Home / Welfare state / Making “Food Stamps” (SNAP Cards) Pay: A Personal Testimonial
Print Friendly and PDF

Making “Food Stamps” (SNAP Cards) Pay: A Personal Testimonial

Written by Gary North on November 23, 2012

One of my GaryNorth.com subscribers posted this:

What’s a SNAP Card worth on the Black Market?  I went to the grocery store a few hours ago to buy a few items we need as most businesses will be closed tomorrow.  As I was walking along the side walk to enter the store, a woman approached me and offered to buy my items on the grocery list if I would give her half the dollar value that was on the SNAP card.  I other words, she would buy the items on the grocery list and I would give her half the amount of the receipt in cash.  Before I refused, I asked what she needed the money for as I assumed cigarettes or alcohol.  It turns out that she gots to have the latest Wii U device from Sony.  I wonder how many people on welfare are truely in dire straits and are not just taking advantage of the system.  Anyone else on this forum come across something similar?

Not all of the people in “dire straits” are in dire straits. Some are milking the system.

People are creative. They learn how the system works, and then they milk it.

This will not end until the SNAP program ends. It will end in the Great Default.

Print Friendly and PDF

Posting Policy:
We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read more.

62 thoughts on “Making “Food Stamps” (SNAP Cards) Pay: A Personal Testimonial

  1. Years ago when it was "coupons", they would go into at store and buy one small item. As they only had $5 coupons, the clerks would give them the change. Several family members would do this and shortly they would have $15-20 dollars in cash. Then one would go in and buy cigarettes, beer and/or wine. Seems they aren't smart enough to find a job, but are smart enough to screw take advantage of the handouts.

  2. Yes I have heard that this happens all the time. I worked with a lady who said she often buys the cards for half the value from friends who need the cash. She said they need it to pay bills. I'm sure it's not for bills. This lady doesn't seem to think its wrong and doesn't seem to mind that she is working hard while others are just getting money for doing nothing.

  3. Markus Reborn says:

    I'm currently on fixed income (SSI). I am disabled and unable to work because of a severe hearing impairment, chronic lower back pain and a heart condition (2 heart attacks in 2010). If I could find a job that I could do with these physical restrictions, I would gladly do it.

    That being said, I'm on food stamps, but only $90/month. Hardly much with the escalating cost of food supplies, but… I worked hard all my life, put in incredible amounts of overtime on several job positions, and, as a result, paid a lot of taxes and SSI. I don't consider myself as milking the system. I don't consider this an entitlement. As an American worker for nearly 40 years, I have paid into the system and am only getting back a PORTION of what I have paid into it.

  4. Yes, I've seen that going on at Walmart. Alert employees call the loss prevention office to have the offenders ejected, but it's apparently no arrest-worthy.

  5. Years back when I was a self-supporting student I went to the grocer to get some modest items with my meager resources; a huge morbidly obese black woman was told by the cashier that food stamps could not be used to buy dog food. She turned to one of her nappy headed entourage and said, "Rastus, go get some dat roast beef, dat dog can eat roast beef."

  6. The government incentivizes failure and gaming the system. "Screw your investors out of billion$? Get a record bonus and no jail time!" "Don't feel like working for a living? No problem: here's food stamps, free cellphones and subsidized housing!" The most persuasive argument against big government is what we are witnessing every day in Washington,

  7. I'm disabled too. I don't get food stamps but have not applied for any either. Right now, I am able to make it just on my check. If food prices keep going up tho, I may have to get food stamps. I find it odd that they don't include in the cost of living the two things we must have: Food and energy. Can people survive without eating? Can people really survive long term without power? Remember, no power, no fridge for milk and leftovers. Me, I don't throw away anything. I eat leftovers until it is gone. No waste here. When something happens to power, people see hard times right away. Ask the folks after a big storm how much power means to them.

    Like Markus, I worked. I paid my taxes even tho I felt it wasn't being used as it should. It certainly isn't today. I do agree tho that people get help that shouldn't. The system is being milked by a lot of people, some I even know of but you can't explain that to a person that is drunk or high on some type of drugs.

    People may not like this part but this is one thing I like about the churches doing this sort of thing. My Dad was a preacher when he was living. The church helped a LOT of people with food, power bills and such. They also did checks to make sure these people REALLY needed the help tho. They knew that helping a person that didn't need it meant they couldn't help a person that was truly in need. The Government can't really do that one on one thing. The Government just throws money out there and hopes for the best.

    I fear for people like Markus and me. This system is going to collapse and the people that really need it, they are going to be in serious trouble.

  8. they’re smart enough top find a job, but sometime offers them money to not work. most people will take the free money.

  9. barb patton says:

    It is unfortunate that these people have become desensitized – or is it stupid – in not realizing that the money they are STEALING because of "milking" the system comes from somewhere… It does not fall out of the sky like manna from heaven. As one poor stupid woman said it is from "Obama's stash".. Ye Gads and these are the people that the ayatollah barack is using as stepping stones to stay in his position of power.

  10. When I was in college, I was poor… I rode a bicycle for 4 years (or walked)… I could not afford a phone, which was $6 per month… my coat was army surplus… and I did not look for others to take care of me. I thenk god for my upbringing every day. These latest poor have more that I did 5 years out of college… while paying back loans, buying a car, and getting on my feet. Nowadays, the "poor" have flat screens, electronic games, nice cars, smart phones…. all living BIG! They don't know what poor is. This lack of integrity on their part is why most responsible folks have no respect for them any more much less sympathy.

  11. After this election, the true racists in America are truly out of the closet. Now stop with all the "political correctness" which is mainly untruthful. Obama's brand of idealology is communism… un-american at best (Castro and Chavez endorse him)…. and his followers are too. His "class warfare" philosophy is actually anti-white depspite the spin. So understand the situation… the message is directed towards the ignorant… thus the total failure of the educational system. America's youth have been performing in the lower quartiles for decades along the lines of third world countries. Couple this with a lack of honesty, integrity, and a moral compass, and you have the bottom feeders of society, living off other peoples effort. You do not have to employ these parasites… let them try to live off of Obama. They will get what they deserve.

  12. Mary Mohanan says:

    All taxpayer funded. Recently our school district put up an offer (luckily taxpayers will vote in the spring) to spend multi-millions to "save" a few million consolidating school buildings together, leaving one building standing empty (of which we spent millions on remodeling only a handful of years ago). Of course they claim there are 'matching' funds etc to accomplish their goals and it won't cost taxpayers blah, blah, blah…….Don't they get it???? The MONEY IS GONE!!!!!!!!!! They will get state funding, blah, blah, won't cost us. Who the HELL do they think the state IS????? You can't fix stupid. Our gov will be our complete downfall.

  13. adamenochnoah says:

    Selling food stamps or living off a govt subsidy will not make you rich folks, these people live at or below the poverty level while govt policy ships jobs overseas, allows in millions of legal & illegal immigrants, & spends trillions on war & foreign aid that props up rich people in foreign nations. If you want to complain about the hole in your wallet, look no further than the friendly crooked politician that you vote in office year after year.

  14. when obama takes away the charitable deduction, you'll find out how bad it gets.

  15. samuel harris says:

    I am a recent veteran that just transitioned into the civilian world. I am seriously seeking employment but as times got hard and I realized I needed help in the interim, I hesitantly applied for food stamp while I strive to establish back in the civilian world

  16. When I was MUCH younger, stores actually had 'food stamp coins' to give as change. I suspect people were doing something at that time similar to what the lady in this story attempted.

  17. There are the people who truly need the help but they are far outweighed by those who abuse it. food stamps were meant for those who need food, not other things.

  18. Buckeye Libertarian says:

    My mom worked at a grocery store in NW Ohio. They would come in and buy the cheapest thing they could to get their coupons broken out into cash. They would do this over and over, then use the money to buy alcohol and cigarettes. I distinctly remember my mom telling me a story years ago about a particular guy or gal going through the bin of jalapeno peppers looking for the lightest one since they were sold by the pound.

  19. Those are the people who are morally bankrupt and never did nor ever will care about anyone but themselves….typical of the "culture" of today,.

  20. My thoughts, you deserve it more than most. You served your country and worked to keep everyone else safe. Once the politicians get out of the way, you will get back on your feet.

    I have to admit tho, getting on disability was the hardest thing I ever did. I only did it after changing jobs and running out of other options. My disability is genetic so I would have never been accepted by the military. Heck, they would have hit me with the door. lol

  21. That's a effort to force people to depend on the Government. In all honesty, I would much rather get something from a church than the Government. Thing is, people have to pay so much in taxes, they can't afford to do charity like they used too and some don't give to churches like they would like to either. Think about this, the church is supposed to get 10%. The Federal Government gets 35% or so. One would think we could do much better for those in need and NOT be going into debt. Heck, with that percentage, we shouldn't have homeless people or people going without food.

    They should put me in charge of the budget. Poor folks have to count every penny. There is no such thing as a "rounding error" or acceptable waste.

  22. The latest thing that i have heard….. happened in Ohio. Lady at Kroger ( with a card ), bought ONE GRAPE and received cash back from the card. Thanks Obama!

  23. Unfortunately for every one like you there are a dozen that take advantage of the system. I am currently collecting SS & waited until I was the full age (66) before I applied, I also had an accident that left me with mobility problems but stuck it out as I have worked for over 50 years in my field. Today people don't want to work so they live on what the government gives them I feel no sympathy toward them as they are just to damned lazy to work & should be thrown to the wolves, then sit back & watch some poor employer have to put up with them. If some one tries to tell me I am gertting an entitlement I have no problem correcting them as I paid for every thing I get & would get more if I had invested my money in a private enterprise. But almost every dime I did invest was lost during the great recession. So for this I have only one idiot to thank & they just reelected this clown for another term

  24. I can still remember when the government took 48% of my paycheck to give to people that I didn't know & are just to lazy to work, but rather rely on government to "pay them" & they really do refer to check day as "payday", to these people I have the greatest scorn that I can give I have absolutely no respect for anyone that games the system

  25. There is one thing I would dispute with your post, they get MORE than they should

  26. SAD. These people learned how to scam the system from Obama.

  27. Bob Marshall says:

    Anyone remember Paul Harvey? Watch If I Were the Devil…Paul Harvey 1965 on (youtube) This was 47 years ago that he presented this message to America, It was as if he had a crystal ball.

  28. well where I work I have a woman comes in every month buys a plant or some thing not pertaining to food or any thing to keep her self clean or her mouth and teeth but she has all this cold on all her fingers and around her neck. and hits me for $260.00 at each visit. plus what ever she buys. never no food it is a cash card I guess.

  29. Heroin is a good alternative to food. I've been offered EBT cards by junkies looking for cash to get their next fix.

  30. President Obozo is slapping his knee saying, "Damn, I didn't think it was going to be this easy to shove the "Boot of Marxism" down on America. This is going to be so much fun!" Be prepared people. When the anarchy begins to have blood flowing in the streets of America, the "Boot" will be firmly shoved on top of freedoms and liberties.

  31. ad–you took the words right out of my mouth, how right you are………….

  32. I can’t even begun to describe how many things are wrong with your post. Here’s a start, I guess: everything.

  33. And when none of this comes true, as none of it did in the LAST four years he was president, I’ll be laughing at you crackpots for DAYS.

  34. Ricky Kirk says:

    Yes, I have a friend who just needed to pick-up a couple of items from the grocery. He didn't want to drive to his usual store so he stopped after work at a less-than-desirible neighborhood grocery. Some black lady checked him out, when he started to pay this black dude stepped in front of Rodney and swipped a SNAP card through the reader. He told Rod, "I got this man, I'll pay for the groceries and you just give me half the cash it would have cost you. The check-out person looked at Rod as if to say well, whata' you wanta do? Rod told them, "Hell no, I 've already paid for that damn card once, I'm not paying on it again."
    That happened when I lived in Jackson, Tennessee. I think the grocery was across the street from the library. I guess the clerk and the guy with the snap card had a running scam going; probably still do. It's the only grocery downtown. What a racket. It goes on all over America. Anything goes these days; the givers and the takers. The ride is about over. The dreams from his father are nearing fruition.

  35. CedricWard says:

    FACTS Ginger…

    Your statement seems to be your prejudiced OPINION! Not a statement of FACT.
    How do you KNOW more people are abusing the system than there are people who NEED THE HELP TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES?
    This goes to the rest of you people who make BLATANT NON-FACTUAL STATEMENTS.
    Most of you would be BEGGING FOR HELP if you hit hard times and couldn't find a way to get an income, especially when THERE AREN'T ANY JOBS!

  36. I am sure those making comments were not talking about people who are legitimately on the system. Everyone is aware there are those people who are TRULY disabled, however, there are 100 of thousands of people who are not and get money from the government (ie-taxpayers). So unless you are feeling guilty about being on assistance, I don't understand why you would have commented if you are on assistance because you have a disability?

  37. I can guarantee once the taxpayers run out of money, then these "poor" will really get to see what being poor is all about. When they no longer get assistance from the gubment, then we will see rioting, stealing in a magnitude never seen before, and marching on DC.

  38. CedricWard says:

    You sound like the rest of the RIGHTEOUS fools in this country that aren't enough to understand that they are, and have been, relying on the government's PONZI SCHEME of Social Security. Yes, you had a portion of your wages INVOLUNTARILY EXTRACTED from you, and you also, in all your 'smartness' lost your ass in the recent government caused economic collapse. So why are you so indignant about others who lost everything too just by being 'in the system'?
    You're no better than anyone else, SO QUIT YER BITCHIN'! If you were really smart, you would have bought a bunch of gold and silver ten years ago.
    You are FORTUNATE to be getting your SS and your 'mobility' problems are not any one else's fault. I know, I'm in the same position and am glad I have a small SS check and food stamps, otherwise I would have killed myself long ago…and may still have to.

  39. CedricWard says:


    That should be 'smart' enough to understand…

    Also, Jack…if you are so damn smart after 'working' for 50 years…why didn't you save up enough to care for yourself now when you have run in to difficulty both financially and physically. Am I supposed to give a damn about your welfare? You don't seem to care about mine…or anyone else's either. But you still applied to our universal state run programs like SS, which you think YOU deserve. I think you are just 'TOO DAMN LAZY' to work too, but still have enough energy to post your 'unsympathetic' feelings on the web.
    Why waste your money on a computer and internet connection?
    Just by some wine and lay back and bitch at your TV…it takes less energy.

  40. CedricWard says:

    that's BUY some wine.
    I'm busy….I have some work to do.
    And I'm disabled and broke too.

  41. CedricWard says:

    What a bunch of crap this article is Gary….

    Why aren't you complimenting the lady on her CREATIVITY!

    The Government has screwed us all in every way possible (so far!). So why shouldn't we use their programs to our advantage as much as possible. YOU SCREW ME…SO I SCREW YOU. IT'S THE AMERICAN WAY!

    You claim these people should be using their creativity to get a job instead of 'abusing the system'.
    What BS!
    And WHAT FRICKING JOBS are you saying are available out there?
    Do you think we could all have a job like yours sitting on your ass at home mis-spelling everything on a blog?
    Just how many entrepreneurial jobs do you think this society can support?
    SOMEONE has to pick up the garbage and do the other necessary jobs in society that the rest of us seem to be willing to pay them to do that aren't get rich jobs but simple menial, but necessary jobs that need to be done to keep us all moderately civilized and clean.

    When is the last time you volunteered to pick up trash on the roadway?

  42. Here is Paul Harvey's commentary from 1965: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YqxOAicbMs

  43. Vons shopper says:

    The same thing happened to me outside a Vons supermarket in CA. I declined.

  44. It's because people on food stamps have NO money….they can't even afford paper towels at the supermarket.

  45. It is already happening Shane,.,.,.,.,.,.as a liberal you won't see it till it affects you directly.

  46. This is to CEDRIC. Site just dumped it here for some reason!

    Cedric why are you so acerbic in your responses? It literally does not matter what a working person does to take care of themselves in this crooked country anymore. The only ones who profit ARE the thieves and liars. And YES these welfare programs have FAR more cheats in them than honest people. Maybe the rules have been changed now but I highly doubt it – and it isn't a MATTER OF OPINION when one thinks people are cheating. THEY ARE! Back in the 70's and 80's if you had spent your life honestly working and hit a very bad patch and needed TEMPORARY help – the whole point of these programs – AND were a White American – you were denied help. But many illegal alien Mexicans were able to walk right into our programs, claim poverty, and get all kinds of help – including – utilities paid for, cash in hand, food stamps, rent money, vehicles paid for, etc. And the LAW was and IS that aliens have to be SELF-SUPPORTING to come here. As we have had communists running this nation for decades now I suspect it is actually MORE lenient in giving aid to non-Americans now.

    Secondly, I was also disabled on my job and fired so they wouldn't have to pay for their damage. But I had saved a boat load of money and could have lived the rest of my life on it comfortably. Guess what? Merrill Lynch stole over 800,000 dollars of it. I moved it and the next broker stole 160,000+ of what was left. I was too disabled to get up and defend myself – AND THESE COMPANIES KNEW IT. I was left with one third of what I saved! It might buy a used vehicle now. And this was in the 90's when the market was BOOMING! But a Jewish friend of mine made a million – and KEPT it. In case you haven't noticed, the White Anglo American is being raked over the coals to take care of EVERY OTHER RACE that wants in here. My million got stolen but the Jew's million was left in his account – and doubled. Think it matters what people do with the money they earn? It no longer does and hasn't for a very long time. NOW there are lawyers to help people who get everything stolen and it was because of people just like me. My parents also had EVERY SINGLE CENT stolen. They didn't get a penny back. But you'll notice there's no help for us earlier people.

    So when people say there is a lot of cheating going on – you'd better believe it. If you aren't one of the CHOSEN ones, everything you have will be stolen one way or the other.

  47. And the really sad thing is there are so few of us that truly understand – and are able to articulate the problems. There are way too many people like Shane above who think the one telling the truth is the "wrong" one. As you said you can't fix stupid – and the ignorant are CHOOSING to remain that way, too.

  48. That's true Adam, but it's NOT true that these people are not getting rich. The lying, cheating, crooked ones are getting lots of bennies, and they ARE getting rich. They drive brand new BIG fancy pickup trucks, while I get used, small vehicles. Their kids dress like it's Easter Sunday to go to a doctor's appt while I rarely see anything new. While we live tight, they live very large indeed. If these people – mostly Blacks, Mexican illegals, and now Muslimes too – are not having to pay living expenses, they can save everything they get in cash. Unless they choose to buy drugs, booze, etc. Which a lot of them do.

  49. No dean they've been doing it since these programs were begun. This fraud was the whole point of these programs. Funneling money from the workers to the useless. Otherwise, the working needy decades ago would have been helped – and they weren't.

  50. Cedric you'd do yourself a favor to check some of these "menial" jobs. And I agree with that assessment. These jobs are taken by cronies of people in power without any education. And a whole lot of these "menial" jobs now pay well OVER a hundred thousand a year. This, of course, includes their 90 hours of overtime a week and the other ways they pad their paychecks.

  51. can not happen, you DO NOT get cash back. the problem is bad enough without you making crap up! It hurts us all in creditability. PLEASE do not write what you are not positive is correct. The damage is irreparable when we do this.

  52. Cliffystones says:


    While it’s reasonable to assume that ‘Cedric” has anger management issues, he does have one little point. Neither you nor I know the extent of the folks gaming the system. And I’ll bet it’s not an absolute of either totally needing or totally cheating on the benefits. I know from when my Mother needed medicaid years ago that the rules are absolutely stupid and rigid. But just like stupid people, cheaters don’t wear signs. I’m sure your comment on “most” of recipients cheating was just a gut reaction like all of us have at one time or another when bureaucrats drive us nuts.

  53. How about you go to your nearest Walmart and stand next to a register for a while! Do you really think its not noticeable how many people are using EBT cards? Next go out into the parking lot, check the vehicles. If you really do not think people are gaming the system, you really are a fool.
    We all know jobs are tight, however the people we are talking about haven't had a job way before "0" came into power.
    By the way, I have moved to 3 different states to find work in the last 15 years. Sometimes its the only way to find a job that suits you. Some people man up, a whole lot don't.

  54. …but they always seem to be able to find the cash for their beer, cigarettes, and tattoos!

  55. The IQ equivalent in Detroit is about 57

  56. the poor used to have NO tv's ….. now they have tattoos, fake nails, smart phones (or Obama phones) and complain the they don't have enough. ….. you mention integrity … my favorite saying "With integrity, nothing else matters. Without integrity, nothing else matters." At least you have a clear conscience. God bless,

  57. Locksmithbubba says:

    They learned from the master scammer bho.

  58. Locksmithbubba says:

    Cedric, you have got to be one of the biggest fools there ever was. I am 66 yrs old. I have been working & paying the taxes that all of you food stamp scammers are stealing since I was 13. Wake up & smell the coffee, bho is taking us down a path to destruction and people like you are following him so close that if he stopped suddenly you would ram your nose right up his a$$. You make me sick!

  59. Then get a job and get off welfare….there are jobs out there….maybe they don't pay $50.00 an hr…..but work for less and you can buy your paper products…..what did people use before paper towels ???? Use cotton towels and wash them…..

  60. awkingsley says:

    My first experience with watching someone pay with coupon food stamps years ago was to witness a black woman wheeling out 2 whole filet mignons, in addition to a few other less noteworthy items, on her food stamps. My family had been reasonably successful in business, but never had we bought whole filet mignons or even single filet mignon steaks. They were much too expensive for the amount of good beef we received for the price. It was a wild sight to say the least.

  61. Just this past week, while having a conversation with an employee at an account I service for my business regarding price inflation in the food sector, he told me that one of his fellow employees (at a large grocery store chain) has made quite a deal with a SNAP recipient. He pays the SNAP card holder $300.00 in cash every month for her $600.00 in benefits. Inflation problem solved…for the corrupt employee, and apparently for the welfare case who has no use for $300.00 worth of food for her family.

  62. People making non-factual statements? How do you know people on this website would begging for help (government handouts) if they got into tough times? The Inspector General of HHS put out a report that there is fraud being committed through social welfare programs.