For anyone receiving unemployment checks the idea of getting free money is so novel they end up exploring other ways of scamming the government for goods. Now that food stamps (aka Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) are distributed via special debit cards rather than actual stamps, the unemployed for sure have looked into whether they’re eligible to participate. Free food? Why not?

These are tough times, and for some unemployed people it takes food stamps to help make ends meet. Depending on food stamps to feed your family is no joke. Using food stamps to buy luxury food items kind of is. For some unemployed people who have been laid off, they understand the concept that food stamps are intended to help low income people buy healthy groceries instead of resorting to cheap fast food, and they aim to exploit it. 

A lot of people who lost their jobs weren’t “fortunate” enough to have maxed out their weekly unemployment benefits and receive a tiny percentage of what they used to make. If their salaries were on the low end of the spectrum there’s a good chance they might actually qualify to receive food stamps, and will apply just for the “novelty” of telling people they’re on them. The food stamp for novelty recipients will end up purposely abusing the system by buying stuff that hasn’t exactly been blacklisted by the government. They’ll pop into the corner store because they’re thirsty and want a snack and walk out with Perrier and a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. And they can get away with it because they can argue they needed it as a clean water source and a nutritious dairy product.

Instead of using the food stamp benefits to maintain a healthy diet on a low income as intended, the unemployed are set on figuring out exactly what they can and can’t get away with it. Steak? Sure. Hair loss pills? Probably not. The fancier the food, the more glee there is in knowing the government has once again helped in enabling a lavish lifestyle. In some cases, it might even help them enjoy foods that were too expensive to buy when they were employed!

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141 Responses to “#45 Buying Perrier With Food Stamps”

  1. bibi says:

    Penny, How miserable you must be in your life that you feel you can past judgement on everyone. I hope for your sake you never are in a position where you need help. Or maybe that’s exactly what you need so you can learn to be a bit more understanding and compassionate for others.

  2. Holly says:

    Are you really jealous of food stamp recipients? Are you mad that they don’t have to take your abuse because the card is discrete? What kind of and how much “luxury” food items could you live on at 18 dollars a week? Hea. If someone wants Perrier and yogurt and then not eat for a couple of days a week who are you to decide what, how, when they eat. Maybe they can’t cook a steak because they don’t have a stove or a home to cook. You have to be on an income too low to pay rent to get foodstamps. What? That’s not enough hardship for your taste. What do you eat? And do we have to pay higher healthcare for your bad habits. Go into the light.

  3. Holly says:

    And another thing… I don’t think Trader Joes corporate would appreciate their employees posing discriminatory and hateful blogs.

  4. Marlene says:

    Are you sure you’re not just jealous and a bit outraged that the unemployed might be daring to eat healthy and enjoy it rather than approaching the store, hat in hand, to humbly buy their portion of Ramen noodles? And what a sweeping generalization you’ve made! I’m sure the people you describe exist… they always have and always will… but for the most part, the people on food stamps are not living in luxury so you really needn’t be jealous!

  5. DJ says:

    The people that want to sit here and bash this article, then I will just let you know how I feel. First off, there are some people that truly need food stamps to support there family and children. There are also the people that abuse the food stamp system which is probably about 80%. I live in rural Alabama and I see the white trash idiots that do not want to work so they live in their single wide trailers, smoking pot and getting a wopping 500.00 a month in food stamps. I am going to tell you that I am a hard working disabled veteran and I am told that I am 80% disabled but the VA system is so fucked up that I still can not get help… So if you are on food stamps maybe you need them but the government should limit what you can buy by what kind of food it is… All you sorry ass no good mother fuckers that want to mooch off my tax dollars can kiss my ass!

    • shan says:

      Apparently you come from an area where it is common to abuse social services, which is where you are getting this 80% figure. I am from massachusetts, urban/suburban, and have been on food stamps for 4 years. I am only 25. Without it, there are times I wouldn’t have eaten. My point is that most of the people around me that I know that are on welfare, food stamps and the like, in fact are ashamed that they need to accept “charity” in the first place. The limit for a single person is only $200 if zero income, and for a family its $300 with an additional $25 for each child. for a poor working mother or father, that’s really not a lot.

      Also, the gov’t does limit what you can buy. You can’t buy pet foods, some specialty foods, prepared foods (like the pre-made chicken at the supermarket, etc)..but most stores that accept food stamps provide mostly grocery items. Yea, some jerks buy oreos and all crap, and whatever, but a mother might want to buy them once a month or year for her kids, should that be limited?

      And also, i have walked into a gas station or something, and walked out with a juice or soda and a snack, and paid for it with stamps, like the article mentioned, but that was only because I have no other money to spend on anything, and maybe i was out of the house for the past 12 hours and havent eaten yet, and still have places to go.

      point being, your living situation doesnt dictate what everyone everywhere does, just because you unfortunately live in hick-ville with a bunch of trash, doesn’t mean everyone is like that. You’re not, apparently, so that disproves the “everybody” thing anyway. 80% is insulting.

    • Art says:

      Ha! First, I only have sympathy for draftees who are injured, so if you signed up to fight you deserve to get hurt or killed, that’s what you signed up for! Second, don’t be angry at someone who gets over on the system just because your self-righteous ass decides to take the “high road”! Hell i get food stamps in 2 different states, and I work full time, and all I eat is healthy organic foods, grass-fed beef (love buying a $150 tenderloin and having filet mignon on uncle sam’s dime!) with a nice bottle of fine red wine, and I’m happy as hell to let you idiot taxpayers wwork for it!

  6. Sarah says:

    You people bashing this article have clearly never thought about this or you have never been to a grocery store. Where in front of you stands some lady, no kids in sight, loads of make up, expensive acrylic nails, buys a heaping amount of foods that are out of your personal budget with … food stamps! 500 dollars a month in food stamps no wonder the system is being abused thats the equivalent of 90 hours at 7 dollars and hour after taxes, so assuming you can get some other form of assistance why work?
    Some people truly need assistance and that is clearly not who is being spoken of, they shop grocery stores and buy actual food to feed their families.

  7. AS says:

    Yeah, I get food stamps and I sure do live in the lap of luxury… I admit, I love having food stamps because I can buy good, healthy, quality food without worrying about breaking my budget. Good food is about the only luxury I can afford!

    The rest of my life? No way. I am employed but I do not make much and it really brightens my day and keeps me in a good mood being able to sit down and have a great meal every night that I didn’t have to pay a huge amount of money for!

    But give me a yacht and a ferrari I’ll eat Chef Boyardee every night, no problem.

  8. Vlaska says:

    I am a recipient of food stamps and I am not proud of it. My husband is working just 5 hours because the city cut his hours, he works in a school like a custodian. He is trying to get a second job 6 months ago…….and nothing. We have a 14 years old son, a 2 1/2 years son and I can’t work because I’m 32 weeks pregnant and because the doctor did a bad job in my husband’s vasectomy.
    My mom live with us, she was working an helping with money, of course, ……but she is not working anymore because she just had her second heart surgery and got a pass maker.
    We have a little apartment…….but it is for sale now, because we can not pay the maintenance, our credit cards and bills.
    My baby needs everything but we don’t have money……….so…….that’s why today we had to use for the first time THE CARD WITH FOOD STAMPS. It was on time Thank God, we didn’t have food and my 2 years old was asking me for yogurt all day long.

  9. kelly329 says:

    ok..if you give a person food stamps it’s because they can prove that person need them. How can you limit what a person buy with food stamps? Do you realize how hard that would be? Diffrent store and diffrent brands and too much deatails with that sort of thing. If you have food stamps you can buy FOOD! That’s all that matters. You cant buy beer or wine or cigs or things of that sort. Not even red bull. So what tha hell does it matter what a person buys. If you see a person shoppin with a food stamp card and she looks good with nails and her hair done. Well maybe she did it herself or maybe she had her expensive things b4 she needed the stamps and takes good care of herself. Do you need to look trashy just cause you have food stamps?

  10. Elle says:

    I read in a comment above that the person who wrote this
    works at Trader Joes. So that makes you a part of the elite working
    class? You don’t make that much I’m sure, so you may at some point
    need to tap into these very same resources………… Unless TJ
    has a free employee meal program……………

  11. Kari says:

    My husband and I recently got on food stamps. I went to
    college and have a teaching degree. I have three children all under
    5. My husband is in school right now getting his Master’s Degree.
    We, like many other Americans, have hit hard times. We had to
    swallow our pride and apply for food stamps. It’s a means to an
    end. When my husband is done with school, we will be off them. We
    shop at Trader Joes because it’s healthy. We get a certain amount
    of money every month and we get to choose how to spend it. Most
    Gov’t run programs are so restrictive and for once I am proud of my
    Gov’t for trusting me to make decisions. I have about 100 dollars a
    week to feed my family of five and I take great care in making my
    money go as far as I can with the best foods possible. However, you
    may see me on occasion buying some ice-cream or a special drink.
    It’s a special treat and I am glad I have the opportunity to do it.
    I see people at Walmart loading their carts with cases of soda,
    bags of chips and candy while their 1 year old sits in the cart
    sucking on a ring pop. That’s what is sad to me. Not the moms who
    swallow their pride and go to Trader Joes and have a good
    conversation with their cashier until I tell them my card is Food
    Stamps and they get quiet and don’t really talk to me much after

  12. one of them says:

    my husband is out of work and i had to wait in the welfare
    office with my throat in my tummy and the overwhelming feeling of
    being looked down upon. food stamps isnt fun(dnt get me wrong its
    nice to know if you dnt have anything else you can feed your
    children). everytime i go to purchase food im embarassed. deep down
    i kno i should be thanking God that i have these food stamps bcuz
    without them it would be that much harder. so get over urself…if
    u dnt like it dnt look. please stop crying over your tax
    dollars(especially when theyre only taking $70 a month 4rm
    u)because if us citizens arent using them then theyre going n2 the
    politicians pocket books.

  13. sober1 says:

    Uh I live in Bend Oregon…..Hicks,filthy rich,white
    trash,ghetto Chics with the fake nails….we got em all…I am a
    single mom with two kids I am on unemployment and receive 275 a
    week I also get $300 a month child support my rent is $675 mnth I
    get $$200 a month in fooodstamps I had to go for 3 months on just
    the unemployment and childsuport just to qualify this month I would
    like to know how all these other people are sitting on their
    trailors smoking pot and getting $500 also… o know this person
    who is a student on financial aide who doesn’t pay rent and
    received $240 for just herself hmmm?well I’m not mad…but I do
    wonder if all these case workers use the same calculation?

  14. sober1 says:

    FYI I found this blog trying to find out if I could use
    them at Trader Joes….just sayin

  15. jade says:

    I love how people can gripe that someone who receives food
    stamps buys junk food… and turn around and gripe that they don’t
    have the right to buy healthy food! Talk about

  16. DM says:

    Yeah…I found this site trying to see if Trader Joe’s
    accepted food stamps as well. Just because I am out of work does
    not mean that I, and more importantly, my kids should have to eat
    unhealthy food. I have never depended on any sort of public
    assistance in my life…until now. I’m a former military officer
    and am permanently disabled due to an injury incurred in the line
    of duty. I worked in sales for a fortune 50 company for 8 years
    (during which time I paid well over $100,000 in taxes). I am a
    single parent. After getting laid off and exhausting my life
    savings paying my mortgage and keeping my bills current while
    looking for a new job, I eventually lost my home and my car and am
    now considered “legally homeless” since I am forced to live with
    family and cannot afford my own home. I am in graduate school
    getting a master’s in teaching. I am on food stamps, or SNAP, as it
    is now called. I was getting unemployment, but I no longer qualify
    since I am in school. I get a very small educational stipend from
    the VA, and they pay my books and tuition, but I am a single dad
    with two young children to feed. I receive $370 per month in SNAP
    benefits. This feeds my family for about 2 weeks if I shop at the
    typical grocery store. If you look at the typical grocery store,
    the cheapest calories are also the least healthy ones and typically
    contain high fructose corn syrup and/or trans fatty acids. (Check
    out the documentary “Food Inc.” if you haven’t seen it, very
    eye-opening). Is it your opinion that people that are down on their
    luck should have to eat unhealthy food? Without a doubt, there are
    dishonest people that scam the system. However, most people that
    are “in the system” do not want to be. Being in the system sucks.
    The benefits you do get are not enough to get by. Typically, the
    people that work for DHS are so painfully incompetent, you wonder
    why they have a job and you don’t. Even with my stipend and food
    stamps, I am forced to take out student loans just to help pay
    living expenses and to be able to afford clothes for my kids. You
    make it sound like being unemployed and on food stamps is a
    vacation. Trying to find a job when there are no jobs to be found
    is by far the most difficult and unforgiving work I have ever done
    in my life. Shame on you and your lack of compassion and empathy.
    I’m with “One of Them” who posted above. It is tremendously
    embarrassing and humbling to walk into a DHS office and apply for
    assistance. What I saw for the most part in the DHS office when I
    went to apply for food stamps were a lot of people just like me:
    clean cut, well-dressed, out of work, and humbled. It took me weeks
    to muster the courage to walk into the office. I felt defeated. On
    another note, should I be expected to tell my 6 year old son that
    he can’t have cookies or ice cream because “we’re poor now, and
    poor people aren’t allowed to have treats?” Every time I have to
    use that card is a slap in the face. It is not fun and it damn sure
    is not a luxury. I find your outlook misanthropic and completely
    disgusting. But, since you feel so strongly, how about the next
    time you see a bedraggled, stressed-out single mom (who works two
    waitressing jobs to make ends meet while also trying to work her
    way through college in order to make a better life for her son) in
    line at the store buying cookies, ice cream, and fruit snacks with
    a SNAP card for her five year old son whose deadbeat dad is 4 years
    behind on child support and never bothers to visit or even send
    birthday cards, you walk up, slap the the Oreos out of the kid’s
    hand and tell him he’s not allowed to have treats because he’s
    poor. I sincerely hope that I someday get to meet you in a dark
    alley and provide you with some much needed wall-to-wall

    • Doris Zaverousky says:

      DM: You go ,Guy!! Very well written & very insightful, at least for those of us who see shades of gray in life & not only black & white. I hope some of these arrogant as+++++ fall on hard times & have to humble themselves to accept foodstamps to feed their children or maybe being the backwards rednecks they sound like, they can get out of their raggedy old recliner,put down the remote that never leaves their hand & go out & shoot a squirel to get the baby to stop crying of hunger pains.

      PS. I just ran across this blog.I see it is old but I couldn’t keep my mouth shut.

      • Doris Zaverousky says:

        I see I can’t edit the above. Sorry for the typos. Makes me look just like the uneducated(in many ways!) who do the complaining. squirrel, not squirel ;)

  17. Katarina says:

    Well said DM; and screw the WRITER of this article! I used
    to own a successful company. I used to make over 100Gs a year. I
    used to pay out the you no where in taxes to the you know who! I
    used to own 3 homes, a car, a golf cart, a truck and my family
    never did without. I used to support those who had none. I used to
    volunteer for city programs for the youth, I used to give from that
    I had to others in need. First came the run on the housing markets
    that banks and greedy flippers destroyed out of greed. My hard work
    renting out two of my homes for 15 years for my assumed one day
    retirement fund never saw fruition. First the greedy governments
    raised all my property taxes so that I could not save a single dime
    of my investment or my time and money to maintain those homes and
    my frustration dealing with renters. I received nothing for my hard
    work-the government got it all. As if the 40% they got from my
    annual salary was not enough already! Then came the market crash
    and so even then I could not recoup my money..sold two and now owe
    600K on a home that is worth 300K. My home is in foreclosure now.
    Then came the construction industry crash which by the way used to
    be my successful business and now it too (meaning me) owes its
    lenders lots of money I can not pay back. Then came a divorce which
    my husband’s greedy lawyers cost 50k of money I don’t have and I
    even fired my own attorney and represented myself. Next came time
    for me to look for a new job. Then came no job..a year later no
    job…filed unemployment and guess what…I got lost in the system.
    All the money I paid into my well being they keep on taking it!
    Then finally after a year and a half of fighting unemployment,
    exhausting every last cent of my retirement, my health savings
    plan, and my secret stash, I finally had to write my congressmen
    and my governor to force the state of Florida to give me my
    unemployment. And still I have only received some of those months
    as every time, the somehow loose my paperwork–ugh! I now live in a
    friends house with my daughter. Her father also in the construction
    industry is also still unemployed after a year and a half. He has
    no money to pay child support and instead cares for our daughter
    half of the time. He now lives with his mother. My daughter and I
    finally have medicaid after loosing our insurance 6 months ago
    although that does not pay for my dental needs and finally we have
    received our second month of food stamps. IF YOU THINK FOR ONE
    Now instead of supporting another child who is in need for summer
    camp, I am the one asking for the paperwork to apply for a
    scholarship based on need for my daughter so that she does not have
    to loose that as well as her dance classes, her voice lessons and
    her mall store clothing! And yes, my nails are done and my hair
    looks pretty as I have learned to do these things myself with cheap
    products rather then pay for the service that I now longer can
    afford. And yes, sometimes my bag even is an old designer bag that
    I have not yet sold from glory days gone past! AND YES, I DO SHOP

    • Bobby says:

      Perrier, please – it’s all imported water for me. I’m
      unemployed and I love this article/page. I was laid-off from my job
      and I’m going back to school now and getting my bachelors degree.
      But there is one other benefit to receiving unemployment benefits:
      just knowing that every time I get unemployment check, it enrages
      bitter people like those who put up this hilarious stuff on the
      net. Here let me give you some more delusions to enrage yourself
      with: We unemployed people have an underground ring of rogue liquor
      stores who accept food stamps, we drink our liquor for free! We eat
      lobster and steak everyday – because we certainly have more than
      enough money to do it. Here’s another secret we unemployed don’t
      want you to know: We’re working with terrorists to try and
      overthrow the US government and buying WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
      - who new you could by yellow cake uranium with food stamps! Lets
      face it – people who bash unemployed people are mostly miserable
      people who work jobs that there will never be a shortage of.
      McDonald’s, Wal-mart, or other dead-end jobs are fine examples
      because they don’t have the intelligence for any kind of work.
      Sorry, gotta run, my imported German beer is getting warm – have
      fun at work suckers. No I don’t want fries with that.

  18. Kim says:

    apparently only certain kinds of people deserve Perrier and
    Haggen Daaz. Poor people do not deserve to have steak? Perhaps your
    anger can stop at the grocery store knowing that the person with
    the foodstamps buying steak and bottled water is only making $1000
    per month and the quality food is the only thing that they have to
    be happy and joyous about. We live in a country were people don’t
    have to be poor when it comes to food, and that we are to all be
    equal at the grocery store. I never understood why there people
    standing at the corner of the exit on the road saying “Will Work
    For Food” or “Hungry”. Or country does not let people starve. Do
    they not have a SSN or Phone? Are they felones? Do they have a
    friend that can drive them to the office? Or do they have too much
    of an ego to go to the office? We all deserve to eat good food, not
    dog food. Yes, good food being steak, pork chops, bottled water,
    juice, pizza, ice cream, etc.

  19. Ghost of John Lennon says:

    So when the King of Saudi Arabia bribes his serfs not to
    revolt you can all see what it is and sneer at how gutless and
    easily manipulated they are compared to the Egyptians. But when the
    kleptocracy here bribes you serfs with ice cream and TV not to
    revolt you think you pulled one over on the Man? Really? Are you
    all that blind? Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, You
    think you’re so clever and classless and free but you’re still
    f#ck!ng peasants as far as I can see.

  20. setaglm says:

    thanks to the many thoughful folks who put themselves out
    there regarding how difficult it is to be ‘on the system’. the one
    thing i will say to you all is that for most of your lives you have
    contributed to supporting the infrastructure that is our
    governmental system part of which is for people in this very same
    predicament. you paid in, now you are receiving a portion of that
    back and surely you will be paying right back in – and for your own
    well being hopefully soon. blessings to all of you who are in a
    position to have to now be the receiver rather than the giver.
    there are blessings to be had from that as well! i appreciate that
    we have a safety net. there will always be abusers be it the
    welfare system, a high/low end ponzi schemers, the sharks circling
    around the soon to be foreclosed houses waiting for the picking of
    the carcass… don’t know who to attribute this quote to but here
    it is: there is so much bad in the best of us and so much good in
    the worst of us that it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the
    rest of us!

  21. Andrew says:

    wow everyone crying about this article needs to wake up.
    yes, there are many people on SNAP who need it, and that’s fine.
    the problem is the people who permanently live off the government
    because they are too lazy to get a job. before you start on the
    ‘there are no jobs’ rant, consider this…how did america survive
    in the 17 and 1800′s without food stamps or welfare?

  22. carolyn says:

    I am concerned that the single dad with 2 small children
    can not feed his family (of 3) for more than 2 weeks on $370.
    School age children of low income families can receive free
    breakfast and lunches during the school year and parents of little
    ones usually qualify for WIC. Check out the local stores in the
    area – Look for specials. How about a garden? No space, how about a
    community gardent space. I too don’t want to serve food that isn’t
    quality and as a tax payer I would not want anyone eating several
    meals of nothing but pasta.

  23. nonameinthestreet says:

    @Andrew: I will tell you: people did not survive. The
    leading cause of death for the elderly back in the day was
    hypothermia. And we had slavery. There was a book that came out in
    the late seventies called Wisconsin Death Trip which is a
    collection of newspaper clippings and photos about ordinary people
    in the late 19th-early 20th centuries in small Wisconsin towns.
    Account after account of farms failing, jobs lost, and family
    members committing suicide, poisoning their children, men deserting
    their families, going insane, starvation. No government safety net,
    no EBT, no steaks, no Perrier, no WIC, no dole. People eating lard
    and flour, tree bark, and worse. Photos of dead children, insane
    women, empty streets, dilapidated houses, desolate farms. Watch the
    movie Grapes of Wrath- same deal but in the thirties. One of the
    best scenes is when the destitute, ragged Joad family stops at a
    gas station before crossing the desert through Arizona/New Mexico;
    as they drive off, the two attendants are watching them go in their
    broken down, overloaded jalopy and commenting while shaking their
    heads: “how can people live like that?” says one. “just don’t know
    any better, I guess” went the reply. This entire argument about the
    “abuse” of food assistance is ridiculous, but not surprising. and
    @DM and @Carolyn: thank you for speaking with

    • MOMOF4 says:

      I am a single mom of 4 on food stamps because I am only
      able to find part time work and recieve child support only
      sporadically. I would gladly trade in my card for a full time job
      but they just aren’t out there. To the poster th at feels jobs are
      plentiful you need to get on your knees and thank God because you
      must be blessed to the point you are able to be obvilous to the
      struggles of the rest of the world. I buy organic foods and other
      “luxuries”. Statistically poor children (i.e those eligible for
      food stamps) suffer from obesity and other health problems at a far
      greater rate. Why? POOR DIET. Knowing that this is right now one
      area I can control and I won’t feel sorry about it. Would you
      rather I bought Koolaid and twinkies? I am ashamed and try to keep
      the fact that we are on the program from my children. Every time I
      have to go in to reapply for benefits it breaks my spirit a little.
      I have to explain and account for every dollar I have and how it’s
      spent, I’ve even had to explain how I afford soap and toilet paper.
      Please believe this is no picnic and I would not do it if I didn’t
      have to.

  24. Mamasan says:

    Wow! I guess the person that wrote this article is high
    class..I’m on food stamps! yum yum! The life I live because of food
    stamps is so luxurious..I was laid off my supervisor job of 7yrs.
    and my husband was laid off a month later. We had to move in with
    my mother,we lost our home. It took over 5 months to get
    unemployment. In that 5 months he found another job,but makes far
    less than his old job. I am in school getting my associates degree.
    We still live with my mother. We feel like such failures! We went
    from vacations and spending sprees to food stamps! I am the queen
    on the 99 cent store!I try to watch what I buy, but every now and
    then I buy a treat,getting food stamps is a blessing. The writer of
    this article is just immature and hateful..feel sorry for this

  25. Jean says:

    I know this is an older article but I keep reading from
    such cynics who have never had a hard time in life – and they make
    me so angry. It’s embarassing to feel like a failure and need help,
    there is nothing wrong with quality meats and a treat now and then.
    I worked for over 21 years and only paid into the system. I was
    laid off before the extensions and had 6 mos. of unemployment – no
    jobs as I’m older and my education is antequated by todays
    standards. No help going back to school …I could go on. I used
    all my stock/retirement $, sold jewelry, ebayed personal items and
    on and on until I was broke. Yes, I have a car and a house that I
    am paying on with my little job and both are not considered assets
    - I owe more than value on the car. I can’t trade because my credit
    was crashed with my job. Oh and before all this crap, my husband
    decided he didn’t want to any more and left. Yes, I get child
    support – wow I can really raise children on that amt. Lost my
    medical and I don’t qualify for help here or anywhere else – I did
    finally get a few months of food stamps. Embarassed but a God send
    right now. I don’t agree with the abuses I see of the system and
    there needs to be change (ie: child limits so people stop having
    more than they can support just to increase benefits, drug tests
    for all etc.) but until you have been down – get off my case. I go
    out of town to shop because I don’t want my neighbors knowing how
    far I have fallen – I don’t drive my car because people see it and
    think I must have money. I do my own nails and get a hair cut maybe
    quarterly. Because I take a bath and wear clean clothes does not
    mean I’m abusing the system. The past few years have been an
    entirely different world.

  26. DulceVida says:

    I FINALLY! got my foodstamps. A solid 300 to which I went
    straight over to whole foods and packed my cart. I work with
    Americorps (seeing as though anything community service related
    organizations are the only fields hiring-addressing all these
    ‘community ills’ in our society due to the economic fail) and i’m
    on a small living stipend. Not nearly enough to pay my mortgage,
    groceries and public transportation combined. So when i got my food
    stamps I wrote a list of all the things I was going to buy that I
    initially had to deprive myself of just because I couldn’t afford
    it on a regular wage. I’ve paid my money into the government 80
    times over (working since i was 16) and since none of this trickle
    down economy has trickled down to me..i’m gladly filling my cart
    with exotic fruit bowls, provolone, deli meats, BRIE
    the governments ticket! God BLESS AMERICA FOR THIS ONE

  27. Krystle says:

    I’m so tired of hearing people say that there should be
    certain limitations to what can be bought with foodstamps. What
    should those limitations be? Just because I’m not paying for my
    food myself (because I couldn’t afford to) doesn’t mean that I
    shouldn’t be able to buy healthy, good quality food. I can actually
    buy fresh fruits and vegetables for my family and I for the FIRST
    TIME in my life and I don’t think I should have to feel bad because
    of that. Some people need to realize that to be on food stamps, you
    have to be in a really bad financial situation (and while some
    people abuse the system, that’s not the norm). So if I am getting
    “luxury items” (and I didn’t know that being fed was considered a
    luxury) then so what? That’s the ONE part of my life where I don’t
    have to worry constantly about making ends meet. People who are mad
    that my food is paid for by the government and theirs is not, need
    to sit back and think about what they’re saying. At least they can
    afford to buy their own food. With me it would be “Hmmm…diapers
    or groceries?” And I’m pretty sure we all know which one would

  28. Max Manus says:

    I don’t think Trader Joes corporate would appreciate their employees posing discriminatory and hateful blogs.

  29. repoyamofo says:

    hey i eats the good wif MY foodstampses. i think you all
    shuld have to pay for me and latania and my fo babyses to gets to
    eats all good and sheet;. they better not be takins MY foodstampses
    away and they bettur hurry the hell up next time i needs to renew
    MY foodstamses so i dont have to wait in dat line all damns day
    long fo MY FREE foodstampses.

  30. Sarah says:

    Exactly what constitutes ‘luxury food’? I am not proud but for right now I have to use food stamps to put food on the table. My daughter has severe life threatening allergies. She cannot have milk, corn, eggs, nuts, and a multitude of other things. So should I not be allowed to buy the foods she actually CAN eat?! Many items that are allowed in her diet cannot be found in your regular grocery store, unless they have a ‘natural section’. While people like you turn your nose up at someone that has to use food stamps, try to put yourself in their position. Imagine if you HAD to use food stamps in order to eat or in order to feed your children and family. Don’t you think that person has enough going on in their life that they had to ask for help to buy even their most basic necessities? The last thing they need is someone treating them like they are less than a person. This seems utterly ridiculous. You really do not know other’s situations so think before you pass judgement. Do try to have compassion because you just may find yourself in the same position someday. Believe me when I say it never even crossed my mind that I would one day find myself in this situation.

  31. Fiona says:

    It’s funny, it seems like the author and some people on here are mad that those who use food stamps are allowed to buy nice food. However, I feel the COMPLETE opposite way, in that I don’t think people on food stamps should be allowed to buy crappy food! Processed, sugary, unhealthy foods like soda, candy, pastries, sugary foods, and fast food should NOT be available to those using food stamps (and check recent news articles – a few states just made it available to use SNAP at FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS!) It’s unacceptable. It just contributes to bad health, which then makes those people ill, which the tax payers have to pay for, so in the end it’s more expensive to allow those on food stamps to purchase crappy unhealthy food. More money needs to be spent on educating people about cheap healthy food and how to prepare it, and adding more markets and stores with fresh real food to the “food desert” areas. I think a big problem here is laziness. A lot of people are going to buy a box of Froot Loops and milk over some veggies and meat and beans because cereal doesn’t take any time or preparation. But the food stamp program was created to be able to buy HEALTHY MEAL STAPLES in the first place – and that’s what needs to be re-implemented. I think foods like fruits/vegetables (fresh or canned), milk, juice, bread, beans, rice, potatoes, pasta, etc., and cheap meats should be the only things available for those on food stamps. And don’t argue with me that those foods are expensive, because it’s definitely possible to create relatively healthy meals on food stamps. Plus, lots of farmers markets are accepting food stamps now, and fresh produce there is CHEAP. There’s no reason why the poor people in our country should be the ones most susceptible to obesity and health problems, because it can be avoided (or at least attempted to by implementing more boundaries on what people are allowed to purchase). Anyone agree or have thoughts on this?

  32. Rach says:

    I have worked in a grocery store for 10 years and I see food stamp members daily. I can see both ends of the spectrum where as some participants truly need them to survive and I also see the people driving new cars and having steak every night while I feed my family hot dogs and yes the famous ramen noodles. I have seen this system used and abused so much that It just outrages me that some (not all) people choose to live off of the government and pass those traits on to their children. When people truly need help that is fine I have no problem what so ever lending a hand, but when some choose to be dependent and suck from the system it breaks my heart. What happened to the days of working for a living!! You may have lost your $20 and hour job, but are you to good to work for $10, I’m not. I evaluated my self worth and you know what it comes out to? “HANDLE YOUR BUSINESS AND PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY”. I work 3 yes 3 jobs to take care of my family because you do what you have to do to make it work. I have had employees quit working because they received more benefits from the government by not working, come on people what does that teach our children???? To the gentle men that is 80% disabled and a vetran you may qualify for tax free groceries in my state you can get them if you qualify and sir I would like to say thank you for defending our country and you are not alone in your aggravitation toward the subject. Those of you who “truly” need the program good luck to you in the future. Those who abuse the system I only have one word for you, “KARMA”.

  33. J Diddy says:

    Just got approved for my EBT card yesterday and you can be sure I’ll be taking it to my organic boutique grocery store. Oh and I’ll be shoplifting too!

  34. Ar says:

    I know this is kinda old, but I just wanted to throw my two cents in. I just qualified for food stamps, and I will be taking it to whole foods to buy what some people might deem ‘luxury’ foods. But the thing is, my husband has a lot of food allergies that make him very sick if he eats them. Gluten free, dairy free food and others like that are expensive and seem, to many, to be a bit trendy or what have you. But that’s what we need to buy. I’m sure he isn’t the only food stamp recipient with such allergies, so maybe think about that before you decide someone is buying ‘fancy’ foods with their food stamps. This might’ve been mentioned before, but if it has, maybe it will drive home the necesity of buying such foods for people in need.

  35. blake says:

    Foodstamps are not meant to be a punishment it’s there to help you through a tough time. So you can still have your steak if you are lucky enough to have somewhere to live and cook it since you cannot buy hot foods ready made and nutritious with food stamps. Some neighborhoods have rotten meat spoiled milk eggs with bird feces all over the carton and the ham and cheese is too old to stomach. So you have food stamps but go hungry because all the stores and supermarkets serve spoiled foods.

    The building you live in has brown rusty water that feels nasty and slick when you bathe in it so you have to buy bottled water.
    As an American its your right especially if you have worked hard all your life and due to the economy have no other choice.

    If you are not a domestic violence survivor, immigrant, single mother, drug addict, mentally ill, ex convict there is no aid for you when times are hard. They get brand new housing and shelters built just for them & about $3000 rent paid monthly depending on family size and better paying jobs due to special government contracts.

    If you are single and worked three jobs all your life till the economy left you with nothing there is no help for you who have worked hard and paid taxes and kept your records spotless. There is no money but $215 for shelter allowance where they put you in 3 quarter housing with drug addicts and others with undisclosed issues.

    You deserve your food stamps its all youre going to get for years of hard work and paying taxes.

    So yes when the markets in my neighborhood sell rotten meat, I will have no choice but to buy donuts, chips, soda ice cream and what ever i can eat to get nutrition and calories needed to stay alive.

    Since you can’t buy hot foods off the food tables or live in a place with no working stove or kitchen. I have spent $70 on fresh and frozen and canned foods meat fruit and veggies, only to find spoiled stinky bacon which is ALWAYS rotten, bad chicken and beef that had me vomiting and on the toilet at the same time.
    I had to be hospitalized for lack of nutrition and severe anemia even though i ate canned salmon and pasta most of the time.

    I got lucky once and found a gourmet market that accepted foodstamps and got great spicy cheesy pork sandwhiches, cold chicken pasta garlic broccoli salad, asian noodles and chicken or beef, cold lamb etc so i could eat like a human again. We will all know what its like sooner or later to be on food stamps
    and all the difficulty and situations involved with it. You will be SO very grateful for and consider each bubbly sweetsoda or fresh milk and juices, perrier, steak, fresh ribs to bbq, ice cream etc that you ate everyday when employed sinful luxuries.

    You will be desperate to GET UP and get any job, take anything, study and advance, but there is no where to go no money for gaining new skills, nothing, dead end, and you are just stuck till things change which may take years.

  36. blake says:

    Before people got on foodstamps and welfare, they had jobs. Good paying jobs and over the years they bought a car kept it looking new, bought hdtv and a wii system while working and a bunch of electronic gadgets.

    Now things have gone bad, they lost their jobs but still have all those nice things and nice clothes from years of hard work.
    They didnt just get on foodstamps and welfare and jump up to go buy a new car with it.

    Some people live in tiny rooms that dont allow cooking or any electric appliance including mini frigerators.

    Some live in areas so remote they have to walk several blocks or miles to find a store that is roach infested and had juice that is so old it has solidified in the bottles.

    The fridgerators dont work so the salami ham and cheese bacon etc is always spoiled. So they have to walk from lousy store to lousy store. There is not farmers market.

    Food stamps are not a punishment or humiliation but a means of support until the country stabilizes.

    Some people have violent milk and dairy, cheese, allegies, even lactaid and soymilk or almond milk etc sickens them they cant eat cereal.

    Just because you get a job or two doesn’t mean you will get a regular 40 hours a week the company will have to cut your hours to 20 hours or one or two days a week or lay your off for three weeks a month.

    Sometimes you get a full time job but the company has a high turnover rate(they hire and fire every 3 to 6 months to keep program people and the money companies are paid to hire them by the government regulary running through it.

    So you will not have a job for long, and many times program people get the jobs over single non issue people who have clean backgrounds and years of experience.

    Parents throw young people out on the street and unless they are mentally ill, drug addicted, DV, abused, exconvict or have children there is no support or housing or services for them.

    So many young men and women raised right have to find the courage to get pregnant to get off the streets and in to safe housing to get services or shack up with partners they barely know to get in to the couples shelter.

    The Social services system has these requirements so people from negligent and abusive families that are thrown out suddenly in to the street with nothing will get nothing and no help and live in danger of making bad choices to survive. So they choose the lesser of all evils pregnancy to get support these are the choices the system gives you.

    Believe me if you don’t meet one of these qualifications they will tell you there is nothing more we can do for you please leave the premises or we will call security. If you are single with none of those issues and have worked all your life and have a clean background, and you will truly be homeless or living in slum conditions in remote horrible neighborhoods.

    A lot of people fake mental illness just to get housing and benefits, the system gives you no choice

    Stop looking at what somebody else is getting as you don’t know all the details involved, stop the jealousy, stop forcing yourselves and condeming others in to misery and poor quality
    when your government tries to give you plenty.

  37. starrynight says:

    As much as I hated waiting in the FS office and being around people who do take advantage of the system, me on the other hand as well as other honest people, need it because everyone has there own unique story. I was with my boyfriend, unemployed at the time, and things didn’t work out. Luckily, I had a savings account, found the cheapest room to rent in Brooklyn from a family that was able to take me and my 15 month daughter in. I posted ads on Craigslist and it was difficult to find trust worthy people that are willing to give up their personal space for a crying baby. Luckily this family has a 4 month old and they understood and were sympathetic to my situation. I’ve had food stamps for 1 month now and I am blessed because I only had $360 dollars to my name, plus $480 of child support per month which is going to rent, if it wasn’t for child support, me and my daughter would be homeless…and that is everyone’s fear. I bought pomegrante juice the other day and felt so guilty, but then I thought, I need to stay healthy and not give in to junk food. Even though I have the card, I still look for the best deals and get my moneys worth. Every penny counts and so does mine and my daughter’s health.

  38. Meadow Jane says:

    I had to suck my pride up and apply for foodstamps when my hours were drastically cut. We lead very healthy lives and try and eat organic and not put chemicals in our bodies. So should I change my lifestyle because I know am on foodstamps, and force my child to eat processed food, so that I can fit the “white trash” criteria. I feel so sorry for people who pass judgement so quickly. Your life is sad, good luck with that :) My use of the government assistance is merely until I can get back on my feet, sorry for leading a healthy lifestyle while I am at it.

  39. Zoomer says:

    Compensation and The Stamps. One of the best times of my life!

  40. kaydee says:

    I was just looking to see if Trader Joe’s accepts them… I am so hurt. See my husband and I have really had a hard time and we finally broke down and applied because we have small children to feed. I have always couponned and had a great deal of shame using them. I have always refused to buy steak or shrimp ( unless it was marked down ) Then the other day my 6 year old broke out in hives and the doctor said she is alergic to food coloring and maybe preservatives as well and we need to go organic…. GREAT ! As if I can take one more extra stupid thing we have to pay for ! My hubby is in construction and as you know there are no new buildings going up and i can’t find a job that would offset the daycare alone ! But I do volunteer work to feel better because I believe the bible when it says if you don’t work you don’t eat ! So I was so excited when I read they take foodstamps ! It may help a little. Now don’t get me wrong I have sat in that office with these people you are referring too ! They are rediculous and just having to sit in the same room with them for a long amount of time is bad enough ! But you can’t lump everyone in one category. Now I am embarassed to go in there with my card in hand but I will figure it out because I will go without eating before I let my baby have another reaction to whatever unknown preservative they can’t even test for. But be careful treating people that way veteran or not because the bible says we are entertaining angels unaware ! Also my daddy was a veteran so I know how you feel and I am a conservative and I am for the tea party movement and against socialised medicine but this is a mess we are in and some people are just trying to live through the day the best way they know how !

  41. ACE says:

    I came online today to see if Trader Joe’s accepted snap benefits formerly called food stamps. I have been on food stamps for a few years now, because I am unable to find employment. My position at my former company was eliminated after a company merger, and I haven’t worked a full time permanent position since. I since have gone back to school to complete my bachelor’s degree and will be finished at the end of the year. Does my degree guarantee that I will be able to find a job to support my two young children? NO! Does my educational level, my ability to work, my skill set, my desire to return to the workforce, or the 60 job applications that I put in at minimum per week mean that I will get a job and be able to get off of assistance? Hell NO!!! But guess what my children and I still need to eat so that we can try again tomorrow to get out of the rut we are in today. I am offended by individuals that feel they have the right to judge another persons lifestyle. I have gained 40+ lbs since being unemployed, and NOT because I use my foodstamps to buy junk food, but because of the depressing situation that my family is in. I ate healthy before I lost my job and that included what many people consider luxury items and I used my hard earned dollars to buy those items. But guess where else my hard earned money went… into to taxes to pay into the system that is benefiting my family and many others that are in similar situations. I don’t abuse the help that my family receives but I refuse to feed foods that offer little to no nutritional value to my family, in order to appease those that believe because we need a little help right now we should eat ramen noodles and spaghetti O’s. So I am glad that Trader Joe’s accepts SNAP benefits and I will use mine there to offer nutritional meals to my family and we will still be eating there when we get off of assistance too.

  42. FSRECIPIENT says:

    Who the hell do all of you self righteous people think you are? I have worked for 35 years, raised two children alone w/o child support and raising a grandchild w/o child support, graduated from college, done countless hours of volunteer work for animal welfare groups, personally taken care of underpriveledged families, bought christmas gifts for children who would not have gotten anything, purchased groceries for families out of work out of my own pocket countless times, paid taxes and recently fell on hard times and had to apply for food stamps! I will purchase whatever I like with them and don’t really give a damn what any of you think!! The program is there for people like me who need it temporarily while getting back on their feet! I would sure like to know who the hell gets 500a month to sit in a trailor and smoke pot cause I get less than 200 a month. Oh and I agree with the person who said your taxes are lining the politicians pockets, I have nothing to be ashamed of even If I choose to buy soda and oreos!! I also buy food for meals but I feel like my kid deserves a treat occasionally!! And half of you posting hateful things about us on foodstamps are probably cheating on your taxes anyway!!!!!

  43. Mandy says:

    Its a very sad thing when we can pick on those less fortunate you should be ashamed. I agree there are some that would take advantage of things like this but I can contest to the fact that its only about 10% of the people who receive it. I myself have had to do this and its not fun. I don’t want. My husband cannot find good work. He is a private contractor and is working 2 jobs just to support us. We went 3 years w/o receiving anything because we were to ashamed to ask for help and it put us in a very very bad situation and now we cannot even afford our house payment and maybe facing foreclouser. No, amount of food-stamps we get will ever catch us up on our house payment. Some of you act like we choose to do this and its just not the case if we didn’t we’d not get to eat some days or we’d have to choose not pay a bill (water) or (light) to get grocery’s (which is why we are in the boat we are in) b/c we were to proud to get help. So don’t think we are all smiley and happy using our ebt’s b/c I want to die inside every time I scan that stupid card.

  44. sara says:

    I feel ashamed I’m on food stamps. My fiance and i both got laid off because the company we worked for was down sizing and I was 6 months pregnant when we got laid off. I applied for food stamps then and got denied, a pregnant woman with bills to pay and no income, I g.ot denied. My fiance finally found work after 3 months of hard looking and selling almost everythig except baby furniture, we finally got approved for about 200$ a month in food stamos. We arebt white trash, we don’t do drugs at all, and are legal citizens who are glad to work. And yet I go to the store with what little money I have to buy healthy food and see these trashy people, some who don’t even speak English, with upwards of 500$ in food stamps and god knows what else. And yet I still get judged as a piece of crap for having government assistance. Sometimes, its a little frustrating.

  45. Angela says:

    This is just an ignorant article, but let me enlighten your ass because just like you choose to blow your cash on the new iPhone and eat ramen noodles every night, instead of purchasing the perrier and steak people on food stamps choose to budget their food stamps wisely so they can eat well.

    I used to eat like shit, then I got on Food Stamps and I could no longer AFFORD to eat like shit. TV dinners and boxed cakes cost far more than fresh chicken and veggies, and flour and sugar. I now only shop at Whole Foods. I find it hilarious people with jobs can’t afford to eat here when I can make $400 a month in Food Stamps stretch to 5 weeks worth of meals. Stop judging people when you don’t know their story. If you are really jealous of my good eating let me share some secrets with you that my “poor” ass does, so I don’t gotta bitch and worry about what anyone else in the store is eating. This is how I got out of eating crap and eating like them rich folk. . .

    So yeah shopping at Whole Foods means that I pay $2.50 for a bag of beautiful green fresh salad that was grown organically and locally, my local super market charges the same amount for a wilted bag of fresh express. Wow, my fresher, greener, organic salad is the EXACT SAME PRICE I would pay at the store ANYWAY!

    Meat – Wholefoods meat dept offers fresh meat they can cut or measure out to your liking. Don’t need 3lbs of Ground Beef they sell at the super market? No problem, you can get a 1/4lb or whatever instead. For 93% lean beef I pay 4.99 at the grocery store, for grass fed anti hormone beef I pay a $1 more. Its worth the dollar to me so I add it. Oooh, hey organic free range anti hormone chickens are on sale 1.99 lb! Well lets just grab 3 whole chickens. (Oh you dont like cutting your own whole chicken? Then dont bitch when you pay the extra $2 a lb) Lets grab that too. OMG and precut boneless chunk beef for stew is on sale $4.99 a lb! $2 LESS than the supermarket!

    8oz Hummus at Whole Foods, made with no preservatives is 1.99, Hmmm Sabra 10oz is $3.99… YIKES. Stacys Chips $2.99 at super market – 2.50 at whole foods! Yum healthy junk snacks.

    ChickenStock in a Box 32oz – Store brand, low sodium – 50 cents more than the WF brand organic variety.

    Bag brown rice in super market – $5, bulk bag your own brown rice at whole foods -$2.50!
    Bulgar at super market – $4 and will probably waste 1/3 of it, getting just the 1lb I need at WF bulk section? 98 cents.

    Soooo yeah I can go on and on, but if you spend wisely and buy on sales, and actually get off your lazy ass and COOK breakfast lunch and dinner anyone can eat like a king on “poverty” budget. Stop buying crap you dont need, or paying more money for other people to cut and skin your chicken or precook your tv dinners and you won’t have to worry about what anyone else is eating OR how they paid for it!!!

  46. Jennifer says:

    I find it very funny how you feel you can judge people for buying healthy food for their family. Your right because Someone rear ended my husband and he is temporarily unable to run our construction business, that my wages as a bartender cannot support our four person family in any aspect that we should shop at walmart and feed our children garbage covered in pesticides! Should we live on mac and cheese and hot dogs would that be ok with you? It’s funny how you smile and make conversation act like you want to be my friend then I bring out the EBT and suddenly your better than me! Well guess what a year ago I was paying several people your wage so next time you judge remember your a checker!!!! Go back to school take some humanity’s classes volunteer see the world but most of all take off your blinders and tiara!!!!!

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