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New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas 

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  #1  
Old 07-21-2013, 08:31 PM
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New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

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Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

A spokeswoman for the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service said welfare benefits are reserved for households that buy and prepare food together. She said states should intervene if people are caught shipping nonperishables abroad.

Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, called it just another example of welfare abuse.

“I don’t want food-stamp police to see what people do with their rice and beans, but it’s wrong,” Tanner told The Post. “The purpose of this program is to help Americans who don’t have enough to eat. This is not intended as a form of foreign aid.”

The United States spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show.

Still, New Yorkers say they ship the food because staples available in the States are superior and less costly than what their families can get abroad.

“Everybody does it,” said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. “They pay for it any way they can. A lot of people pay with EBT [Electronic Benefit Transfer, or welfare cards].”

Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.

They said food-stamp recipients typically take home their barrels and fill them gradually over time with food bought with EBT cards.

When the tubs are full, the welfare users call a shipping company to pick them up and send them to the Caribbean for about $70. The shipments take about three weeks.

Last week, a woman stuffed dozens of boxes of macaroni and evaporated milk into a barrel headed for her family in Kingston, Jamaica. She said she didn’t have welfare benefits and bought the food herself.

“This is all worth more than $2,000,” she said. “I’ve been shopping since last December. You can help somebody else, someone who doesn’t live in this country.”

A man helping her pack the barrel said: “We’re poor here, and they’re poor. But what we can get here is like luxury to them.”
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:35 PM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

yep.. the haitians did that a lot at the Rite Aid I used to work at. also the infamous Coupon Lady.

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Old 07-23-2013, 08:37 AM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

They need to crack down on these motherfuckers.

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:19 PM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

Welfare is useless.

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Old 07-23-2013, 12:55 PM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

let them starve

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Old 07-25-2013, 01:05 AM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

They have good intentions but...those are what pave the road to hell.

There are people in this country starving and dying who really need that aid, and it should be going to them as it's supposed to.

If they feel so strongly about helping, and they clearly don't need to eat that food...why not fucking donate on their own dime? Ugh.

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Old 07-25-2013, 01:43 AM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

Pisses me off! I had to be on welfare for two years, but, I didn't get enough money and food benefits to share with other relatives.

When I got approved for SSI, I had to pay that money back to the government.

The fact that someone can buy a drum for $40 and another $70 to ship it alone indicates a problem with the system.

It's not glamorous or fun! The US treats foreigners better than they treat our own impoverished and illiterate citizens!

We have people dying from fires in Winter using stoves to heat their homes and keep their children warm. Very sad

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Old 07-25-2013, 01:46 AM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

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Originally Posted by Brometheus View Post
yep.. the haitians did that a lot at the Rite Aid I used to work at. also the infamous Coupon Lady.
Tell me about the Coupon Lady, please. I've never heard of her.

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Old 07-25-2013, 02:12 AM
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Re: New Yorkers on Food Stamps Buying Food to Ship Overseas

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
Tell me about the Coupon Lady, please. I've never heard of her.
TLC (I think) had a show called Extreme Couponing. Some people will dig through dumpsters for coupons. They would have to order ahead some of the things they had coupons for to make sure there was enough in the store. They had huge stockpiles of food, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, etc. Being frugal is good, but that takes a lot of time.

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