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Food Stamps: Should They Be Limited?

2458 words - 10 pages

With more and more people becoming unemployed and applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), it is imperative that we understand the benefits as well as problems this causes. Even while researching this topic and talking to some of my family and friends about it, it surprised me the amount of those who do not understand food stamps. Coming from the SNAP website, “Food stamps offer nutritional assistance to millions of eligible low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities” (United States). This program helps millions of people per year and gives upwards of $75 billion and rising. With the prices of food increasing due to inflation, beneficiaries are receiving around $400 at most per month. Using the Electronic benefit transfer systems (EBT), beneficiaries can buy goods from a grocery store using a credit-card like transaction, which takes the money off of their card. The benefits are received monthly on a specific date and vary in amounts from person to person. One family may receive $300 per month because they have three kids and need the extra money, while another may receive $100 or less depending on financial status. The application process includes completing and filing an application form, being interviewed, and verifying facts crucial to determining eligibility. In the past, these applications did not require a drug screening to get benefits, but more and more states are adopting this. There are many drawbacks to SNAP as well such as taking money from working people’s paychecks every week and people abusing the system. Talking about a very opinionated subject, we must remove bias and answer whether or not the Food Stamp system should be limited.

I started my exploration process by researching articles related to Food Stamps and found one that stood out to me. The article is titled, "Food Assistance: Computerized Information Matching Could Reduce Fraud and Abuse in the Food Stamp Program”, and is a government document. Contained in this article is a testimony before the Committee of Agriculture, Subcommittee on Department Operations, Nutrition, and Foreign Agriculture, House of Representatives. The testimony deals with the different types of fraud that occur in the food stamp program. The main focus of fraud in the article shows that trafficking and over-payment are the two main scams used when dealing with food stamps. Trafficking, as explained by the article is when Stamps are traded for cash value, resulting in $815 million being traded for cash at retail stores. Over-payment occurs when the recipient knowingly receives more than they are eligible for, which led to losses up to $1.4 billion. The article then goes on to present a new system to detect fraud and fix the problems. This system is a computer that matches information which identifies ineligible participants, as well as people who receive duplicate benefits due to error and may reduce over-payments. I do believe...

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