I just purchased some food at Super One and witnessed a gentlemen buy a 24 pack of diet sierra mist with his EBT card. At least it was diet but people can really purchase soda with EBT? Now that I think about it, a while back I witnessed a man buy an energy drink and a pack of gum with his EBT card.

It would be fun to read more EBT/Food Stamp accounts other readers have seen or heard about. What exactly can’t you buy with an EBT card?

Published by

Eddie Bashaw

Living in Duluth, Minnesota and I love writing about it.

28 thoughts on “EBT/FOOD STAMPS REALLY?!?!?!”

  1. Some energy drinks you can not purchase on EBT. Any product that has “Nutrition Facts” on it you can buy with EBT. Some Energy Drinks say “Suppelmental Facts” you can not buy these with EBT.

    1. Needing assistance is not the issue here. Should we be providing assistance for frivolous purchases is what needs to be looked at.

  2. I know people that make a living off of their EBT. They get their card every month and they sell it to others for 75%. So if they sell $100 worth of food, they get $75 cash. I’ve also witnessed people with EBT use it for processing wild game. This isn’t all bad, but they’ll pay for their buddies deer as well and then collect the cash!
    From my understanding….this EBT card is to be used for you and your family to survive on??? I’ve witnessed numerous times when a parent will tell their young kids they can’t have something, but then they are purchasing Mt. Dew and candy for themselves!!!
    I wish the states would go back to the old days when you actually had to used the paper stamps….it made it harder to screw the system. and maybe there wouldn’t be so many people who were willing to use it.

  3. I think it’s good to support people in need to the extent of their need. It seems humane and compassionate to help people who are down on their luck buy nutritious food and other necessities, but pop seems like a treat and therefore perhaps something we don’t need to subsidize.

    If I’m not mistaken. the author isn’t making fun of people in need. Rather, he’s commenting on what he perceives to be an injudicious use of limited public resources.

  4. Did you take the time to explain to him that low income people are only allowed to have the basics necessary for survival?
    So what if it was his kid’s birthday and they were going to have soda to celebrate, poor people don’t deserve to have the luxury of a soda, do they?

    1. Of course they do however, it’s BS that some folks shove their pie holes with terrible food, develop diabetes, get treatment for it, all on the tax payer dime. I’m tired of watching the lard ass in front of me at the store with 5 kids buying 30pks of mt dew and little Debbie’s. only to raise more system leeches. At some point people need to own up.

  5. I agree, Ruth. The very nerve of a needy person to buy a diet soda. Don’t they know they’re supposed to deprive themselves of the even the simplest pleasures due to the crime of being poor?

    1. But they’re buying something they don ‘t need with everyone else’s money, that’s the issue here. Food stamps were made to give them the necessities so that people can stay alive, not for soda.

      1. Unless someone has NEVER worked and paid taxes, those on food stamps are utilizing their money that they have paid out in taxes.

  6. I have personally witnessed someone take their EBT card into a grocery store and spend it all on steak and lobster, only to sell it for fifty cents on the dollar to get money for drugs and alcohol….

    Personally, I think EBT should only be good on certain basic, nutritional foods, like WIC. Just my opinion, but like most other assistance programs, there is a lot of abuse that goes on.

  7. How to solve the problem: govmnt food assistance equals 50lbs of beans, 4 loaves of bread and powdered milk. Enough to physically survive for a month. I’m tired of the leeches buying steak and gourmet cheeses while I pay back my 1200/month student loans AND pay taxes.

  8. I am all for assistance for those who need it but I think using these resources for things with no nutritional value is not what the money is meant for. I am not making fun of someone who needs assistance, but I am questioning the purchases that are allowed with this program.

  9. toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, gasoline, blankets for their beds, shoes for their kids, their cell phone bill so their worker can get in touch with them, a halfway decent place to live…

    1. You’re also forgetting porn, lottery tickets, alcohol, tobacco, tattoos, and most recently reported, bail money. Then buying $20 worth of gum , 16 large boxes of candy, $250 worth of soda. There’s no question that there should be restrictions. I’m fine with the occasional candy bar for someone’s kid or some soda, but you’re pretty ignorant if you don’t think that this system is abused. I see it with my own eyes every day.

  10. Thanks for bring this up Eddie. As evidenced by the amount of replies in a short time, there is a lot of emotion surrounding this. It would be great, if as a society, we could use that energy to agree on what the problem is (inability to afford food/provisions for self/family) and come up with creative solutions that actually solve the problem without creating new ones (abuse/fraud/laziness/fill in the blank with what gets you riled up).

    In the Bible, there is a concept of gleaning. Farmers did not gather all the produce, but did not gather from the corners of the field, or any dropped produce…on purpose. The poor were then allowed to pick up this produce for free; but they had to work to do it. It was not picked up for them. If they didn’t go to the fields and pick up what was left for them, they did not eat. I think this would be a great concept to have applied to our culture. Habitat for Humanity is a great example of this. How can we apply this to other areas such as food?

  11. FYI this is not a unique problem for the poor. I have seen plenty of middle and upper class folks live high off the hog, taking luxurious vacations and driving fancy cars, living in houses they cannot afford, only to go in so much debt that their only solution is to declare bankruptcy and escape their debt and expect the government to bail them out with things such as the very program you are discussing.

    This reflects a deeper problem than just one class of our society that we face. We as a culture (myself included at times) tend to believe that we deserve more than what we have or can afford. We complain about our politicians overspending, but we ourselves are so consumer driven and so material driven. After all, my wife and I deserve to have 2 cars, a house, and the ability to eat out 2x-3x per week. Don’t tell me I have to cut back! Let other people richer and poorer make the cutbacks.

    It’s easy for us in the middle class to look up and down the social ladder to see problems and abuses and be self righteous. But on the other hand as I have learned on many occasions, when I point my finger at someone, I usually have 3 of my other ones pointing right back at me.

  12. Hey Eddie, why don’t you mind your own f#&k!n business?
    I saw a bunch of anti-depressant popping soccer moms buy violent video games for their brat kids on credit cards. Am I making an issue of it? noooo

    If you want to rage against the make believe tax system you fell for, why don’t you protest illegal war spending? A poor dude buying a pop is the most shallow concern I can think of. Grow up. If you had half a brain, you’d realize the money is printed, and your precious tax contribution is just a faux buy-in, to the the brainwashed perspective that allows you to feel superior to a poor guy using the system, while remaining completely ignorant to the rich guys abusing tax systems 1000 times worse.

    Hey look at Eddie! He’s so morally superior and has such a informed point of view.

    And Hey Ben, $75 bucks a month. WOW. That’s really making a living!

    Hey Erik, don’t be bitterly jealous of any impoverished person. YOU are the idiot who signed to take on student loan debt. Shut up and pay it. Eat your beans and bread until you’re out of debt, then come criticize someone.

    Dan, thanks for being more eloquent then I. That’s pretty much what I’m saying… with teeth.

    1. Yeah, we’re the ones with half a brain, there’s much worse than buying soda that’s allowed on EBT that’s the issue. Why should I have to pay for someone’s porn, lottery tickets, alcohol, cigarettes, tattoos, bail money, drugs. And $75 a month? You really think anyone is only getting $100 in food stamps. You’re so uneducated, how about you fucking learn about the subject a bit before you try to argue about it.

  13. Assistance is intended for staples, at least it used to be. How long could you survive on $115.98 (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?rgn=25&ind=26) a month? How much do the staples really cost? Flour, sugar, beans, rice, baking powder, salt, and the list goes on and on. I personally could survive for a damn long time. Would I be eating well? Yes, my nutritional needs would be covered fairly well. I’d have all of the food I could possibly need. Would it be “High-brow” fare? No, but it would be nutritionally sustaining and do what it was intended to do. Keep me alive and not be a burden on hard working Americans who know that sometimes help is needed, but scoff at the waste and disrespect shown when someone uses their ebt for soda, lobster, steak, etc…

  14. As someone who happens to be extremely poor, I am somewhat annoyed by these comments. Nonetheless, I will not take them personally and will instead offer some other viewpoints without getting emotionally riled.

    First of all, complaining just because someone is buying soda is a little silly. That person gets a certain amount of money every month to buy food for his family and that’s it. The money doesn’t carry over from month to month. What if, for the entire rest of the month, he was eating as healthy as he could and he just happened to have a little extra money and wanted to treat his family to a nice snack that wasn’t even fattening, since it was diet. When you live on so little, it can be a lifesaver just to have a nice treat every now and then. He even managed to get a 24 pack, so he could potentially save that for months for occasional treats just to help his sanity. Seriously, when you live day to day not knowing if you’ll be able to make your payments or provide for your family or even have a house next month, a small token here and there can go a long way. You don’t know his story, best not to jump to conclusions.

    As far as the gentleman who was complaining about 1200/mo in student loans, my first thought was to wonder how many loans you would have to take out to have such a high bill in the first place. I thought when I looked at it last that a loan for 10 or 20,000 would only incur a bill of $10-20/mo (with a 10 year payment plan). It’s possible you have significantly more than that in debt. Or perhaps you just have a different plan than what I read about, or maybe I was wrong, I don’t really know.

    I can say one thing, however, if I had the money to PAY for 1200/mo in student loans AND taxes IN ADDITION to all my other bills? I would be jumping for joy. I hope that one day that I can make enough money to have those bills and pay them off. Unfortunately, I can’t. One day I dream of making that much per month, so, on that regard, kudos to you, sir.

    Also, before anyone gets high and mighty saying that I am sucking away money from the taxpayers because I am poor, I should just qualify one thing. While I have been unemployed (but actively seeking) for some time, I have yet to take up any public assistance. I have been able to pay for accommodations so far using savings and leftover money from student loans and have been fed on most days by family or friends. However, my savings are nearly exhausted and I don’t know if I can get a job before I am completely broke. I have literally two cans of vegetables and a can of diced chicken for my food supplies and if I scrounge up all of my money, I will have just enough to pay for rent.

    I only encountered this site because my friend suggested that I get food stamps, since I clearly have no money, and I was looking up how to do that. It saddens me to see the reactions of people here to something as simple as buying diet soda. Yes, there are problems with the system. Yes, there are people who will abuse any system put in place (rich or poor). But do you really have to take out your anger and frustration on some poor soul who bought some soda?

    P.S. I am generally not a person to want to accept government assistance programs and didn’t even bother to pursue unemployment compensation when I lost my job because I was financially secure. I would prefer to use public assistance as little as possible, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

    1. You sir, are of course not the person he was talking to/about. I think the kind of person who is generally complained about would be the masses who are not trying anymore and are content to live off the government’s cheese. This hardly sounds like you from your description. My thoughts are with you. My strong suspicion is that your determination will pay off and you will be fine sooner or later. But others don’t care and they are the source of the frustration you see here. My frustration is that those of us in the so called middle class do the same thing. I would venture to guess that most of the commenters here are hypocrites unless they have never bought anything nice for themselves on credit (i.e. can’t afford).

  15. with the technology today i am not understanding why a large number of bar codes are simply NOT allowed to scan when it relates to such items while nutritious foods are allowed to scan. i am guessing it is probably due to intense lobbying by the corporations that produce the products i.e. pepsi which also owns a lot of snack food brands.

  16. No, I’m not proud of it, but I receive assistance for my family. Do us all a favor. The next time you go to the pump, tell them you aren’t interested in the subsidy you get on gas every time you visit the pump. Tell your grocer the same thing. Don’t forget to praise the CEO that just got the $50,000,000 bonus for squeezing more money out of the government for YOU to have lower cost goods. Food stamps equal $2.64 cents a day. Not per child, per family! Get off your high horse. Even those who abuse the program have no choice but to spend cash anyway each month I’m sure. You all sit here and pretend if the food stamp system weren’t in place you’d be better off, but the truth is that the poor are the reason you’re paying so little compared to what products actually cost. Don’t trust me though. You can find this information on any search engine of your choosing. That you can take to the bank.

  17. The problem is that the same guy getting that free diet soda with his EBT card is probably voting for people who pass laws that force me to pay for his free diet soda (through taxation) or men with guns will come take me to prison. If we are going to have programs like foodstamps (and other free things) the people getting this stuff should not be able to vote. Possibly there is a reason that the founders originally only allowed land owners to vote – so we don’t end up with a bunch of moochers voting themself more free stuff rather than working for it!

  18. Im a single mom with a two year old. I have health problems that make working difficult. My 2 year old has health problems that keep us steady in and out of the doctors office. Im a diabetic that did not get diabetes from overeating but it was in my family. I get food stamps to feed me and my chid balanced home cooked meals. Which is not only important for my child but for a diabetic diet which keeps my insulin costs down and me out of the hospital which the taxpayer would pay considering i get my insurance from the state. And i have payed plenty of taxes up until i was pregnant because i was high risk and put on bed rest. And now nostampers thinks i should not have the right to vote? Let us know how you feel when you need help because you hit a rough spot in life so people think you dont deserve a voice. I’d bet you have money and never had to struggle

  19. I look at most of these comments and I honestly have to shake my head. I am a single mom with cancer. I have worked most of my life to support my kids. Some shifts were 14 hours a day. I then, became ill and now I receive disability. I get no child support from their father. I struggle. I receive enough foodstamps to feed my kids for about 2 and a half weeks. That’s it. There is not a whole lot I can eat besides veggies and meat. I don’t buy steaks, but I do buy hamburger and chicken. I need as much protein as I can get. Now, remember that fruits and veggies are more expensive then buying a box of macaroni and cheese and hotdogs. That is why you see the poor being obese because they can’t make the healthy food last all month. If that is what they want, they will have to raise the foodstamp portion each month. If I just bought boxes of ramen and macaroni and cheese, it would last all month. I can’t do that though. I have to buy the more nutricious food because that’s all I can eat. Yes, my children get a bag of Doritos and pop every month. they are kids. They need to have a treat every now and then. So, don’t judge all people on foodstamps. The people that struggle are no less of a human being as someone who is rich. Remember that…geesh, people, get it together!

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