Monday, August 19, 2013

Agriculture Department study: More people are selling their food stamps...

The government claims the percentage of people selling their food stamps is very small.The number cashing them in at stores willing violating the law may be fairly small. However, I believe people use their relatives or friends to convert food stamps to non-covered items.  Their relatives or friends buy them cigarettes, beer or other items and they let the person use the food stamp card for food purchases. I believe this is very common. This would be easy to reduce. There should be a photo ID requirement when using a food stamp card. Then, the card owner would at least have to be present for the transaction.

Via Fox News:
The percentage of Americans selling their food stamps back to stores for cash has increased by 30 percent over the past several years, according to a new Agriculture Department study.
The study on food stamps trafficking — which the agency said included “covert investigation” in stores — compared the periods of 2006 -2008 to 2009 -2011.
Despite the increase, trafficking has declined since the 1990s, when the rate was nearly 4 percent of food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs benefits.
The total amount of SNAP benefits is now at roughly $858  million, compared to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.
The increase reflects the overall growth  in SNAP participation and benefits, the agency said in the August 2013 report.
Recipients typically sell back their benefits at a discount, according to the agency, which said its undercover investigations and research into electronic SNAP transactions focused on  stores that showed “suspicious activities.”

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