Food Stamps Are Not for Fancy Starbucks Drinks

Normally Fox News and their repellent "information" aren't relevant to anything, but their investigation in Oregon's food stamp policy did reveal something disturbing. Apparently, those who use Oregon's equivalent of food stamps -- The Oregon Trail Card -- can pay for Starbucks at a grocery store in Oregon. And while no one would say that those who get it shouldn't have assistance, this little "glitch" is disturbing.

The fact is, Starbucks is expensive, and if a customer can get around the food stamp rules to do this in a grocery store Starbucks, then there are some loopholes that need to be changed and fast.

Though people can't just go to a freestanding Starbucks, order up a Frappuccino, and go, the idea that they even can abuse the system in such a way actually hurts those people who don't the most.


The fact is, in this country, there will always be people looking for a free handout. That's true anywhere, really. But stories like these make the people who really need the assistance and who only use it to get back on their feet look bad. How is that right?

Food stamps are for bread, milk, produce, and other healthy items. No one should be wasting them on junk food and soda and Cheetos. If that sounds judgy, well then OK. As a taxpayer, I reserve the right to be a bit judgy. If I can't afford those "extras" and I don't get assistance, then why should someone who does?

This isn't to say that people don't need assistance. They do and how, especially given the current economy. It's just that "assistance" shouldn't cover excesses and luxuries; otherwise, people will get angry and feel exploited. This is exactly what is happening here.

It isn't easy to admit to needing help and certainly the grand majority of people who apply for assistance are likely deserving and deeply in need. But this loophole needs to be changed and fast before someone gets the idea to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.

Aspects of this system are clearly broken and they need to be fixed. That doesn't mean that the system itself is broken.

Do you think people should be able to buy Starbucks with food stamps?

Image via Cherrysweetdeal/Flickr

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