The New York Post reports that food stamp recipients routinely use their EBT cards to buy non-perishable food items that they pack into large shipping barrels and send to friends and relatives overseas. The practice is so prevalent that some NYC supermarkets sell the large barrels, which hopefully cannot be bought with food stamps, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they can.
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 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.”
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. (Read More)
Fantastic, what next?
Update: Linked by Expose the Media – thanks!