SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (in Debates)

Mikel February 4 2012 1:36 AM EST

Another fun debate. Let's keep the political finger pointing out of it (I don't want to see any political people or party names in this thread). What is your opinions on government's proposed new regulations for SNAP (aka Food Stamps Program).

Should the government be allowed to tell us what we can/can't eat? Is this a good idea to help people have healthier choices by making the participating stores stock healthier foods? or do you feel this is a bad idea because the government is limiting our choices?

BestNUB February 4 2012 1:53 AM EST

I don't really believe in welfare in the first place unless it's for people with special needs, but that's just my point of view.

QBRanger February 4 2012 2:20 AM EST

It is difficult call.

On the one hand you have these people struggling to pay the bills, living one week to next, and they frequently can only get to the nearest convenience store that sells crap.

Even if they make it to a grocery store, they have no inclination to make a healthy meal when they can just buy Ding Dongs and drink soda. However, it is their body and their overall choice. Which should be respected above all else.

I will say there are people on food stamps that actually do buy and eat very healthy.

On the other hand, it is you and I paying for these people to eat, so should they not be responsible to eat healthy and try to avoid getting ill? IE worsening diabetes, or high blood pressure by eating sugary or salty foods.

Then, what will you classify as a food?

The more libertarian in me leans towards option 1, letting them use it on whatever they want.

The optimum solution, of course, is to try to get less people on food stamps. That should be what our fine leaders on Washington should be focusing on. Not peripheral edge shots.

A Lesser AR of 15 [Red Permanent Assurance] February 4 2012 5:24 AM EST

In reverse order, Mikel. 1) They aren't going to. 2) Yes. The outcome could also be considerably positive. 3) No, but don't eat paint chips.
lawmakers have a critical opportunity right now to require these stores to improve what theyメre selling.
Don't see congress saying what you can or cannot eat here. This article takes to the possibility of a higher store standard. Give me something real to hate.

QBPit Spawn [Abyssal Specters] February 4 2012 11:06 AM EST

I think they should be limited more - I've seen too many people in gas stations and such using foodstamps to buy overpriced bags of chips and sodas when they could be having a decent meal instead. Reducing such little luxuries like that should help encourage people to rise above needing/wanting foodstamps.

In fact I would like to see it go further and have food stamps only allowed in government owned stores (this eliminates profit margins so lower costs to the govt and people buying food, selling of food stamps etc.)

Mikel February 4 2012 11:43 AM EST

WIC (Women Infant Children) has already done this and studies showed that the local small stores adapted quite easily. If you are in business (convenience/grocery Store) it is only smart to adapt to supply and demand, so I don't really see this side of it as a problem.

AS far as the government telling you want you can and can't use their (tax payer money) to buy, I'm all for that. The person enrolled in the program can still buy treats/snacks for their kids, it will just now come out of their pocket. I also think they should open it up a little bit and allow for Toilet paper to be purchased, that's kind of a necessity for almost all American households.

The part I have a small problem with is that:
On average for a family of 4, you get $167 per month per person to spend at the store. So $167 *4 (4 in household) * 12 (Months) / 52 (number of weeks in a year) = $154 average per week. Now if you qualify for SNAP, and you have children you more than likely also qualify for WIC and get vouchers for Juices/Eggs/Milk/Formula thus in a way double dipping into a free service fund.

I am a family of four and I keep my family well fed (including snacks, vegetables, fruits, meat, milk, ice cream etc) for less than $80 per week at the store. (I'm a coupon person, so it's really rare for me to spend more than $60 per week).

I can't even begin to imagine if I had an extra $150 per week to spend at the store what all I'd be buying. I'd have to get an extra refrigerator and a big deep freezer and some shelving units to store all of that extra food.

Now personally, I think they should lower the amounts given, allow for people to purchase 2 Sunday news papers every week to help them maximize their savings. For the stores, if you want to be a SNAP store, you have to accept coupons from the manufacturers.

This will do 2 things:
1) Get a bunch of healthier eating people out there and
2) Teach people how to be more responsible with their money so that when they no longer need the services, they will still have good habits (such as couponing to cut down on their grocery bills).

Kefeck [Demonic Serenity] February 4 2012 12:31 PM EST

I know allot of people in my area use their "Food money" and buy literally $200 in soda. Find a sink and dump out all that soda. They then return the cans for the money and go buy beer and alcohol...

A Lesser AR of 15 [Red Permanent Assurance] February 4 2012 4:45 PM EST

Kef, I doubt your "allot" word, you just know the one silly guy of Keystone(urine) poor economic background. Keystone ain't worth the round trip truck/bus effort either. If this is for good liquor, you can't make that much from cans, then you need at least 3 cans left for crown & coke, and if you have a wife & kids they will hate you with a calling-child-services fury. The savvy shopper would probably use the soda codes online for free blockbuster rentals too and that my friends is how you have a gov'ment griefers' night out. Tell your silly friend how it's done!
As for your words Mikel....

Don't mean it's urine. Was the funniest google pic I found at that moment. Bravo fellow!

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] February 4 2012 4:48 PM EST

well it surely isn't keystone, that wouldn't be nearly as colorful! ; )

Mikel February 8 2012 8:12 AM EST


Interesting. We're going to see more and more of this as the government starts trying to find ways to save money, and I think it's a good thing. Let illegal immigrants know we aren't going to support them.
Next step, if they can't keep their kids fed then we give them the option to return from where they came from, or we will take the kids and put them under CPS protection while the parents get deported.

The key here: Update your status or lose out.
I've read all of the SNAP Rules, Immigrants are not supposed to have these benefits, unless they are here for Political Asylum or Humanitarian reasons (floods/earthquake etc in their home country).

Also if legal immigrants do use these services, the law states that the government will/can be reimbursed from the person who signed the affidavit of support (USCIS Document # I-134 and # I-864) for bringing them to the country in the first place.

Mikel February 8 2012 8:16 AM EST

And by the way I am against Anchor babies. I think unless one of the parents is a USC, then the child will not be a USC, it will be a Citizen of the Mother's home country.
This is one way to help slow the process down.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] February 8 2012 8:44 AM EST

I think countries are stupid and I can't wait until we setup the world government which makes countries into the equivalent of what state's are now.

QBRanger February 8 2012 1:36 PM EST

I think countries are stupid and I can't wait until we setup the world government which makes countries into the equivalent of what state's are now.

And a world government, like let us say the UN, would be better?

Letting countries such as Iran have a seat at the women's rights council?

North Korea having a say on freedoms?

China a say on birth control?

That would make things much worse than how it is now.

Lochnivar February 8 2012 1:39 PM EST

That would make things much worse than how it is now.

So says the pessimist. The optimist would think that those countries would see vast improvement in the areas in question.

QBRanger February 8 2012 1:45 PM EST

Do you really see countries such as Iran, N. Korea, Canada, the US etc.. all getting along and coming together to a common goal?

Then include all the African countries with their constant infighting.

I do not see this occurring. I just look at the current state of the UN and shake my head in utter disbelief.

AdminNemesia [Demonic Serenity] February 8 2012 6:50 PM EST

Just convince the kids and then wait.

QBRanger February 8 2012 9:27 PM EST


But how will you convince the kids in Iran, N. Korea, sub Sahara Africa?

Some things look great in theory but suck in real life.

If our current UN is any indication of how a world government will be, it will be a disaster.

Lochnivar February 8 2012 9:45 PM EST

If our current UN is any indication of how a world government will be, it will be a disaster.

Except the UN doesn't really govern squat. Very hard for an organization to be effective without meaningful power.

Though I full grant that it is a tough proposition to have a world government in current circumstances.

Oh, and as for the original topic. I'm fine with food stamps, and yes, I damn well think there should be limits on what they can be used for.
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