@Lily Rowan ahhh I totally have tried to argue this with so many people and NO ONE wants to hear it. It's either "sorry I didn't notice, all the dancing" or "omg no I'm a dude there was so much dancing" Thank you.
Also sometimes you get a box of wine with a sticker on it that says "this fell off a train, but is still OK to drink" and it is! For box wine. FWIW, salvage stores have also meant less food going to food banks -- which is good in a way, because it's not often very healthy -- and bad in another, because of slowly educating people that a lot of food banks and pantries BUY much of their food, and can't depend on food drives and grocery cast-offs alone.
@stuffisthings True! They've started in some states allowing you to use your SNAP benefits at fast-food places or prepared-food places if you can show that you're homeless or disabled, but that seems a little to me like a gross kind of logroll.
@bibliostitute thank you yes! i always forget people don't know my personal flavor of alphabet soup.
@Username they don't pay for rent but if you have a job (as about 40% of food stamp households do) you have some earned income, and you can shift that to rent, heat, lights, transportation, school supplies for your kid, whatever. it's a transfer program.
@dc YES. THIS. please.
@ColdFinger Maybe. Maybe not. Depending on the state you're in, you can't get SNAP as a student without working like, 35 hours a week. Which isn't totally crazy, but maybe creating bad incentives. In most states you can't receive TANF without kids, and GA is also not really for students.
This is interesting! However: I want to have it on record that you cannot buy beer or toilet paper with food stamps. Any place that lets you do that is gaming the rules. AND: The overall SNAP fraud rate is less than 1%, which is, you know, very very low, compared with things like military contracts and the like. I mean, you can't even buy food that heat has been applied to, like those rotisserie chickens that are often on sale, or a warm sandwich at a deli counter. You can't buy diapers or soap or anything but food, seeds to grow food, and spices. ALSO: This kind of stigma is not AT ALL limited to people with backgrounds of privilege! In fact, SNAP is really under-subscribed in part because of myths about it (that you have to pay it back, or you must be unemployed). I don't know how often I interview or run into someone who says they're so ashamed to use them, it's a last resort, they're so upset, they never thought .... People: homeowners are not ashamed about the mortgage interest deduction. Seniors using Medicare aren't thinking of it as a last resort. SNAP exists as part of our social contract! It's called an entitlement program because we long ago decided that nobody, nobody, nobody in America should go hungry. (And the other point I hate trotting out but that might sway some is that SNAP is a really direct and local type of stimulus -- people aren't going to sit on massive reserves of SNAP payments! They're going to spend it ASAP at a local grocery store, corner store, whatever. Demand for goods and services supports and creates jobs. kthxbye.)