There is a gas station near my house that has this sign outside that says “use your EBT for beer, cigarettes, cash, etc”. Now, I may be wrong, but I thought that EBT was kind of like a food stamp debit card; it is only given to those that qualify, and those that express need for governmental support with regards to buying food. So that means that this probably isn’t supposed to be used for beer and cigarettes, right? I honestly don’t think that it is right to allow gas stations to accept this as a form of payment. You don’t do your grocery shopping at the gas station, do you? Chances are… probably not.

I guess that this just upsets me, because there are people out there that need things like this. People that legitimately must use the resources that they can, in order to survive. People out there that are working hard just to make ends meet, and need the supplementation of food stamps, in order to feed their families. But, a lot of those people will not qualify, because there are people milking (in this case beer-ing) the system for whatever they can get out of it. Here is something else to think about: (taken from the government FAQ website on food stamps and EBT)

In Fiscal Year 1997, the Food Stamp Program issued almost $20 billion worth of benefits.

Damn! (And think, that was 1997′s total… almost 10 years ago, I bet it is even more now!) All that money, and no one is watching where it is spent? And I do mean ‘watching’. There are always cops sitting at this gas station. Don’t they have the authority to notify someone? I seriously think there should be stricter regulations on how, and where these funds are used. I also think that I have more than ample right to help determine those uses, considering that it is my tax dollars that fund the program.

Also, consider this: (which is the answer that same site provides as an answer to: “What is the purpose of the Food Stamp Program?”)

The Food Stamp Program is administered by the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to ensure access to nutritious, healthful diets for all Americans. Through food assistance and nutrition education, FNS encourages consumers to make healthful food choices. The Food Stamp Program serves as the first line of defense against hunger. The Food Stamp Program enables low-income families to buy food with coupons and Electronic Benefit transfer (EBT) cards.

I would think that beer, candy, and cigarettes somehow hinders that mission.

What do you all think? Do you think that I am being too hard on those that actually use the EBT to buy what they want? Or do you agree?? Post away, and let me know.

I have included a picture of the signs, so you can see that they really do exist, see below. This gas station is at the corner of Moreland and Memorial, in East Atlanta. Sidestory: The picture that I took of the one on the door almost got us killed. I took it right before this guy was walking in the store, and he thought that I took it of him. He wouldn’t believe me that I hadn’t, even after I continually indicated that the picture wasn’t of him; but eventually, I convinced him, and he went inside. Too bad he assumed that James was with us (who was inside at the time), and proceeded to cuss out and harass him. If the guy at the gas station that mistakenly thought that I took his picture is reading this, you can tell that you are not in the picture, so chill.