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And the problem is? It's that much less money for them that month.


"I'm paying for them to eat better than I do." is the usual statement. Food stamps are intended for staple foods, not luxuries.


Food stamps are intended for whatever foodstuffs the recipient wants, within the limits of the program. There's no rule that says certain foods are "luxuries" and off-limits, nor would you want there to be. (If a store's stocking or ordering results in sale/clearance porterhouse being cheaper than hamburger, do you really want to compel the purchase of the more expensive product just so they can't have steak?)

Anyway, this is a real receipt, and has been widely reported, the purchaser was using his girlfriend's EBT card (she claimed he stole it) to buy stuff for resale; he was subsequently arrested trying to resell the foods at 50 cents on the dollar. Buying expensive food was the least of his sins.


While this particular instance might be a case of fraud (as reported by D), I don't think there is anything wrong with people using foodstamps for "luxuries" once in a while. Being poor is not a criminal offence and I'm all for someone living at or below the poverty line being able to treat themselves/their families on occasion. Someone could buy steaks once a year to celebrate a birthday or something like that and no one should judge them for it.


(shrug) I'm not emotionally involved in this. Not my circus, not my monkies. That's why I said 'the usual', not 'omg tis welfar steelz!'.

Kai Lowell

Having briefly been on food stamps, I do find it rather irritating that this is a thing, but it is in fact perfectly allowed to buy luxury foods such as lobster using EBT. Just because I never did it and personally never would doesn't make it illegal.

Tech Support Survivor

Seeing that much high priced food on a food stamps budget is irking. That's not just having a special for a birthday.

I am on social assistance myself (Canadian version, so no food stamps, but I probably would qualify for a pantry) but I try to keep to more... basic items. I admit I'm fussy about what I like to eat, and I do have the occasional splurge, but I stick to simple wholesome stuff for the most.

Kai Lowell

That's precisely what I did too, TSS. My one usual splurge was soda - I even felt bad about that, but...


I was on EBT as well during the Great Recession. First the job went, then the savings, then the car, followed by a stint of me doing any job that would hire me, often for minimum wage, because anything is better than nothing, and I've no problem with people buying so-called "luxury items" on the program. I had a family to feed, and nowhere near enough money to do it, and kids deserve more than just like bread mac and cheese and hamburger meat.

I'm much better off now, but that time in my life is indelibly ingrained in my memory. My taxes pay for that program, and I've been working for about 25 years. I never minded my tax dollars going towards those programs, but since that time, I'm much more vocal about it. Buy what you want with your EBT, get your Medicare so you can get the treatment you need. It's a much better use of my tax dollars than a lot of others, and most people on public assistance are either disabled, or being paid an unlivable wage

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