Like many other students at Mercer, when I go home for school breaks I work a part-time job for extra money and to stave off boredom.
I work at a chain grocery store where day after day I ring peoples’ groceries up. It was through my experiences working at the grocery store that I started to notice something odd: food stamps and the number of families that use them.
Georgia residents who qualify for food stamps, which are now called Electronic Benefit Transfer cards or Georgia Compass Cards, can buy pretty much anything they want with their EBT cards as long as it’s food.
This includes cakes, Red Bull, Monster and candy bars; everything in the store is open to them, except hot foods from the Deli.
Now I am not saying that a lot of families do not need the financial support that the EBT programs gives to them, but when you see a 14-year-old boy come into the store to buy an eight-pack of monster, some Cheetos and a Snickers bar and pays for his purchase with what I’m assuming is his parents EBT card, you start to wonder.
How many families who are on EBT actually deserve and need that money, and how many of those families could afford the food that is given to them but waste that money on other things: for instance a new Ford F-150 pickup truck, a nice set of fake nails or Hollister clothing?
Those are just a few of the things that I have seen in my two years at the store.
How many people need the money to buy food, and how many people are capable of holding down a job and supporting their families but choose instead to live off the government while they sit at home on their lazy butts?
Another thing I don’t understand is why parents who cannot afford to have more children, have more kids anyway.
There is something that one of my managers said to me that I will never forget: “You shouldn’t have more kids than you can parent.”
I agree, but I want to take it a step further. Americans should not have children that they cannot support.
One accidental baby that a family cannot afford is one thing. You didn’t realize it was coming, and babies are expensive. I get it: you need some financial help. I’m perfectly okay with that.
But when it gets to that second child and you still cannot afford that baby, you can’t tell me that it was an accident.
You already had one baby; you know how they are created. Why not do the smart thing and not have unprotected sex to save yourself from the financial hardship of another child?
Condoms are given out for free at government health clinics, and women can get birth control for free from the same clinics. Why not take advantage of that?
Why bring into the world another helpless child that you cannot take care of? What parent would choose that life for their child?
Well here’s an answer that shocked me: the more children you have that you cannot afford to take care of, the more money the government gives you every month for your EBT card.
If you have a five person household and qualify for food stamps, you get about $700.00 for food every month. Just add three more people to your household and you get $1058.00 every month for food. Every additional member of your family gets you another $147.00.
Families are having children that they cannot afford because they will get more money from the government. That is extremely wrong.
It might just be me, but in order to prevent people from abusing the food stamps program, I think that the process to get the cards should be more in-depth and that the government must limit the items that an EBT card can buy.
Instead of being able to purchase every food item in the store, EBT cards should be able to buy the essentials: meat, dairy, whole grain foods, pastas, etc.
Energy drinks, candy, anything that has enough sugar to make your children bounce off the walls should not be allowed under EBT.
The government needs to crack down on the EBT program, especially on the families who use innocent children to fraud the program.
Let’s face it, with the financial trouble the government is in right now, they cannot afford to be wasting any more money. Let’s start by fixing the EBT program.
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