Customers Angered By Food Stamp Recipient Balance
Kristin Danley 7/20/2017
Some parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, struggling to provide for their families. That's when assistance programs like those that offer food stamps come in handy, helping feed hungry kids and even seniors who scrape just to get by day to day.
While more regulations have been placed on assistance programs to help weed out fraud, some people are completely stunned at the state of Kentucky's food stamp assistance program.
Some states enforce work requirements and drug tests to help people get back on their feet and not rely on assistance programs forever, but after finding a discarded grocery store receipt on the ground, some are saying Kentucky needs to do a better job.
One man found the crumpled receipt on the ground, so he picked it up. When he glanced at it, he was shocked. The food stamp recipient had a ginormous balance for buying groceries.
While the $38.85 bill charged for groceries was normal, the food balance available was not. It was $5,583.42.
That meant that taxpayers were footing the bill for this person's giant food stamp balance. That's more money than many big families spend in one month.
The receipt came from the Save a Lot in Liberty, Kentucky. Beverly Durant said that while no one knows the story behind this giant balance, she's thinking about moving there now that she knows how much people in need of assistance can receive.
"I don't know if I should be upset or locate to that state."
Screenshot via Rumble
Joele Potts with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors Association said she had no idea why one account would have that much money in it for groceries. She said most recipients are hard workers who just need a little help.
"What we found in general is these are people being extremely frugal."
The government uses an eligibility formula to determine how much food stamp assistance recipients can receive, which includes the number of dependent children and marital status.
Retiree Mildred Johnson was quite upset when she learned of this particular food stamp balance. At her age, she is food deficient.
"We cannot afford $50.00 and I worked full time since I was 17 years of age. I am now 79 and have days I wonder where our next meal is coming from."
Homebound retiree Margery Miller said she fought for two months to receive help from her county agency that was responsible for doling out food assistance.
After she finally qualified for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which allows her to purchase fresh food, she ended up unable to use the card and its $200 monthly allowance because the county's annual review process delayed funding to her account.
"If I wasn't getting ‘Meals on Wheels,' I'd have an empty refrigerator."
When WBNS-TV reporters investigated food program assistance in Ohio, they discovered 41 households with SNAP balances that ranged between $7,000 and $10,000. Another 14 account holders had SNAP balances of $10,000 to $21,000.
So how can these balances get so big? The available monthly balance carries over and remains in the account to be used, even if a family is no longer considered eligible for assistance. If an account is inactive for one year, then during an annual review process it can be deactivated.
Here's more about this shocking scenario that has people talking.
Government assistance can make the difference between having a warm meal for dinner or going hungry. It means kids have shoes instead of worrying what they'll wear to school. It also helps seniors simply live when they are no longer able to work.
But the balance on this particular receipt is truly startling. One reader wondered just how many kids the person had in order to qualify for such a big balance. Hopefully, if this is a fraudulent case, the mishandling of taxpayer money is resolved, so that those who truly need help can receive it.
Sources: AWM, WBNS-TV FB Image Credit: Rumble