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Old March 9th, 2008, 04:46 PM   #1
brewmenn
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Default Food stamps

Apparently people on food stamps aren't smart enough to figure out that they need to make the money last all month. Kinda says something about the intelligence of the average food stamp recipient doesn't it.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...ETRO/803090316

Michigan may be first state to issue food stamps twice a month
David Eggert / Associated Press

LANSING -- Michigan could become the first state in the nation to issue food stamps twice a month, making fresh produce and meat more available and giving grocery workers steadier hours.

The state's 1.2 million food stamp recipients -- the highest number ever -- now have their benefits added to a debit card within the first 10 days of the month. They then spend those dollars early in the month, typically in poorer, urban areas where residents may have limited transportation.

Each recipient gets an average $88 a month.

Retailers say the once-a-month assistance is spent early and usually all at once, causing them problems with staffing, cash flow and inventory. Advocates for the poor say food stamp recipients aren't buying enough healthy, fresh food throughout the month.

Legislation that would require the state to issue food stamp benefits two times a month may be approved by the state Senate this week. A similar measure sponsored by Democratic Rep. Andy Meisner of Ferndale is pending in the House. Recipients who get lower amounts of assistance would still get their payments just once a month.

"I'm trying to help people help themselves," said bill sponsor Martha Scott, a Democratic senator from Highland Park. "I see people buying so much stuff the first of the month. You want to help people balance things out."

Distributing food stamps twice monthly would give shoppers more flexibility and encourage them to buy fresher foods at least twice a month, she said.

While the legislation has backing from groceries and unionized workers, not everyone thinks more frequent payments is the solution. They wonder if the problem could be fixed instead by extending the period in which money is added to debit cards from 10 days to 20 days, which would spread out the days food stamp recipients shop.

The state Department of Human Services, which is neutral on the bills, is surveying food stamp recipients to find out their preference and how a switch would affect them. Results should be ready for lawmakers in April.

DHS spokeswoman Maureen Sorbet said the agency is prepared to go to twice-monthly payments or a longer period of payments depending on survey results, legislative developments and getting approval from the federal government, which pays for food stamps. A farm bill being negotiated in Congress could prove a stumbling block, since it includes a provision that would ban states from changing food stamp distribution from once a month.

Terri Stangl, executive director of the Saginaw-based Center for Civil Justice, credited the state for conducting the survey. Some recipients have limited transportation and prefer using their money to buy in bulk for better purchasing power, she said.

"I'm not convinced that with the amount of money they're getting, they're going to buy more fresh food," Stangl said.

Scott, however, argued that issuing benefits once a month but extending the period in which they are handed out would help grocers and their employees, but not recipients.

Chris Michalakis, lobbyist for the 50,000 Michigan members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said grocery employees are pushed to work extra hard in the first 10 days of the month, then see their hours cut for the rest of the month.

By distributing food stamps more equally over the month, he said, "workers will see a more even distribution of hours, as well as a greater availability of hours."

The legislative debate comes at a time when 12 percent, or more than one in nine, Michigan residents get food stamps. Eighty percent of benefits go to households with children. The number of food stamp recipients in Michigan has doubled in six years, most likely because of the weak economy.

The real issue that needs to be addressed, Stangl said, is that food stamp households are able to buy less food because assistance has been eroding each year. The federal food stamp program assumes families have enough of their own money plus food stamps to spend $1.05 per person per meal -- not enough for a health diet at today's prices, she said.

Although the federal farm bill would boost money for food stamps, the price of fresh fruits, vegetables and leaner meats is rising faster than processed foods, making it harder for families to buy the healthier items, she said.

The food stamp bills are House Bill 4923 and Senate Bill 120.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by brewmenn View Post
Chris Michalakis, lobbyist for the 50,000 Michigan members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said grocery employees are pushed to work extra hard in the first 10 days of the month, then see their hours cut for the rest of the month.


They have to work EXTRA hard?? Oh noes!
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Old March 9th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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Lazy bums.

I've had people at my tables eating $30+ steak and lobster dinners, sucking down cognac and raspberry lemonades, smoking cigarettes/black and milds, with a bunch of jungle bunny kids - asking if we accept bridge cards.


On a side note:

We should drug test all food stamp recipients.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #4
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This is the most abused system on the planet. They don't need more fresh foods- they need more responsibility. If I am buying food for your family, you have no business smoking, drinking, or using drugs. If you are caught doing any of the above, then you lose assitance. If you lose assistance adn don't get a job, you lose your kids and your reproductive organs.

Enough said.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #5
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when i was unemployed about 3-4 years ago i was on food stamps and it made me sick to have to be on it first of all, but it really did help out single income 4 person household. then i was not into wheeling, stopped drinking unless it was my dads...lol, i have never smoked, dont do drugs, go out to dinner, drive all over hell and back. it really pissed me off to see people on the system who did all of the above. i almost got into trouble a few times making comments to people at the assistance office about there 150 dollar shoes, 300 dollar cell phones, gold and diamonds all over, designer coats pants, jackets, and driving new cars. if people can afford all of those luxuries they dont need food stamps.

ahhh i feel better later ill tell ya how i really feel
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #6
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I sell my food stamps and buy weed.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #7
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I sell my food stamps and buy weed.
LMAO
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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I sell my food stamps and buy weed.
i thought it was crack:tonka:
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #9
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I almost got into trouble a few times making comments to people at the assistance office about there 150 dollar shoes, 300 dollar cell phones, gold and diamonds all over, designer coats pants, jackets, and driving new cars. if people can afford all of those luxuries they dont need food stamps. l

X2 When I was in the same situation as you I did and felt the same way and was embarrassed the way others abused the system. I even went one step further then that and asked the case worker how is this teaching me to live when I get off this. I told her I could afford steak on food stamps and could not even afford hamburger when I got off it? She did not have any answer for me.
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:33 PM   #10
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I sell my food stamps and buy weed.

You're not the only one!
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Old March 9th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #11
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Can't we just go back to handin out gummint cheese?
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Old March 9th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #12
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Firs' Friday!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:00 PM   #13
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the system is there for temp. use and people that have had to use it always feel embarassed and get back to work, its the 2nd and 3rd generation recipients that need to go... if you have 5 kids becuz thats what they allow and no spouse it kinda obvious that youre abusing it.
one time in my life i had 2 houses 2 car payments and my wife lost her job, i was on the verge of losing it all i went to see if i could get any help, the man hatin woman behind the counter reading a magazine while on the clock told me i had to much, i couldnt have a house or a car payment. later that week i am buying "groceries" 10lbs of chicken quarters 2.99 ramen noodles bread and bologna, the "lady" in front of me with a full cart pays with food stamps except for her beer and cigs pays cash of course,i payed with my last $20 i get out in the lot her boyfriend is loading bags into her brand new car, people like that tick me off,dont get married, have kids collect welfare. aaah!
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #14
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the system is there for temp. use and people that have had to use it always feel embarassed and get back to work, its the 2nd and 3rd generation recipients that need to go... if you have 5 kids becuz thats what they allow and no spouse it kinda obvious that youre abusing it.
one time in my life i had 2 houses 2 car payments and my wife lost her job, i was on the verge of losing it all i went to see if i could get any help, the man hatin woman behind the counter reading a magazine while on the clock told me i had to much, i couldnt have a house or a car payment. later that week i am buying "groceries" 10lbs of chicken quarters 2.99 ramen noodles bread and bologna, the "lady" in front of me with a full cart pays with food stamps except for her beer and cigs pays cash of course,i payed with my last $20 i get out in the lot her boyfriend is loading bags into her brand new car, people like that tick me off,dont get married, have kids collect welfare. aaah!
my favorite ones are when they buy tons of pop, go out into the parking lot, empty all the cans onto the ground, then go back inside, return the cans and use the money to buy booze and smokes.
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Old March 11th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RockyMTN05 View Post
Lazy bums.

I've had people at my tables eating $30+ steak and lobster dinners, sucking down cognac and raspberry lemonades, smoking cigarettes/black and milds, with a bunch of jungle bunny kids - asking if we accept bridge cards.


On a side note:

We should drug test all food stamp recipients.
i do drugs and i agree of course im not on food stamps
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Old March 11th, 2008, 07:27 PM   #16
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Wait a sec.... how many people in michigan? 5 million is it? And 1.2 million recieve food stamps?? wa... wa..... WTF?????
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Old March 11th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #17
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It's funny that his would come up. Another driver and I were talking about this the other day (Sort Of). His Daughter has 2 kids and no "man". She went to get food stamps (or some kind of Aid) and she was rejected. The Lady that lives down road has 2 kids I think and a Guy. The guy and her aren't married but they live in the same house. So, she can say she's A single mom. She doesn't get rejected and get's more then the daughter would ever get. Did I mention the guy has a Full time job? Oh and, She's Black. The daughter is white. I'm not being racist, but just saying it how it is.
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Old March 12th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smasheromalley View Post
Wait a sec.... how many people in michigan? 5 million is it? And 1.2 million recieve food stamps?? wa... wa..... WTF?????
There are 10 million peeps in MI. I agree 10% is staggering!!
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