I Got Food Stamps and So Can You!

My recent excursion into the welfare system has left me scratching my head.  Prior to writing and researching this project, my only impression of food stamps and similar welfare programs was that the credit only worked for certain items at certain stores and that an individual had to be in a particularly dire financial situation to receive such aid.  I was wrong.

An EBT card works and looks like a debit card, but instead of the user withdrawing money from a checking account, the government prepays an amount of money it deems necessary for the user’s food expenditures.  Several of my classmates recently implemented the use of an EBT card for their groceries, and their involvement in the program immediately piqued my interest.  To be honest, my first thought was: “I wonder if I qualify for free grocery money.”  My immediate second thought was: “How do they qualify for free grocery money?”  These students come from similar financial backgrounds to mine, live in similar accomodations, and take the same amount of college credit hours that I do. Thus, my investigation began with a food stamp application, an interview request, and a trip to a place no one really wants to visit: the Department of Human Services.

I was informed by a very kind woman from the DHS that I would have to complete an interview to be considered for the program.  The next morning, I was surprised to see the long line of people that trailed outside.  When I reached the front of the line, I was informed that all of the interview spots were filled for the morning and that I’d have to call back later and complete my interview over the phone, which I did later that day.  To be considered, I needed to submit my last four paychecks, one rent receipt, one utility bill from the previous month, and verification that I was a student worker on campus.

I received a notice in the mail that the Department of Human Services had not received my employment verification and therefore could not review my case until I produced another pay receipt (which I could not produce, due to the fact that I’d only worked three weeks at my new job).  I had essentially given up at this point.  I didn’t need an EBT card; my investigation was merely an exercise in civic welfare accountability and efficiency.

Approximately one month after I had received the first letter, another letter found its way to my mailbox from the Department of Human Services.  I opened it up to find an EBT card with my name on it, instructions on how to activate and use the card, and the amount I could access on it per month — 200 dollars.  Nothing followed-up my interview, other than the evidently pointless letter I received during the previous month.   No one ever asked for a copy of my birth certificate or Social Security card, nor for my student identification card.  I answered all of their questions truthfully, but how were they to know that I was who I said I was?  Is it really this simple to obtain welfare benefits here in the United States?

It’s not hard to qualify for the program as a student and some universities even publicize food stamps to their students. For example, in Oregon, if you fall into any of the following categories, you automatically qualify for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) program: full-time student who works at least 20 hours per week, full-time single student who is caring for children younger than the age of 12, full-time married student who is caring for children younger than the age of 6, or at least a half-time student who is actively working any hours in a work-study program (institutional or federal) can receive a certain amount of money per month from the government.  While some of these requirements are certainly understandable, the last one leaves the door open for massive amounts of unnecessary welfare spending and fraud.

Welfare in America was intended to provide a temporary means of survival for those at rock bottom.  However, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people using food stamps over the past 40 years, and it would be hard to argue that they are all that destitute.  Over that same time period, an estimated $753 million per year has been spent fraudulently by welfare recipients.  Moreover, the government’s own accounting has cost taxpayers billions of dollars per year as food stamp programs routinely overpay their recipients; last year, that figure alone totaled $2.5 billion.

That being said, the students I know who use food stamps are hard-working, productive individuals whose parents won’t compensate them for the costs of college.  Mine generally don’t either, so I get that.  By using the program, students are able to save hundreds of dollars on food so they can pay for school instead of taking out an extra loan.  I’m not discrediting that logic; I totally sympathize.

But when government starts to act as the hand that feeds its people and makes personal decisions for them, citizens lose their identities and freedoms.  Not only is the innovative, hardworking, passionate American lost because the government promotes the idea that individuals can’t do it themselves, but the individuals come to expect the handouts and riot when they are revoked.

Given my own personal experience, it is clear that food stamps are too easy to obtain, student or not.  I realize that the food stamp program is different in all states, and some are more thorough with background checks than others, but much greater reform is needed.  It concerns me that 15% of the population, or 46 million people, rely on others’ tax dollars to pay for their food.  That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.

Yes, I apparently qualify for and possess an EBT card in the state of Tennessee, but I will not activate it.  Participating in a government welfare program simply because I can would amount to an endorsement of the growing entitlement society in America.  We should always advocate smaller government.  The decision to use food stamps for my food supply would directly contradict that principle, and our government’s purpose as it was described in the Federalist Papers and U.S. Constitution would be further distorted.

Sydney Phillips | Lee University | @sydphillips

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342 Responses

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  1. Amber
    Feb 04, 2016 - 04:25 PM

    Activate the card and donate the food to the food pantry. And don’t pretend there’s some kind of “nobility” in struggling when help is alvailable. People not worried about putting food on the table can focus on solving larger problems and taking more innovative risks.

  2. Trent
    Dec 31, 2015 - 12:50 AM

    Wow look at all the people on welfare pissed off. Shit up. Damn she has a good point with it all . EBT IS WAY TOO EASY TO OBTAIN. I wouldnt have a major problem with it if I didn’t already pay my 15% of my damn check to welfare . Fuck you freeloaders.

  3. Logan
    Dec 16, 2015 - 08:33 PM

    oi vey ..women trying to understand the world

  4. Sy
    Dec 11, 2015 - 03:14 PM

    First….you are nothing more than a spoiled child, barely out of high school….who has been supported by your parents your entire life. You haven’t lived long enough, or worked long enough, to judge anyone, or anything!! And you haven’t paid in to society at all, so your not entitled to your spoiled brat, snotty opinion!!

    Second…..the whole problem with the “system”…. is people like you and your “Conservative” outlook on it. Your all so busy judging people and complaining….that you don’t see, or just don’t care, about the obvious positive!! Low income and single parent children, are actually trying to go to college and better themselves to become productive members of society!! So why the hell would you be so ignorant as to begrudge them getting the food stamps, that they legally qualify for, to help with food for the next 2-4 years while they’re getting a degree?

    It’s an investment in a better future for this country!! The longer they go to college, the better degree they’ll get and the higher their income will be. Then….they will pay back the small amt of $ that they got for food stamps, 10 fold in THEIR income taxes. Which will hopefully help other kids be able to eat and stay healthy, while they become productive members of society!!

    Here’s the alternative: You deny them the food stamps. Now they can’t do well in school, because they’re hungry and unhealthy….so they fail out, or drop out. They then get a minimum wage job and end up marrying a minimum wage earning partner….because a more well off partner wouldn’t want to be with someone “beneath” them right…..Now they have kids and the whole family ends up on food stamps….because “Conservatives” like yourself, don’t want to raise minimum wage to a “livable” wage!! Sooooo, all the people earning minimum wage, qualify for food stamps etc….because they don’t make enough to even pay for the basic needs of shelter, clothing and food!!

    You can most definitely tell by your ignorance at such a young age….that you were raised by ignorant “Conservative” parents, who like you…. complain about everything, but don’t ever want to do what’s right to fix the problem…..because then…..they’d have nothing to complain about!!! I truly hope that being amongst other people, from other walks of life at college….that are all heading in the same direction you are and may far surpass you….Will make you a better, more accepting and compassionate human being!!!

    • Ron B
      Dec 21, 2015 - 01:56 AM

      Excellent comment Sy. It’s amazing how they villify the food stamp recipients. Those food stamps not only help families, they actually help small businesses as well. She doesn’t realize that though.

      A local market in my neighborhood started taking EBT cards about 3 years ago. They did it because when the recession hit, they lost revenue from cash paying customers who were becoming a lot more frugal in their purchases.

      By accepting EBT cards, they were able to increase their revenue stream via lower income families buying their groceries with them, instead of traveling miles away to a large grocery store that accepted food stamps.

      The fact that 46 million are still on food stamps, is a disheartening number. But it’s also enabling those very people to spend money on other goods and services, besides food, that help bring back the economy.

      Conservatives need to simply “follow the money”.

  5. Porche Parnell
    Dec 07, 2015 - 02:34 PM

    I’m a college student and have been denied 3 times. Once because I worked to any hours one week during summer break and once because I was only able to work 15 hours a week during weeks when I attend class. I honestly don’t even know why I was denied the third time. They never requested proof of rent or utility payments, just flat out told me it didn’t matter how much it was because only child support, daycare fees, and a alimony payment were taken into consideration. I pay my own tuition and house, and have amassed a nice amount of debt doing so. I wish SNAP was as easy for me and other students in need to get as it was for you.

  6. no
    Dec 03, 2015 - 12:24 PM

    so…. you basically got foodstamps because you’re white…

  7. Charles
    Aug 31, 2015 - 06:39 PM

    My wife and I are college students and are thinking about using the snap program to supplement our groceries. Explain to me why that if I were to use the EBT to buy groceries throughout college and medical school and why it would be frown upon? I look at it like this… I will literally pay back 4x’s the amount of benefits I received in taxes in my first pay check as a physician. If anything college students should be more entitled to government benefits!! We’re all going to school to become contributing members of society. Can someone please explain to me why that’s not a logical way of thinking.

  8. Geena
    Aug 26, 2015 - 03:12 PM

    The requirements for SNAP are different in every state, but you should have been able to get a card that easy. I almost question whether you’re telling the full truth. If you are, then you got lucky and slipped through the cracks. It is a pain trying to get a hold of anyone in DHS for them to just send you a card out of the blue is unheard of. I know for enrolled students in Illinois, you HAVE TO provide a letter from financial aid (the letter has to be sent by the university so you can’t really fake it or use an old one), you have to be working 10-15 hours a week I think, and you can’t be living in the dorms even if you don’t have a meal plan. If you’re not a student there are income requirements. I applied for snap for a 1 person household. I was making $1200/month, the requirement is $1269 or less. They denied me because they add in the fact that 2 or 3 months in the year I would get paid 3x in one month, there would be 5 fridays in those months. They did some calculation which brought my income to $1290. BS

  9. Erin
    Aug 20, 2015 - 05:00 AM

    Ms. Phillips,

    Since you’re a taxpayer, why would you be uncomfortable using a tax-funded benefit that you are eligible for? I don’t see or understand the issue with taxpayers that are in a brief rough spot using EBT cards until they get back on their feet. (I don’t mean be argumentative, but really feel clueless about this) I believe eligibility for food assistance is income-based (in Florida), so the recipients do pay into those benefits.

  10. chopper
    Aug 06, 2015 - 11:19 AM

    It’s not surprising that those who apparently cannot spell or form complete sentences have difficulty securing employment…regardless of race or personal circumstances.

    • Kirk
      Jan 19, 2016 - 09:38 PM

      Ever heard of dyslexia?

  11. Anonymous
    Aug 05, 2015 - 12:14 AM

    These comments are ridiculously distasteful. Its sad that took the time to apply for food stamps thay you clearly didn’t want.There are so many people who needs assistance, and sad part about it is they have to lie to get it.For example, food stamps you can tell them how much you pay for every bill in your home and how much you make basically leaving you will only leaving you with $1
    5 to buy food they won’t even give you $50 I was given $16 a month and I was working paying bills. I remember when I was pregnant and not able to work due to the fact of me being on bed rest I was declined food stamps as well as cash assistance. Funny how the government charges all these taxes and such that money we will never see again but when we need assistance it can’t be given.

  12. Rachel M
    Jul 13, 2015 - 01:12 PM

    As a 23 year old mother who is also a full time student with a full time job, who can barely afford housing, school, and healthcare with no other government form aid, applied for food stamps to help out… and was denied, but she was not. WTF.

    • Charly
      Jul 27, 2015 - 01:23 PM

      I was reading this thinking the same thing. I am a single mother , I’ve applied more than once and have got denied each time.

    • Gabriel
      Aug 01, 2015 - 05:25 PM

      Thats because ever since conservatives have taken office during the Reagan administration the majority of income has floated to the top .05% whom

      make above 230k per year or som shit. that leaves us 99% in a situation where holding a simple 40hr per week job is no longer enough, unlike it is in

      europe were they spend money on people.. democracy, progress .. socialism.. call it what ever you want, imagine being able to go to college for free and

      rasing a healthier family from the get go YA BIG MOUF FUCKKA, LOOK ATCHYA SCARED OF ME NOW so scarey is a word highlighting social-improvment….

      Do you remember that.. the biggest protest in human history, it occured late 2011 New York USA, Occupy Wallstreet was a backlash at the short hand dealt to fellow Millenials such as you and I. OWS did not work but it was a SYMBOL OF A SOCIAL MOVEMENT, us hard workers whom make up the majority of the US populace deserves more and better opportunities.

  13. Lillith
    Jul 02, 2015 - 08:04 PM

    Where do you get off talking like that about people like your all high and mighty uppity b**** you have no idea how hard people have it! So you should keep your mouth shut, not everyone has it easy some people don’t have rich mommy’s and daddy’s who gave them everything ok? Some people had to work hard and even though they try really hard things happen out of their control… people need to be more humble because NOW a days everyone thinks their better than everyone else and have no sympathy for what others are going through It sucks that certain people who are hard working are looked down upon because no one will hire them or their in a bad situation simply because employers don’t want a hard worker anymore they want someone who looks good, this world is going to the good looking and that’s just a shame.

    • Gabriel
      Aug 01, 2015 - 05:33 PM

      30 years ago working a middle class job was enough, fucking people are working harder and longer than any western industralized country… for less money than they did…………… Bernie sanders doesnt take any money from big corporations, he asks for it from people like you and I .. 5 10 dolars at time… he supports regular people, and wont be influened by the excessivley rich

      • Gabriel
        Aug 01, 2015 - 05:44 PM

        Lillith and I are like Yin yang.. God litterally has enlightened me with this info, and i want to share, what happens when you shine a flash light in a dark tunnle, it illuminates…. every time

  14. Asia
    Jun 24, 2015 - 11:13 AM

    I’m glad it was way too easy for you to get them. But it’s not like that for everyone (which I’m sure you already know). Sometimes, it makes absolutely no sense to me the people that qualify v. the people that don’t. I grew up not qualifying for food stamps but making just enough money not to starve and die(joking but serious). I’d go over cousins and aunts house who received food stamps and their cabinets and refrigerator would be stocked to the top. Ridiculous. And it hardly makes any sense. I believe they do dish out way too much money, and some people who really need it (and deserve it a little bit more) don’t get what they need. There’s a gap. If that makes sense.

  15. Diana DeSimone
    Jun 03, 2015 - 02:11 PM

    Sydney, Just read your article about food stamps and their easy accessibility . Wow are you one spoiled little know it all!!
    Let me tell you something about the real world sweet pea. I too went to college and have worked since I was 15 yrs old. I have had
    wonderful jobs in my life and still do work. Unfortunatley when I had my first and only child her father and I seperated when she was an infant. I am so grateful to the State of Pennsylvania, for without their help I would not have been able to continue to work. I applied for subsidized daycare, food money and health insurance for my baby girl. Was I happy that I had to apply for WELFARE BENEFITS. Not at all, I thought it was beneath me like you do.
    May you graduate from college find a great job, have kids get married and live happily ever after in your “I am better than everybody” world.

    From Diana D
    A very grateful and hardworking single mother from Pennsylvania

    • MacBeth
      Jun 10, 2015 - 11:30 AM

      Great rant Diana D and wonderful sarcasm. I now know you had a hard life and a failed relationship and a child you struggle to take care of, WAY TO GO !

      • Anonymous
        Aug 05, 2015 - 12:00 AM

        You’re really ignorant it has nothing to do with a failed relationship.It’s about a woman needing help to raise her child.Maybe if we didn’t live in a world that wants to hire everyone part time making minimum wage there wouldn’t be so many people who need government assistance. I bet you have applied for assistance before as well.Sad how people like you have so much to say about people needing help how about you help the needy you cunt. Hope one day you realize how dumb and arrogant you sound as well as need the same help but aren’t able to get it.

    • anonymous
      Jun 16, 2015 - 12:47 PM

      A pretty girl with no disabilities, that goes to college and has a job, is a conservative? Oh, wait that make sense, never mind, she hasn’t had to deal with any hardships yet.
      During the recession, I spent everyday looking for work. I was laughed at as I turned in applications as they said there was no point in turning one in because they were not hiring. I had to eat in a shelter, and receive benefits. I moved to Alaska so I could work in the fishing industry so that I could save enough money to go to school. I am a Nurse now. If it weren’t for those benefits, I wouldn’t have been able to eat.
      I know that there are some people that abuse the system, just as there are some rich folks that do their banking in other countries so that they don’t have to pay tax’s in the US. But most of the people on welfare have children, a disability, or are elderly. At what point in your life will you be one of those. If you never needed assistance from welfare, I am willing to bet you got it from someone(your parents) or something else. If that is not true, than count yourself lucky, thank the lord for your blessings, and be humble and grateful for it. This not an idealistic world were everyone comes from a nice family and has no disabilities and doesn’t need any help.
      One more point to make is that large corporations are owning most of the worlds wealth. Lets use ‘Wally world’ as an example. Wally world pays people minimum wage; you can work full time and not be able to provide for your family with minimum wage. The gap of income between the 99% and the 1% is getting worse. Not every person in the US is able to go to college and get a degree, some people are laborers. Where have all the labor jobs gone? Machines have taken them away. Look at Detroit. This was an automobile city. When the industry crashed( no pun intended) it left many people without a job. These were tax paying family folk. Now Detroit has a city full of people that cannot find work, and no work is available. You want to tell them “get a job” “go to school” Please remember that not everyone is college material. When you take labor jobs away and then cry about the fact that there are more people that don’t have a job, try to think of a solution for those people. What are laborers supposed to do when there are no labor jobs left? Unfortunately we need to figure out what to do. Large corporations are making more money because they replace people with machines and pay their workers minimum wage, all while not paying any tax’s. Just the other year General Electric made 5.1 billion dollars and didn’t pay any tax’s. In fact they had a tax profit of 3.2 billion dollars! Apple has even been caught cheating the system out of tax’s. This is creating poverty and will only destroy the US unless we figure out how to balance it and help everyone have the same opportunities. Just imagine a world without welfare, you know, a world like Nepal where everyone that is poor begs for money and spreads disease, dentists will pull your teeth on the side of the road for a small fee. Is that the world you want to live in? Idealism is not reality so lets plan for the future.

      • Aaron Davenport
        Nov 09, 2015 - 05:52 PM

        I agree with most of what you guys are saying. One trivial, though in my opinion doubly important note, is that poverty can’t be created. Poverty is the natural state of existence. Only wealth can be created. We do have a sense of entitlement permeating our generation especially, and if you were to ask older generations, their take on welfare tends to be pretty different. Please don’t interpret this as an anti-welfare vignette, that so annoying when people put words in your mouth ha. I’m just saying it’s easy to polarize your view without first putting things into perspective. I am definitely for welfare and believe that if a country has the right to use you at whim (with things such as drafts) than you damn well have the right to use your country in times of need.

        And yes sorry Sydney, but your story does sound a bit exaggerated. I realize you are not saying to get rid of the welfare, and small government can be a very good/liberating thing, but to start talking about federalists as if you knew them is absurd. The founding fathers were just as divided about these things as we are today, hence the vague rhetoric in which many of our laws are written. They said “hey we’re only human, and the children of this nation will know more about their country than we do now (after all it’s just an infant) and they will be able to decipher in a democratic way.” At least I THINK that’s what they wanted, after all can’t say I was there. But discussion is always healthy, and I don’t think either side is doing our nation any justice by completely bashing an opposing opinion. If you are going to do so, at least acknowledge what you did agree with, or find interesting. Without that sort of ‘respect’ I guess I’d call it (for lack of a better word), then NEITHER SIDE has any common ground. Politics never seems to be very productive without at least some common ground. No?

    • Bridget o
      Jan 26, 2016 - 02:16 AM

      Well said!!

  16. johnny
    Jun 01, 2015 - 11:42 PM

    CANCEL YOUR EBT Sydney, please 😀 😀 😀

    • Asia
      Jun 24, 2015 - 11:15 AM

      right. agreed.

    • tonia
      Jun 26, 2015 - 11:44 AM

      She never activated it…or didn’t you read that?

  17. johnny
    Jun 01, 2015 - 11:41 PM

    please cancel your ebt, unfortunately that $2.5 billion of overpaying includes you until you cancel. Many states are still unable to get money “left over” back off the cards and then it is just in a JP Morgan debit account indefinitely. CANCEL 😀 nice article, had no idea I could get food stamps and go to school, thanks

  18. Bo
    Apr 29, 2015 - 10:07 PM

    If you qualify for SNAP and are approved for SNAP through the application process, you as an individual are in the same economic class as everyone else on SNAP, lower class. You are not obtaining them illegally. The government wants to give aid to as many people as possible. The U.S. government has never downsized and has never shutdown. I’m not talking about the vacations politicians take when they can’t seem to “agree” on issues. I agree with you on the issue that, “when government starts to act as the hand that feeds its people and makes personal decisions for them, citizens lose their identities and freedoms.”

    I find it very apparent that the ruling elite are deconstructing the middle class and putting the majority into the lower class so that there will be but 3 classes in the United States; Lower, Upper, and Ruling Elite. I believe this is done through taxes, your ball and chain to the government, which like the government never downsizes. How can your taxes go down when the government is growing? I am talking about government growing faster in proportion with the US population. DHS? Is it so different from the National Guard? Why do we need separate branches? Two of everything! Instead increase the size of the National Guard and alter their mission.

    The majority of starvation deaths are children, not adults. Irresponsible adults that cannot take care of children. Children who are dependent on adults for food. There is no one in the United States that is in a situation where they cannot purchase food. Illinois has a SNAP program designed to deal with issuing benefits to the homeless. Homeless people, unless by choice, do not starve in the United States. Illinois, my current residence, is one of the worse economic states to currently live in, high homeless rate, and yet if you talk to the fools living here they believe, “Arbeit macht frei” or work shall set you free. Where else have I read that phrase? And I don’t think it was true then. Have you ever had to pay income tax? Guess what, you paid into SNAP. Use it. The problem is not the 3.7% of your taxes going to SNAP, it’s where the other 96.3% is going. Don’t cut military, seriously. But do they have to waste so much? Well, we are the most powerful country to ever exist on this planet. And we are the good guys.

    You qualify for SNAP, use it. Think of it as a scholarship. Use the benefits to put yourself in a better position financially and when you graduate you will be in a better position to fix the problem. Nice guys finish last and everybody can use a hand. You don’t think people that look down on food stamps haven’t gotten help financially someway or another. Life is a battlefield and the ones that condemn food stamps through ignorance are the ones that will walk right by you in your time of need. Look at videos of disasters and who is running to help and who is running away. The majority is running away.

    You know more people than you think that are receiving SNAP. The majority of people will not be vocal about receiving benefits. That is directly related to words such as “handouts” which you used in your article. That word has been conditioned into your vocabulary as a negative. It is a neutral word. Embarrassed to use these benefits? You are above them? Your application speaks differently.

    Why do you look down upon people on the program, no matter how they obtained it. Your article certainly has that tone, which feels like it was your intent, though it is definitely informative rather than persuasive. I see the sarcasm in the article title. We are all equal and we live in a country that has never now tyrants, kings, or queens. The politicians are to blame, they are offering something for free. The SNAP program is a small drop of water in a bucket. The United States has much more waste in sectors other than SNAP. Use your SNAP benefits, don’t be submissive to the ones that criticize, they are idiotic in ways they will never understand. Use your benefits and though I don’t agree with much of what you wrote, I enjoyed reading it. You are moral. Moral people finish first in life and will show their righteousness in forms inconceivable to the immoral.

    This was written as a train of thought, has holes in logic, and is not backed up with cited facts. But I hate to see someone who could benefit from the generosity of the US government legally, yet ashamed to use them because the people in society who are sheep, decide to open their mouths and allow the conscious to see their ignorance on display. But I cannot stress this enough, use it!

  19. Jeff
    Mar 29, 2015 - 10:56 AM

    Hi Sydney, congratulations, you’ve apparently touched a nerve with your readers. I liked your article. I thought it was well written and I learned something. Now back to that nerve, it seems that the greatest divide in our country is no longer race, religion, or sexual orientation. It appears that our countries most inflammatory divide is between the haves and the have-nots. Of course as a “have” I must be a bigot for pointing this out. In reality, I want everyone to be okay. I just don’t think our current solutions are the best—and those pesky statistics seem to agree.

    I’m hoping someday to learn the answer to these questions:
    Can a country spend beyond its means indefinitely?
    Does anyone care that perhaps we’re chasing the symptoms and not the cause?
    How much of another person’s efforts—their life—is it fair to take?
    Was Lenin correct when he said, “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

    Keep up the great work. –Jeff

  20. Beth
    Mar 25, 2015 - 12:42 PM


    Doing this research for what it sounds like was “fun” to you and not knowing the facts is discrceful! Yes the system isnt perfect but unless you plan on doing something positive to aid in fixing it please keep your extra time to do something less destructive…now we will have more people applying for something they can go work for (people without children!) I do not believe a college student should apply no matter how poor unless they have somene whom is dependant on them. I work hard with two children,pay taxes,volunteer services to vunerable adults,have a degree, own a home,garden for extra nutrition, and yes I am a SNAP recipient. That being said
    IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO ALL OUT THERE HUNGRY WONDERING HOW THEY WILL EAT BECAUSE THEY WERE DENIED ……Go somewhere else with your inspirations and dont come back your approach was pitiful!!!

    I am sorry to all the other angry commenters I hear you keep your head up !! -Beth

    • cliff
      Apr 15, 2015 - 12:05 AM

      Id rather a poor college student apply for snap then some good for nothing mother who isnt furthering her education and is just spitting out children for free govt money

      • A College Student
        Jan 15, 2016 - 10:55 PM

        I totally agree with that. I am all for getting help as long as you are doing something with your life but if you are just one of those people, which America is full of, that has 3 kids from 3 different people, no job and getting aid I don’t see the point. Plus, most of those people are usually on drugs and buy their kids junk food. That is why most of America is fat!!! I feel if people do have aid ,student or anyone else, they should be randomly drug tested but that is a whole different story.

  21. Darryl
    Mar 22, 2015 - 02:46 PM

    In my area, being black is qualification alone for getting the handouts. They are generally not required to prove anything at all, and often have multiple EBT cards under different names. They trade them for drugs, sex, and as payment for criminal activity. Other races are usually required to apply and qualify, but like most other areas of American life, blacks are not expected to do anything at all and are given a free pass because they are recognized as incapable of anything productive or good at all.

    • joan Seale
      Mar 25, 2015 - 09:46 AM

      I am a 72 year old woman d who lived in the USA for almost 30 years I worked and save as best I could but my son was involved in an accident his fault and i have been taking care of him on whatever I receive from SS and my family. I receive snap for myself my son does not live in this country .Yes I receive snap because ever since my son was injured I have had a rough time physically and mentally. I am a black woman not African American I was screened severely produced everything that was required of me turned down and reapplied and was accepted .I am disappointed that a seemingly intelligent person would claim that the color of your skin makes you eligible for public assistance. In the early 1990s my wallet was stolen about six months later I received a letter from social services asking me to come on for my interview I had no idea what they were talking about I called the number and was asked to come to the office My SS card was being used to take care of a family of 4 Caucasians. I was working at a nursing home caring fro incontinent people (u know what that means) and someone else was using me. so please do your research before you speak like that it is very hurtful to BLACK non Americans

  22. Deb
    Mar 09, 2015 - 12:13 AM

    Okay so I agree with you that the abuse of food stamps is wrong… and I also mostly agree with your concluding thought ,

    ” Participating in a government welfare program simply because I can would amount to an endorsement of the growing entitlement society in America. We should always advocate smaller government. The decision to use food stamps for my food supply would directly contradict that principle, and our government’s purpose as it was described in the Federalist Papers and U.S. Constitution would be further distorted.”

    Keep in mind, my mother is an immigrant from the slums of India, she moved here and worked VERY hard to get an education and better her life, indirectly changing the course of my life as well. With that said, she went to a private college and through HARD WORK and motivation and the help of the government she did not pay for her education, please remember their are some people who do not have it as good as you do, Sydney. When used correctly such programs are not a bad thing. I am not here to hate on you I just thought id leave you with that thought :)

  23. JayWink
    Feb 25, 2015 - 02:28 AM

    You know what need stop happen is people need to vote to fund more public service workers who can go verify that these programs are being used for what they need to be used for and who they were designed to be used for. The amount of food stamps these poor families and people who deserve disability but have been denied, the amount is not enough to live on anyways. A really funny paper and I like that you think your a model, which are you a writer or a model?

  24. JayWink
    Feb 25, 2015 - 02:20 AM

    You are full of it, you needed it and wanted it. If you don’t know why welfare is available it’s for people who are trying to succeed and make something of their self. I know I have worked in any and every job in the world. The longer and more time you put into a fast food job or a low wage income job. The more they take advantage of you, treat you like garbage, and the more you fall behind in bill’s. Why even work, that is whats wrong with America you don’t respect people working fast food, which is the largest business in the world. People deserve to make and earn a living wage. I understand you are embarrassed about needing food stamps, and wrote this paper because you think better of yourself, and used it as an excuse plus a paper you find cool to down other people to make yourself feel better. I am in Computer Science, I’m no English major so pardon my writing. I seen my dad raise us on foods stamps and he made something of himself and he pays a lot more tax’s and payed all of his outrageous student loans back. If you have mommy or daddy paving your way you will never understand what you are talking about, I reject your hypocritical opinion with no apology. The stereo type of stories like this is why people feel embarrassed and kids get ridiculed by your sons and daughters at their elementary schools and high school’s. In closing fuck you all.

  25. You Bitc
    Jan 26, 2015 - 01:07 AM

    I applied and qualified and the county qualified in Denied me due to Discrimination ADA Title VII – Illegally – I hope you rot in hel

  26. martha
    Jan 21, 2015 - 10:22 PM

    What a bunch of crybaby Americans…both sides of argument.

  27. Drew
    Jan 14, 2015 - 04:26 PM

    I think it’s very hypocritical of you to even apply for food stamps while contesting their virtue; I do not believe for a second that you went through the process of applying for SNAP, got an EBT card, and did not use it. Let me repeat myself: I do not believe your story for a second. Furthermore, I think America’s real problem these days is not one of entitled attitudes, but one where people with wealth and the ability to help those in need, are too greedy to give a d@mn. What makes a society good and even godly, if you are religious, is how it treats its most vulnerable people. Whether you believe that there are families and individuals who cannot adequately feed themselves without this program is irrelevant, because the fact is that there are. To use myself as an example, I have not been able to find steady work in the area I live for quite some time, and although I have not always been enrolled in the SNAP program since moving here, I have not been shy to take advantage of it when I’ve truly needed it. I think it’s a shame to base the notion of good governance on this selfish, anti-compassion attitude that “those without are probably just scammers.” Which is what I got from your article. Receiving foodstamps does not amount to government making decisions for you. It amounts to being so blessed as to live in a wealthy country where such welfare programs are even possible. It does not surprise me when people like you slam welfare programs, because it’s clear to me that you have not endured true financial struggle. Those who have, don’t need to question the virtue of such programs, because they already know that in 2015, in one of the most wealthy nations in the world, to not have such programs while there are millions who genuinely need it, is the true shame and farce. You wear a star of David around your neck, so I’m assuming you’re Jewish? If you are, why don’t you take the following instruction from God as found in the Ten Commandments and learn to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Because I already know for a fact that if you were faced with starvation and your only options were to receive food stamps or die, you would choose the former. How do I know? Because self-preservation is simply human nature, and it’s not something to be ashamed of.

    • Darryl
      Mar 22, 2015 - 02:49 PM

      Drew has repeatedly admitted to being a drug addict elsewhere in comments. It matters little what he “believes.”

  28. JB
    Nov 26, 2014 - 08:48 PM

    Here’s the thing: YOUR experience as a student ‘investigating’ how easy it was to get them and who might not really be in NEED for them, does NOT reflect how difficult it can be for someone who IS in need and how difficult some food stamp workers can make it for someone in need. From my experience as a someone with MULTIPLE disabilities and for whom does NOT collect either SSI or SSDI for them and who CAN’T work due to the disabilities, food stamp workers have put me through EMOTIONAL TORTURE in the process of re certifying for them each year and to the extent where they VIOLATE THE LAW governing what the agency should do.

    Here are some examples:
    1: It is LAW that if a person on medicaid is deemed by medicaid as having a disability, then the DTA (food stamp people) need to ACCEPT that. I’ve had case workers who refused to accept my disability status ‘because’ I did not get SSI or SSDI. It is in reckless DISREGARD as to what the LAW states. Why some refuse to acknowledge the disability could be due to their being either IGNORANT of what there job is to do or in RECKLESS DISREGARD of the law. It is also law that someone with a disability need not have a photo ID on the EBT card. I have had the same recklessly ignorant DTA workers threaten to close my benefits ‘because’ of no photo ID. Yet when I went to get the photo ID anyway, other DTA workers told me NONE was needed. Yet the same reckless ones CONTINUED TO DEMAND IT. The stress from all that landed me in a hospital.

    2: It is LAW that a self declaration as to where one lives needs to be accepted by the DTA. It is also LAW that utility bills sent to address are PROOF as are CANCELLED RENT CHECKS. I have had DTA workers (same ones refusing to accept my disability status) also REFUSE to accept cancelled rent checks and utility bills to said address as proof of my living there and instead DEMANDED to see a LEASE. As tenant at will who had not a copy of my lease at the time it was demanded (I had just moved and could not find my papers in time), my rights were VIOLATED by some recklessly ignorant DTA workers who refused to accept other documents and self declarations as proof of address where it was really THEIR JOB to accept those and not demand me to provide a document I did not have at the time.

    3: I send all requested documents, including bank statements and 1099 forms in addition to going to the bank to have the manager write a letter to explain what those are (for stupid DTA workers who can’t read a bank statement properly), only to find the DTA worker THROWS THEM AWAY or does not acknowledge receipt.

    4: To help PREVENT a stupid DTA worker or vicious one from claiming they did not get my documents, I send them via $10 priority mail with tracking where I have PROOF they got them. Yet I STILL get letters saying they lack the documents (which I sent them).

    5: I get a letter from ‘out of the blue’ from a DTA worker claiming I ‘missed a telephone interview’ YET no message on my phone is left by the worker regarding it NOR any interview ever planned for me. Worker (and get this–the name is ‘Phuc Duc’ pronounced Fuck Duck’) does the ‘interview’ and then demands I go in there IN PERSON THE SAME DAY to get a photo on my card after I tell her I’m DISABLED with no transportation and can’t get there easily and ‘if not, my benefits will be cancelled’. I hire a CAB for $60 to get there ONLY TO FIND that the worker REFUSES TO MEET ME. So, you think it’s ‘easy’ do you? Well how easy does that sound: Getting some BOGUS notice of some ‘missed telephone interview’ NEVER PLANNED to be and with NO PHONE MESSAGE of that when she called and to have to drop what I ‘m doing to hire a cab to get there in person only to find the DTA worker REFUSES to meet with me and to also find from the SUPERVISOR that there WAS NO NEED for her to ever have any interview with me and NO NEED for me to have a photo ID BECAUSE I had a disability.

    That’s only the TIP of the iceburg as to the STRESS some DTA workers put me through; ALL of them recklessly disregarding the LAW to do so, people who are supposed to HELP someone such as myself and not go out of their way to HINDER and make someone with arthritis (who can’t walk) and who has a STRESS DISORDER WORSE.

    So, here you are, an able bodied college gal with no disabilities who is really NOT in need for help, yet it is EASY for you to get benefits with not much trouble at all and you pontificate and speculate for OTHERS as to how ‘easy’ it must be for ALL. It is NOT that way at all. PERHAPS it ‘s only easy for people committing fraud or for those really NOT in need. But from MY perspective of someone who IS in need (via disabilities that make me unemployable!) and NOT collecting for them and using my savings to support myself, it’s a NIGHT MARE of STRESS invoking problems with these workers who DISREGARD THE LAW they are supposed to be following. They disregard it to the extent that they demand documents that have already been sent to them or claim they did not get them or they don’t accept other documents that substitute as those they are requesting when it is law they do so. So that sort of situation is FRAUD on the part of those DTA workers even being EMPLOYED THERE. THey use their employment at DTA to engage in FRAUD as it is FRAUDULENT on their part to say such things as: ‘Only SSI or SSDI’ is considered for disability when the LAW says a doctor’s statement will suffice. It is FRAUD to refuse utility bills and cancelled checks for rent proof and demand a lease document instead and also FRAUD on their part to not accept a self declaration of address. It is FRAUD to insist a disabled person go to office for photo ID where the LAW says disabled persons don’t need to. So, I’m a victim of FRAUD by reckless DTA workers trying to jeopardize my benefits.

    So, why don’t you use your ‘investigative skills’ to explore the NIGHTMARE workers at DTA who DON’T do their job and/or who don’t follow the LAW stating what their job is and instead act like ‘mavericks’ trying to jeopardize benefits to the poor and disabled honest people. Your little article ditty was an AFFRONT to me to hear you SPECULATE on ‘how easy’ getting food stamps is where these workers have given me MULTIPLE NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS from the emotional torture they have inflicted. Again, it is NOT ‘easy’ for people who really need them. Just easy for little snots like you writing such blog articles.

  29. Nikelaus Lubard
    Oct 25, 2014 - 05:55 AM

    This quote in your article gives me pause: “But when government starts to act as the hand that feeds its people and makes personal decisions for them, citizens lose their identities and freedoms. Not only is the innovative, hardworking, passionate American lost because the government promotes the idea that individuals can’t do it themselves, but the individuals come to expect the handouts…”

    How does Supplemental Nutritional Assistance equate to making personal decisions? How does help feeding yourself when you’re down on your luck make you lose your identity or your freedom? Help from tax dollars you pay into the system when you are working (or just purchasing things) causes an otherwise innovative, hardworking, passionate American to become “lost” in what way?

    You have a lot of fluff in your piece that seems to be regurgitation of Ayn Rand pablum with no basis in fact. I wonder if you’ve developed your own opinions and can back them up since you wrote this article. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you’ve matured a little, learned a few things about life it’s hard to learn in college (unless you, as I did, work full time all the way through and receive not a nickel of assistance from your family because they don’t have any money–on grows up quickly then, but I don’t get the impression from your glib tone that’s really your experience.), and that you might now see your article was more like an impromptu speech for the anti-welfare side of a debate rather than anything researched.

    It’s interesting to me, in fact, that the most research you did (given that you really didn’t support any of the grand arguments quoted above) was to further burden the welfare system long enough to prove someone who didn’t need the help could get it. I suppose that frivolous game with taxpayer money is okay, though? Because hating on people who need a hand from The Welfare State is honorable while admitting you’re having trouble making ends meet is a one-way ticket to losing your passion and individuality and identity and freedom?

    Pardon my first impression, but this article seems to have wasted a lot of time, yours and the government’s–and money, such as that used to process the fraudulent (or at best insincere) application and put you in the system and print the little card and send it to you. I pray you don’t find yourself truly in need at some point in your life, shuddering to think how dismissive you were of something that helps a lot of people to survive long enough to become productive citizens again. (Ayn Rand, for example, spent her last years living off Social Security. I wonder if she felt shrugged off ol’ Atlas’s shoulders when that day came–oh right, she saw herself as Atlas, so I guess her shoulders gave out and her legs as well, at which point she must have been grateful for the entitlement programs upon which she came to rely. And I suspect she must have felt so lonely, having scoffed at others for so long, high on the pipe dream that being exceptional or intelligent or just plain passionately greedy entitles one to a life of extravagant and luxurious just desserts.)

    Like I say, though, I’m sure you’ve grown up a bit since writing this article. I adored Ayn Rand and her “philosophy” of greed and misanthropy in high school. And I grew out of it as soon as I started thinking for myself, which hopefully college has helped you to begin doing as well since this exercise in repeating red herrings about the loss of the passionate individual once she needs assistance and doesn’t have rich parents to turn to. No achievement is diminished by having had help along the way.

  30. Kadie
    Sep 28, 2014 - 11:41 AM

    So to start, I’m a non traditional student, I’ve been on my own since I was 18 and I’ve been married and divorced. Because I’m 23 I couldn’t qualify for fafsa without providing my parents income, which I refused to do seeing as I’ve not been provided for since then and they contribute absolutely nothing to my wellbeing. (Love them to pieces), but I’m very very very close to being homeless in a state that I’m not originally from, with no family help here or there, and like one or two friends. This being the case, I couldn’t attend school again until I turn 24 to be considered an independent student to receive all of the benefits towards my tuition that I am more than qualified to receive….I originally looked into food stamps my first semester at the university (full time student who had been working full time and then lost my job). Waiting for my unemployment I looked into food stamps and realized that the state of Tennessee requires the max of 20 hours of work a week while being a full time student in order to qualify. ( they wouldn’t take into consideration the fact that I had been a full time employee for 3 years who now couldn’t eat, pay rent, or pay bills). My question now is, that because I’m enrolled in the university but I’m not registered for classes because I couldn’t afford to attend, do I qualify!? I can’t find answers anywhere, and like the wonderful people they are, they can’t provide any answers. I’d love to hear what you have to say, I’d very much appreciate it.


  31. Linda Ball
    Aug 01, 2014 - 07:49 PM

    Lucky you….i have twin college students, but because my children are over 18, even if they are full-time students I qualified for a big $15 a month.
    They weren’t considered as part of my household, apparently the part-time McDonald’s job at 7.48 my daughter has is well over the limit. HA !

    My opinion you slipped through the cracks hun ! I got next to nothing and am living on Disability ! Which I worked for, paid into, to recieve if
    anything had happened to me, but is listed under an un-earned income. Oh well, I guess working for 17 years and paying for Medicare if it was
    ever necessary is considered un-earned.

    I have found zero programs to assist parents with full time college students. And I’m sure I know what most are thinking, your kid is 18, tell them
    to get a job. Both my kids have jobs and attend college full time. But regardless, they are not considered as part of my household, even though they
    live with me at home. I think I’m supposed to tell them to get out, find an apartment and fend for yourself making $510 a month….hmmmm yeah that should work.

    I’m sick of people thinking because your children are over 18, they are supposed to be able to pay rent, get jobs, work full time, school full time….WHERE ? There are barely enough jobs in Michigan for 30 year olds to find work , with DEGREES ! I’m all for my kids working and going to school, I had to do it, but damn, the amount of money they make doesn’t cover car insurance, food, rent, cell phone, daily needs…so it’s left on
    the parents, but we are not allowed to claim them, we can’t get assistance for them, what are we supposed to do ? Anyone got a clue on that ?

    • cc
      Aug 22, 2014 - 08:47 PM

      nys is much harder to get help than mass. or any where else. I agree as a parent with 2 kids and one ft in college her job and my unemployment and child support put me over. Nice job nys!



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