Friday, July 13, 2007

A Brief Rant

I'm all in favor of the Food Stamps program, so that people can buy nutritious food, but I think there are a few bugs in the system. The woman in front of me at the grocery store this morning bought ice cream, soda, and candy (and nothing else) and paid for it with her food stamps card. I was a little ticked off at that and I think the cashier was, too. She didn't say anything, of course, but she rolled her eyes and gave me a look that spoke volumes after the woman left.

I didn't think food stamps paid for that kind of food, but I looked it up on the official website after I got home. Food stamps will pay for pretty much any kind of food, but not pet food, alcohol, or paper products.

I'm not saying that the food stamps program should only cover rice and beans, but I don't think it should cover foods with absolutely NO nutritional value like soda and candy. At least the ice cream has a little bit of nutritional value. A very little bit.


Elle said...

As someone who received 'free' food through the W.I.C. program, but saw many food stamp recipients over the years, I tend to agree. The W.I.C. (Women, Infants and Children) food assistance program for low income women who are pregnant, nursing, and for infants and children under 6 is set up very differently. Coupons are given for specific foods and amounts of those foods and the coupons are allocated depending on the situation. If you are pregnant, it is one combination of foods, if nursing it's another, a different one for infants, yet another one for small children. It is cumbersome to administer and stores didn't like it because each coupon had to be checked against the actual food, but it kept the funds devoted to good nutritional foods, not junk. If there were a good way to do a similar program instead of open ended food stamps that would be an excellent thing.

Beth said...

That sounds like a good way to do it. With everything being computerized these days, it would be much easier to check which foods are being bought. Maybe not coupons, but some foods, when scanned at the checkout, would come up as ineligible.

Anonymous said...

Poor people still have birthdays. Poor kids might still like birthday parties. I agree with you both that it would be better to have food stamps only cover heathy foods, but do remember that one grocery store trip does not a complete diet make.

Beth, what a wonderful blog. I'm already enjoying it so much. You are definitely a writer. It feels so good to know how you are and what's on your mind even when I'm being a terrible communicator.

Don't look for many comments from me. I'm too shy. I'll still be here reading.

Much love, your sister T.

Beth said...


I know, I know. Everyone deserves a treat. I'm not sure why it bothered me so much, but it did, so I turned it into a blog entry (sometimes I have a hard time coming up with something to write).

Love, Beth

P.S. What are you doing up so early?

Anonymous said...

I think it's wonderful that you turned it into a blog entry, and I understand why it bothered you so much. I shouldn't write comments that early in the morning. You know I'm rather cranky then. :) I was up early fasting for a test that ended up being the next day instead. Very cranky when fasting. Baaaad T. I can't image coming up with blog topics, but then I can't even respond to most e-mail or phone calls. Elle does it so beautifully. And now you do, too.
Loads of love,