More Food Stamp Abuse
Recently, we posted about the growth of the Food Stamp program and the crackdown on fraud in the program. We now want to present a variety of abuses that have been recently uncovered in the Food Stamp program.
Perhaps, the most egregious abuse has been committed by our own Federal government. Please believe me when I say that you can’t make this stuff up. Here’s an excerpt from a press release from the Oregon Department of Human Services:
Oregon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has again ranked among the best in the nation, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week. The state earned one award for ensuring that people eligible for food benefits receive them and a second recognition for its swift processing of applications. The two awards combined bring a $5 million performance bonus to Oregon.
Even though the program has grown by over 14 million recipients in the three years of the Obama administration, the bureaucrats are rewarding states for adding more recipients. Apparently, Idaho was also a recipient of a food stamp bonus to the tune of $1.2 million in 2010.
Here’s another item from Oregon. According to the report recipients can purchase luxury items that include soft drinks, candy, cookies, ice cream, even bakery cakes and energy drinks as long as they have a nutrition facts label. Bring on the Starbucks frapuccino.
There are very few restrictions on the items that can be purchased with food stamps. There is nothing to stop a food stamp recipient from using them to purchase steaks or shrimp.
With the growth of the Food Stamp program, we have seen more beneficiaries appearing, looking for a piece of the pie. From 2005 to 2010, the number of outlets where food stamps are eligible to be used has grown by a third. Now, fast food restaurants, like Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver’s and Pizza Hut, are lobbying hard to be included.
It seems that college students want to get on the gravy train, too. At a number of institutions of higher learning, students are actively being encouraged to enroll in the program. From Portland State University in Oregon to George Mason University in Virginia, students are being instructed on how to sign up for the Food Stamp program.
Finally, it seems New York City, which once was reluctant to push the program, has jumped on the Food Stamp bandwagon. The city urges the needy to seek aid (in languages from Albanian to Yiddish). Local groups recruit clients at churches and grocery stores, with materials that all but proclaim a civic duty to apply, to “help New York farmers, grocers, and businesses.” There is even a program on Rikers Island to enroll inmates leaving the jail.
So when America has been called “the Food Stamp Nation”, it hit the nail on the head.