.

Stores also donate items who's shelf lives are about to expire or have expired. They send the food to the Salvation Army as well (perishables more so).

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"Beertje" wrote:

Yep, very serious. Walmart sells most of these items for these prices in our area. The hot dogs, they're sold that cheap at our local grocery stores via Super Valu and Nasch Finch warehouses. You can easily get cheap hotdogs well under $1, especially when using coupons. Lay's chips $2/bag.

Fresh broccoli is currently $2/head, cauliflower even more. Bag of fresh spinach $2.18, apples $1.49+ lb., bananas $.59/lb. Onions $.89/lb, potatoes $4.49 for 5 lbs. Hamburger - Minimum $2.49/lb for 80/20 (higher for leaner)...

Even $5.00 per meal for a family of three is pushing it if they're only allotted $125 in food support. $5/meal * 3 meals/day * 7 days/wk * 4.3 weeks/mth = $451.50/mth. Gotta cut costs somewhere.

Your kid would eat an entire box of mac n cheese? :eek:

125 * 3 is $375 and most kids eat the school lunch that are on food stamps. We don't buy fresh vegetables because they are so expensive. A steamable vegetable here is $.49 a bag, but I realize that's not reflective of most places; however if you buy canned or frozen (much healthier than fresh to begin with), it is much lower than what you've posted. I guess you guys have some much different grocery stores than they do in Omaha, Columbus OH, and the Gulf Coast. I miss Aldi's from Omaha. You can totally eat for 4 for $375 there even with my kid.

yes, and I can too; if that was all that was on our plate.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"Beertje" wrote:

Divorce is what drives many single parents in to apply for assistance. Loss of employment by no fault of their own is also a huge driving factor for most applicants. Nevermind the applicants who became injured or have a disability be it temporary or permanent that are applying. It may have everything to do with what they have no control over. These that I list are the vast majority of applicants.

What type of income is the millionaire you're referring to receiving? They eliminated asset limits in our state for the majority of applicants because it found to be very hindering on the majority of families who even have assets because they couldn't sell them in this economy fast enough to provide them the food they need. They've also found the vast majority of those that even come in to apply have very little in assets to begin with.

I personally think it's a bad decision to have a child with someone that isn't responsible enough to pay their fair share of raising a child, but I know I'll get flamed for that. I also think it's a bad decision to not tuck away enough money to get you through periods of bad employment. Which leads me to the assets. The ones I'm referring to won the lottery. It doesn't matter (IMO) how much they are making year to year, they have won the lottery and still recieve government assistance because they qualify. That means our system is f*ed up. If you dont' have a savings it shouldn't matter whether you can get rid of the assets or not, you shouldn't have bought them before preparing for a period of no income. That's a bad decision.

You wouldn't believe how many times I've seen people post their budgets on one of the thrifty forums saying they don't have enough money to feed their kids and when told the cable, cell phones, dance classes, karate classes, cigarrette, or entertainment expenses need to get cut back, they consider those "Needs" and not wants. Bad decisions.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

125 * 3 is $375 and most kids eat the school lunch that are on food stamps. We don't buy fresh vegetables because they are so expensive. A steamable vegetable here is $.49 a bag, but I realize that's not reflective of most places; however if you buy canned or frozen (much healthier than fresh to begin with), it is much lower than what you've posted. I guess you guys have some much different grocery stores than they do in Omaha, Columbus OH, and the Gulf Coast. I miss Aldi's from Omaha. You can totally eat for 4 for $375 there even with my kid.

yes, and I can too; if that was all that was on our plate.

You're assuming that with 3 people that they would get more. Not always the case and certainly not in equal amounts as the first person applying. You're also assuming the child(ren) is/are of school age. It's all income based, only allowing specific deductions from their income and only a portion of shelter costs. So while their income may be driving their food support benefits down, they're still channeling their income towards their shelter expenses, so the money is usually still not available.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I wanted to add that I disagree that the people on assistance made bad choices to get there. Maybe some did, but not all. And certainly the children on it did nothing to deserve to be there.

absolutely agree with you

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"wlillie" wrote:

however if you buy canned or frozen (much healthier than fresh to begin with), it is much lower than what you've posted.

Was this a typo? Are you saying canned vegetables are healthier than fresh vegetables?

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"wlillie" wrote:

I personally think it's a bad decision to have a child with someone that isn't responsible enough to pay their fair share of raising a child, but I know I'll get flamed for that. I also think it's a bad decision to not tuck away enough money to get you through periods of bad employment. Which leads me to the assets. The ones I'm referring to won the lottery. It doesn't matter (IMO) how much they are making year to year, they have won the lottery and still recieve government assistance because they qualify. That means our system is f*ed up. If you dont' have a savings it shouldn't matter whether you can get rid of the assets or not, you shouldn't have bought them before preparing for a period of no income. That's a bad decision.

You wouldn't believe how many times I've seen people post their budgets on one of the thrifty forums saying they don't have enough money to feed their kids and when told the cable, cell phones, dance classes, karate classes, cigarrette, or entertainment expenses need to get cut back, they consider those "Needs" and not wants. Bad decisions.

And you should, that's incredibly judgmental and downright wrong. Until you've walked a mile in an applicant's shoes, I don't think anyone should be so judgmental on their decisions. You have no idea how long they were together, married or not, you don't know if the noncustodial parent isn't able to afford the economic support, but able to provide the physical support. Until you know each person's stories, it's terrible to lump them in your stereotyped version of welfare clients.

Not everyone can afford to tuck away money to make it through the bad periods, especially those with high shelter costs and low income to begin with. Most clients I know that have cell phones either have their parents helping them out with them under their plans or they're getting the pay as you go trac phones. If they're low income, you may be assuming that those dance classes are coming out of their pockets when they actually could've been offered for free as many instructors allot so many slots for those that can't afford it. YMCA offers those that are under a certain income free membership and reduced rates for the extras.

As for the lottery situation.. I'm not following what you're saying... do they no longer have any money left from the lottery? The asset limit was only taken away November 2010 in our state, so prior to that, they would've had not only an income test but an asset test for each month they were on assistance. But if they invested it in something and they receive dividend payments or interest, that income is still counted. If they invested it in their homestead, that's always been excluded. If they purchased a house to rent out, the rental income is still counted.

Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1686

"wlillie" wrote:

3.52- for family size bag of chips
3.50- 5lbs of apples

1.25-Little Debbie snack cakes
1.50-lb of carrots

2.50-box of cookies (10 servings)
3.00-bag of low-fat string cheese (12 servings)

10.00-1.00 hamburger, 1.50 french fries for a family of four
10.00-feed a family of four with chicken, a vegetable and a starch

eta- What do you mean by that? It is a fact.

This is all well and good, but it neglects several things. Not everyone has a refrigerator. And, at least in my house, fresh stuff has an expiration date that comes up pretty darn quick. If I buy milk, chances are, I will have to throw at least some of it away. If I buy fresh veggies, cheese, and meat, I am going to have to throw some of it away. With processed foods, they are good much longer. Sure, I can buy 1 pound of carrots for $1.50, but how am I better off financially if I have to throw 1/2 pound away because they go bad? And I have a refrigerator and don't have to worry about my electricity getting cut.

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
Posts: 955

"wlillie" wrote:

I personally think it's a bad decision to have a child with someone that isn't responsible enough to pay their fair share of raising a child, but I know I'll get flamed for that. I also think it's a bad decision to not tuck away enough money to get you through periods of bad employment.

Not everyone has a choice about when they have a child or with whom. These things happen. Should all those women be getting abortions? My mom married the wrong guy and had two kids. When he left we had few options, since he wasn't paying anything. It was either my mom could work so much we wouldn't see her or welfare. She is the hardest working woman I know and went through so much to keep us all fed. She chose to be able to raise us and I am very grateful for it, in spite of growing up a welfare kid. Love was more important than lots of money. We needed her home.

And it is all good to tuck away money against a rainy day but what about when that runs out? Three years ago DH got sick and couldn't work for a year. We ate through all our savings to eat that year and when it took him time to get a new job we were screwed. He only now has just got a full time permanent job after working the worst jobs out there for 2 years (janitor in a bar! EW!) We are so far in debt it isn't funny! It will take us years to pay it all off. All because he got sick. It wasn't our fault, but we had not control over it. Had we not had family to help we would have been on assistance. Sometimes you can plan and plan and sh1t still happens that you have to deal with. I find it offensive that you look down on those of us in that place. That through poor decisions only could one find themselves in need financial help.

Yes there are those who cheat the system. But in my experience most people are just trying to survive. Here you get $565 as a single person and maybe $1100 as a parent and child. You can get another $385 a month per kid in family allowance if you are at the highest rate. Doesn't go far at all. Rent on a 1 bedroom is at least $700 and a 2 bedroom is $1000. How is a single parent supposed to get by on that? How is a single person supposed to live on $565 a month?

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