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I wrote the Governer a letter (long)

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I seen something today that shocked me.

A women about 2 people in front of me in line today was buying about $300 worth of groceries (and most of it was junk food) and she used an EBT (food stamp card). Mind you this lady had about $1000-$2000 worth of gold and diamonds on.....necklaces, rings, earrings.... you name it!

The lady behind her but in front of me was buying a Totinos Pizza ($1.25) and 2 boxes of Mac N Cheese ($.50 each = $1.00).
She had to scrape for change to pay this $2.25 while she was telling her 2 children that they couldn't get kool-aid because she couldn't afford sugar to make it.
The cashier looked annoyed while the woman fumbled about to get enough pennies together and made the comment "Why don't you just apply for food stamps" (I thought it was rude of her to say this but she did )
The mother said "I've tried. They keep denying me because I get child support for my son... a whole $300 a month)...
I could see the embarrassment in her face when she said this and could also see her holding back the tears.
I also seen the youngest (maybe 5) put a candy bar in his pocket and glare at me like a deer in headlights...... I didn't say anything...

I felt so bad for her because I've been there in her situation before

If I would have had the money, I would have bought her the sugar myself!

I paid for my few items and left. As I left, I seen the mother and her 2 kids walking down the road....

The "Food Stamp" lady.... well, she was loading her goverment bought food into her..... 2008 Dodge Charger!!!


So when I got home, I wrote the Gov. a letter asking why that this happens?

This may belong in IMO but I just can't understand why this is happening????
post #2 of 27
happens all the time.
and i am sure you get a answer from the GOV that has nothing to do with your letter.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
happens all the time.
and i am sure you get a answer from the GOV that has nothing to do with your letter.
I wouldn't doubt it Bruce
post #4 of 27
I guess some folks just know how to play the system, not that it's right. I wonder if you'll even get a reply.
post #5 of 27
There will always be people who will figure out how to game a system. If they do figure out a way to make it impossible to game a system like food stamps the process to get them would become so cumbersome it would take forever to process applications. It would also start keeping out more people who do really qualify.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
There will always be people who will figure out how to game a system. If they do figure out a way to make it impossible to game a system like food stamps the process to get them would become so cumbersome it would take forever to process applications. It would also start keeping out more people who do really qualify.
I totally agree with that
post #7 of 27
Oh, I could go on and on about people abusing government support. I got into a huge fight with my cousin-in-law's girlfriend over this. She is 25 and has 7 kids. Only 2 belong to my cousin in law. She is getting child support for the others plus assistance from the government, but she is living in my CIL's house and he is supporting her (he has a great job). She won't get a job because that will reduce her assistance, but she's never home anyway...she's always out shopping! Her BROTHER watches the kids all the time. On top of that, she also gets additional assitance from the government because 2 of her kids have ADD. Now, I know this is a real and serious disorder, but I have spent time with her kids and I just think it is a matter of no discipline. And, they refuse to get married because she would lose her child support. On Mother's Day, she insisted on a $300 watch. Yeah, she really needs assistance.

Now, on the flip side. When I was in grade school (1st-3rd grade) my dad was out of work. This was in the mid-70's and the job market bascially sucked. He took side jobs when he could but it was really hard to make ends meet. I don't remember much about it, but I DO remember my grandmother bringing home leftovers from the school cafeteria she worked at so our dog could eat because it was hard to afford people food and dog food at the same time. I also remember coming home one night and finding a box of food left on our porch. It was right before Thanksgiving and it had everything in it that we needed. My mom cried herself to sleep that night. My dad finally sucked it up and went to apply for food stamps. They offered him $12.75/month. They said for a family with one kid that owned their own house, that was all they qualified for. My dad asked if he could claim the dog too because that was one of his children. Needless to say, the answer was no.

I'm glad you wrote your governor but I doubt it will do much good. There are so many abusers out there that the people that really need get lost in the paper work.
post #8 of 27
I don't know how that woman sleeps at night, knowing there are others who really need the aid she's stealing.

Bless you for taking time to write that letter, hon. I hope he actually does something about it!


EDIT: As for that checker, I swear I would have been hard-pressed not to backhand her on the spot. What is wrong with some people?
post #9 of 27
A few years back I worked a few months at our local grocery store when I was in between jobs. It absolutely amazed me what people would buy that were getting EBT's. It made me furious sometimes! They'd have Coach purses, nice jewerly on your name it then come through the line and buy soo many thinks on their food stamps (i agree, a lot was junk and "luxury" food items, not necessities).....all the while at the time I made very low pay and spent most of my pay checks just to put food on the table It made me furious how many people abused the system. And they have absolutely no shame eithor! I saw one person who went through my line using food stamps proceed to get in one of the most fancy cars i've seen in ages People abuse the system so much and it's always the tax payers that suffer. We get taxed to death while people get to sit on their butts at home- not work and then go out and spend our hard earned money.

Now I will say the entire time I worked there I saw maybe a hand full of people who truely needed the food stamps that didn't abuse the system, it is those people, who have simply fallen on hard times and really need help that I understand giving help to- but as for the lazy people who don't work, and think they deserve hand outs from the gov't & tax payers -they make me soo mad....the majority of people who came though my line that were on food stamps in my opinion were free - loaders who didn't deserve them. If you can afford expensive outfits or purses, you don't deserve my tax money for your junk food!
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
they refuse to get married because she would lose her child support.
remarrying shouldn't affect her child support... it would, however, affect any alimony she's receiving. child support is tied to the child's status, not to the parent's status. at least, that's how it is in Texas...

btw, i agree with the others, Alycia - you probably won't get an answer [other than a form reply] but it certainly doesn't hurt to write!
post #11 of 27
While you may not get a decent reply from the Governor, I applaud your proactive approach in dealing with this situation. People who abuse the system are everywhere and I am just so sick of them sometimes.

I have a friend who is a widow and supporting her son through school working three jobs. Her son is a bright student trying to get into a prestigious prep school with a scholarship. Another friend is a real estate broker living in the best neighborhood in town and also trying to vie for that same spot. I mean, the real estate broker son could have gotten in without taking away some needy student's scholarship! Needless to say, my widow friend's son did not get the scholarship and had to apply to another school. I feel so bad for her and her son mostly.
post #12 of 27
We offer free and reduced lunches to families that apply and qualify. Every year, they randomly audit 10% of the families - we have no ability to suggest families to be audited.
One of our families applied last year and received free lunches. Mom drives a new Jag. The oldest child has no birth certificate, but we can't refuse him anything based on the lack of proof of identify or citizenship. The most that is done is they do a cursory search to make sure he isn't reported as abducted (no fingerprints, just enter the name and DOB given).

And there are so many families that honestly need help and are too proud to ask.
post #13 of 27
When I lost my last job, it took 4 months for them to get my unemployment. Since I am not legally married, as a single person they gave me $169 a month in food stamps. Once my unemployment started, they cut me off completely because they said I made too much money by $12 a month. It put me pretty much back where I was. I am not allowed to apply for disability until my unemployment runs out in June because I have an income. What moron figures out these rules? I hate to sound biased or racist, because I am not, but it seems that there is a different set of rules for each race.
post #14 of 27
The system is so screwed up that I don't know if anyone really can fix it. The intentions are good; but the people learn how to milk the system. I agree what you saw was totally wrong and out of line.

IMO if you are getting food stamps, there should be a basic list of foods/drinks that are allowed on the food stamp. Anything else has to be bought by money. May slow the line down but maybe people would not abuse it.

Makes me mad when I see food stamp people buying t-bone steaks and I'm buying hamburger cause steaks are too expensive for us to be eating.
post #15 of 27
I was on food stamps for a few months after I was divorced and separating what can and can't be bought with food stamps doesn't slow things down much. This was close to twenty years ago and it was done by the cash register. The machine separated them and I would pay for food with the stamps first and then the paper products and cleaning products with cash. I was one of the people who never figured out how to game the system. I had three small children and there were no name brands or expensive meats bought. I occasionally did buy one of those packages of off-brand cookies for the kids but that was about it.
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kat2 View Post
I hate to sound biased or racist, because I am not, but it seems that there is a different set of rules for each race.
Sadly, Sometimes I think you're right
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
IMO if you are getting food stamps, there should be a basic list of foods/drinks that are allowed on the food stamp. Anything else has to be bought by money. May slow the line down but maybe people would not abuse it.
it must vary from state to state. here, there's a list [i've seen it at the cash register] of what cereals can be purchased [no super-sweet, sugary ones - only healthy... like Cheerios are allowed, but not Frosted Flakes, etc.].

after looking this info up, i see that this is not 'food stamps' but WIC [women, infants & children] which appears to be a separate program.
post #18 of 27
Yes, WIC is a separate program. WIC provides vouchers to single mothers or families with young children and the vouchers are used like checks, except that you have to purchase only what is on the voucher. This typically includes things like milk, eggs, peanut butter, juice, non-sugary cereal, cheese, etc. WIC is a really good program. They do a lot of research about a person before they give them vouchers.

Food stamps, or EBT, on the other hand, is hideous. I agree with everyone else - it makes me SO MAD when I see some of the people that use these cards. I applied for food stamps over a year ago, after my husband was injured and lost his job because I was only working part time and our savings ran out pretty quickly. They gave them to us (grudgingly) and then refused to accept the doctor's orders for my husband's inability to work and took us off without notice three months later because he hadn't found a job yet. I eventually got a second job but we are still scrounging really, and can't get any help.

But my brother in law's ex wife has 6 kids by four different fathers, lives with a totally different guy and doesn't have a job. She will pick up a job for a few months at a time to play the system, but otherwise doesn't work for most of the year. She gets child support for all of the kids and does a sob story any time one of their dads tries to get custody. She owns her own house, has a huge plasma TV and two nice cars, and receives lots of government aid. Oh, and she ignores every one of her kids.

So yeah, I hate the system. I think it is very broken and a lot of people who really need help can't get it and a lot of people who obviously don't just keep leaving and dipping right back into the system, playing it like a fiddle.

And yes, you can buy junk with an EBT card. You can basically buy any item that would qualify as "food," including expensive sugary sodas and candy and cookies. The only vaguely foodlike items you can't get with an EBT card are alcoholic beverages and cooked foods (like pasta salads) from a deli.
post #19 of 27
Oh I soooo know what you mean! I used to wait on peeps all the time like that when I worked at Wal-Mart. Fancy, expensive jewelry, designer clothing, cellphones with all the extras glued to their ears, brand new Mustangs or better sitting in the parking lot - and hauling out their EBTs to pay for JUNK food! And the peeps who really needed the help couldn't get it!

I could go on & on about what I saw, but what's the point? It'll just raise my blood pressure thinking about it..

Kudos to you for writing the letter! But unfortunately, it'll probably do no good.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
And yes, you can buy junk with an EBT card. You can basically buy any item that would qualify as "food," including expensive sugary sodas and candy and cookies. The only vaguely foodlike items you can't get with an EBT card are alcoholic beverages and cooked foods (like pasta salads) from a deli.
I think the system should "block" all that junk from even being allowed to pass the scanner. It could be done, with today's technology. If the computer can block specific items like deli food, it certainly could be programmed to block all that other junk, too. Only nutritious, healthy foods should be allowed to be purchased using an EBT card. Or at the very least, a limited amount of "junk" food should be allowed to be purchased.
post #21 of 27
My parents told me that across from where I moved from a few months ago (my great grandmother's house) that was where the food stamp office was located for our town a while back. My dad and mom said that people would park their nice cars a few blocks away and act like they walked all the way over to the food stamp office across town like they didn't have a vehicle to get them there. Basically they would abuse the system and act like they were poor just so they would get food stamps.

People always abuse the system though. During Katrina, I had a friend who worked at Walmart at the time. She said people were buying things like XBOX's and TVs with FEMA money. That's partially fema's fault for not setting boundries on what they could and couldn't buy with the money, but still, people shouldn't abuse it like that.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie_Darlin View Post
I seen something today that shocked me.

A women about 2 people in front of me in line today was buying about $300 worth of groceries (and most of it was junk food) and she used an EBT (food stamp card). Mind you this lady had about $1000-$2000 worth of gold and diamonds on.....necklaces, rings, earrings.... you name it! .....

The "Food Stamp" lady.... well, she was loading her goverment bought food into her..... 2008 Dodge Charger!!!


So when I got home, I wrote the Gov. a letter asking why that this happens?
Besides writing the letter to the governer, you can also report this person to your local social services department. But if it's anything like it is here in Minnesota, the social workers are really overworked so it might take them awhile to investigate your complaint.
post #23 of 27
There's one thing everyone can do to fight the abuse of the system.

Register to vote, do the research, and pick a candidate that will stand against it.
post #24 of 27
It's called fraud. Whenever there is money to be had there will be people who will find a way to get it even if they don't deserve it.

When the govt enacts new regulations to try to curb fraud, then everyone screams cuz honest people are being "punished" because of the dishonest few.

What are you going to do.
post #25 of 27
What needs to be done is a complete overhaul of the system. Unfortunately, that will never happen in this country. With services being cutdown and cutdown to nothing, I'd be surprised if it did happen.

Yeah, good luck with that letter! I'd be surprised if you got anything but a form letter with a stamped signature! Good idea, though!
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorie D. View Post
Besides writing the letter to the governer, you can also report this person to your local social services department. But if it's anything like it is here in Minnesota, the social workers are really overworked so it might take them awhile to investigate your complaint.
I thought about that but without knowing her personal info, I doubt it would do any good.


This is what I received today from the Lt. Gov. whom I CC on the email

have received your recent email and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Unfortunately, due to the volume of correspondence my office receives, it is not always possible to provide a personal response. Rest assured, my office will thoroughly review your email and you will be contacted regarding any required follow-up as appropriate. Please feel free to share your thoughts on other issues that are important to you.

To receive weekly news updates via e-mail, you may subscribe to the Governor’s electronic newsletter at:

http://www.flgov.com/nftc_signup

Thank you for contacting my office.

Lieutenant Governor Jeff Kottkamp



post #27 of 27
Quote:
People always abuse the system though. During Katrina, I had a friend who worked at Walmart at the time. She said people were buying things like XBOX's and TVs with FEMA money. That's partially fema's fault for not setting boundries on what they could and couldn't buy with the money, but still, people shouldn't abuse it like that.
I saw A LOT of that going on when working at Wal-Mart, too. A lot of the Katrina victims came to Texas, and received those FEMA debit cards. They were buying stuff like jewelry, designer clothing, big screen TVs, etc. The debit cards were meant for replacing clothing & food items - not for stuff that wasn't necessary. Then when Hurricane Rita blew through Texas, FEMA wasn't as willing to give out the debit cards b/c of the abuse that occurred after Katrina - which meant the Rita victims couldn't get what the Katrina victims did.

I'm glad to hear that you received a response, Dixie. Maybe it'll do some good after all.
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