Market Force Snap EBT card FF shops

MF shop listed some FF shops where we have to use a Snap EBT card for payment. I guess I'm naïve so had to Google to find these apparently are "food stamp" cards. So I guess MF assumes there are some of us on food stamps. Sadly, that is probably the case.

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Are you sure there is a requirement to use the EBT card? That would be unusual since, by law, they cannot reimburse any amount of money paid using an EBT card. I have seen shops on the MF website that explicitly say that they will NOT pay if an EBT card is used, but none that require the use of one.
@Bec2117 wrote:

Are you sure there is a requirement to use the EBT card? That would be unusual since, by law, they cannot reimburse any amount of money paid using an EBT card. I have seen shops on the MF website that explicitly say that they will NOT pay if an EBT card is used, but none that require the use of one.

Ditto!! I think you have misread the shop information.
@Bec2117 wrote:

Are you sure there is a requirement to use the EBT card? That would be unusual since, by law, they cannot reimburse any amount of money paid using an EBT card. I have seen shops on the MF website that explicitly say that they will NOT pay if an EBT card is used, but none that require the use of one.

I could have sworn that I saw two different versions of the qualification test. One said you had to use the EBT and the other said you didn't. I wish I had take a screen picture. I accepted the version that said don't use an EBT card and now can't access the other version, if it even exists anymore. I think there is something strange going on at MF right now. I just saw another FF burger shop for a client that used to be with another MSC. Its the one where we have complained about the extensive narrative required and the editor requiring more info or clarifications. The certification test for this new one had two questions that were identical. I answered extremely carefully and did not pass the qualification "test". I sent a request to the help desk informing them of a possible problem.
They recently clarified that you could not use an EBT card on FF shop. There has never been shops that required it to my knowledge.
My understanding is that EBT/SNAP/Food Stamps CANNOT be used to purchase hot, ready to eat foods. Especially not for fast food, like McDonalds, etc.
It would be a lot smarter if EBT covered only staples. It makes me unhappy, to say the least, to see people loading up their carts with convenience food, junk food, and nice cuts of meat, all paid for by the taxpayer. Limiting it to staples would also mean lower taxpayer-funded health costs.

Not slamming on people who *need* EBT. If you truly need it, that's why it's there; a helping hand. However, there is rampant abuse which means less available for those who use it properly.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
You did misread it.

FYI, per the program website:
"In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals."

Anyone judging this program, until you walk a mile in their shoes....

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Thank you, @isaiah58.

I have two close friends who use EBT. Yes, they need it. Yes, they buy junk food as well as staples, and organic produce as well. Food is food. Some people have allergies, or picky children. I don't see being poor as a reason to not be able to eat what you'd like to eat. And for those of you griping about taxpayers footing the bill? My friends pay their taxes too.
Try being thankful you're not in their position instead of worrying about someone else getting something you don't think they deserve.
I have heard there are limited areas that allow EBT to be used for prepared food/fast food..maybe they meant am EMV chip card as they are assessing if they are being processed properly?

or maybe they meant DBT (debit).

realize some people on food stamps are disabled..and have to rely on more expensive convenience foods or have specific gastro problems and drinking ginger ale or cola helps...or maybe they are just one time buying something special for themselves..or dying spouse, maybe that steak is going to be a last meal at home before going into hospice...

I am one of those people you are slamming for buying convenience foods and junk soda...but these are real issues I have...I only get about $100/month mysteryshopping..and yes I report it all to SNAP..as well as letting them figure out how they are going to count reimbursements. I try to be honest when I get a fast food meal that costs me $10 reimbursed and assign a value of $2.50 to it as that is how much it would cost be to heat up similar food at home.

I can barely function. I can only heat up on aluminum foil of disposable microwave plates, I can't manage the dishes. I am supposed to have in home help, but the best help I got was someone who didn't show up half the time, fell asleep when he did, and then whined when I bribed him with candy to stay awake that he didn't know how to follow the care plan he and his supervisor approved.

There have been times my health was so bad, I would go 3-5 days without bathing or changing clothes. At times I couldn't get up to use the bathroom and would have to nap 1st.

as it is, I typically have maybe 4 productive hours per day..and that is mostly light activity like using the computer for easy things for short periods at a time.

and btw, yes I take low paying shops...because those are the only jobs I can manage..I can't manage things that take a lot of work or require an appointment.

oh, and when you see me buying 4 boxes of soda..that is not because that is all I drink all day long...to get the sale price, you have to buy 3 or 4 at a time....if you buy 1,it is twice the price....

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2016 06:23PM by jmitw.
There are 3 different shops that say the use of the SNAP/EBT will get your shop disqualified.
I do the Snap store reviews and occasionally they have me do a pizza place or sandwich shop so I do think it is possible they are starting to allow some ready made food choices.
Are you saying there is not considerable abuse of the program? The USDA disagrees. While there is less than there was in the past, trafficking (exchanging for cash), fraud, and "mistakes" are not miniscule problems. The investigative branch busts well over a thousand retailers every year (and far more abusers), and those are just the ones who get caught.

So, as I said before, if you need a helping hand, take it. It's not about deserving or qualifying for it (most people I know would meet the qualification if they wanted to.) It is about simple economics -- distribution of a scarce resource. The funding is not unlimited. It ought to be distributed in the way that it can most help people who actually need it.

What can you buy? Depends on your state: [www.ebtcardbalance.com]

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
@N-TownShopper wrote:

I don't see being poor as a reason to not be able to eat what you'd like to eat.

Try being thankful you're not in their position instead of worrying about someone else getting something you don't think they deserve.
I'd like to eat chateaubriand and truffles, but I'm really too poor to afford them often. I certainly wouldn't expect someone else to be compelled to pay for me to do so. Yes, our economic positions should and do dictate what we eat, and that often means forgoing what we would LIKE to eat.

Again, it is not about "deserving." It's about basic economics.

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
A small store operator got 3 million from the program. Scanned the card and give the recipient half the cash back.
How much of that cash was spent on drugs do you think? This is just one small store in Milwaukee. The abuse is rampant. This money could have helped so many actually hungry people.

[www.jsonline.com]
In limited areas, homeless folks with no, or limited, access to cooking facilities, are authorized to use their benefits to purchase prepared foods. This is considered an emergency situation and is an authorized use.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Wow, talk about throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water.

So let me sarcastically rephrase a few things: People on food assistance should not be allowed to buy healthy food, but they should not buy unhealthy food either. Politicians should limit them to whatever the government defines as healthy. Oh wait, the program already has restrictions in place, based on government standards.

And of course if someone is illegally getting cash back somehow, it must be for buying drugs of course. Nothing said about the asshat shop owner though that took advantage of the needy. Hmmmmmm

Guess anyone on assistance should also be provided with minimal medical access; seeing after only eating beans, rice, peanut butter, and flour rich goodies they will die quickly and no longer be a scourge on society.

Maybe tattoo a number on them and make them wear arm bands, put them all in a ghetto to keep them in their place, away from good people.

How about instead show compassion, maybe the way you would want to be treated.

Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com] - Shopmetrics; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/19/2016 10:26PM by isaiah58.
@PasswordNotFound wrote:

Are you saying there is not considerable abuse of the program? The USDA disagrees. While there is less than there was in the past, trafficking (exchanging for cash), fraud, and "mistakes" are not miniscule problems. The investigative branch busts well over a thousand retailers every year (and far more abusers), and those are just the ones who get caught.

So, as I said before, if you need a helping hand, take it. It's not about deserving or qualifying for it (most people I know would meet the qualification if they wanted to.) It is about simple economics -- distribution of a scarce resource. The funding is not unlimited. It ought to be distributed in the way that it can most help people who actually need it.

What can you buy? Depends on your state: [www.ebtcardbalance.com]

I'm not saying there's no abuse. I'm saying the abuse is the exception, not the rule. I doubt any place selling truffles takes EBT but even if they did, seriously. Get real. Someone else being on EBT shouldnt mean strangers get to tell them what kind of food is not acceptable to use them for. That is not your call, whether you like it or not. You're in a position where you CAN work to make the money to afford "fancy" food, if you wanted to. Many of these individuals can't. Scroll up and read what @jmitw wrote. You think he can just go grab more mystery shops like that to buy his soda? One of my friends has two children. He can't work AND take care of them simultaneously. There's a limit to what he can make in a day when being a single dad is a job in and of itself.
My point is don't judge an entire group of people based on the few (few in comparison to all those enrolled in this program) who abuse it.
And If you want to call out a system for bad economics, try the military, prisons, and the "war against drugs" program instead. Those have a lot more uneccesary spending than public assistance ever will.
@isaiah58 wrote:

Wow, talk about throwing out the baby with the dirty bath water.

So let me sarcastically rephrase a few things: People on food assistance should not be allowed to buy healthy food, but they should not buy unhealthy food either. Politicians should limit them to whatever the government defines as healthy. Oh wait, the program already has restrictions in place, based on government standards.

And of course if someone is illegally getting cash back somehow, it must be for buying drugs of course. Nothing said about the asshat shop owner though that took advantage of the needy. Hmmmmmm

Guess anyone on assistance should also be provided with minimal medical access; seeing after only eating beans, rice, peanut butter, and flour rich goodies they will die quickly and no longer be a scourge on society.

Maybe tattoo a number on them and make them wear arm bands, put them all in a ghetto to keep them in their place, away from good people.

How about instead show compassion, maybe the way you would want to be treated.

What's sad is so much of this is already happening, and it'll probably get worse. Guess people have to earn basic human decency now, they can't just receive it because they're, well, human.
The country, as a whole, would be better off not consuming a lot of what passes for food, not just those dependent on public aid, inc. food stamps. Lots of moms and dads are feeding their kids McD's etc. for dinner, contributing to obesity and health related issues, and make no mistake about it, those costs are absorbed by taxpayers, too. Why single out those who use food stamps for lessons in healthy eating ?
@Cindy55: if you are aware of fraud in the food stamp program, you may report this anonymously via a toll-free #. IMO it's cruel and irresponsible to suggest food stamp recipients are trading benefits for drugs. If you are looking for big time crooks and rampant drug abuse, look to wall street, which received nearly 25 trillion in taxpayer bailouts and "assistance" to the tune of nearly 2X the US Treasury. Their parties on the taxpayers dime were legion.
There is definitely a lot of fraud in the food stamp program, unfortunately, and some of it is massive. It goes beyond the use of food stamps by individual food stamp recipients for items many of us may think should be ineligible.

Here's an interesting article about Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader. There are allegations that he participated in a huge conspiracy to swap food stamps for money, among other illegal actions.

[fox13now.com]

Lyle Jeffs, a FLSD Bishop, allegedly used food stamp proceeds for a luxury vehicle and spending cash.

[fox13now.com]
Just my 2 cents: The food stamps should be programed more like WIC - which gives a substantial grocery list for each participant and they must shop off the list. I have had a foster daughter with WIC and she ate well... They cover the bases. If you want the freedom to buy whatever you want, there are opportunities to earn money to do so.

At the same time, I felt very judged using the WIC card or even her emergency money card as I carried an iPhone with my Coach purse (which was a gift when my step-mom passed away)... However, I am taking care of someone else's child WITHOUT taking foster care payments (she is a relative)... Now that I have twins who were premature, we have WIC for them... Their formula costs over $600/month... I work a full time job and shop for extra cash to pay the bills...

Yes, there are people who take advantage of the system... but not everyone you see that LOOKS like they are taking advantage actually are. I might LOOK like I am, but I am not. While using the benefits, I am working my butt off and paying for taxes at the same time...

And here in Michigan, you can use your EBT at KFC... and that rocks me to the core with anger...
@isaiah58 wrote:

seeing after only eating beans, rice, peanut butter, and flour rich goodies they will die quickly and no longer be a scourge on society.

How about instead show compassion, maybe the way you would want to be treated.
As someone who grew up with a steady diet of rice, beans, and flour tortillas, the combination is a complete protein and very good for you. Add a little homemade salsa from the garden and you have a complete meal. That's rather a judgmental statement.

I would love to be treated the way I treat others, with compassion and respect. It's not respectful or compassionate to build a societal underclass that takes advantage of others and is, in turn, taken advantage of The store owner who traded the EBT cards for 70 cents on the dollar was wrong -- so was the person who took that 70 cents. Both are abusing the system, and both should be punished.

Again, since it appears that some would prefer to paint a different picture in order to make their point, here's what I wrote: "Not slamming on people who *need* EBT. If you truly need it, that's why it's there; a helping hand. However, there is rampant abuse which means less available for those who use it properly."

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
@PasswordNotFound thank you for clarifying what your intent was with your posting.
Allow me to clarify my responses to your statements. I found your comments about abusing the system to be lumping people who use EBT for items you don't find appropriate in with real, rampant abuse.
The store owner and the EBT user did indeed commit fraud and I agree both should be punished. Putting them in the same class as people who buy soda or organic produce is what got under my skin. As iasiah58 pointed out, the government has put regulations on EBT use in place already.

Speaking of class, perhaps you could also clarify how the statement "It's not respectful or compassionate to build a societal underclass that takes advantage of others and is, in turn, taken advantage of" isn't another affront on all people who use EBT? How exactly does accepting public assistance automatically make you a member of an underclass that thrives off of taking advantage of others?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/20/2016 11:02PM by N-TownShopper.
If you're genuinely interested and simply not trying to argue, N-town, it's easily found by looking through a search engine, using that phrase.

I find it encouraging that farmers' markets are now able to accept EBT. And, yes, that includes organic produce (wondering why you threw that in when I had previously not mentioned it at all.)

Now scheduling travel shops for the day after Christmas through mid-January.
If it's fraud, waste and abuse you seek to address, one need look no further than the taxpayer subsidies fast food monoliths receive, in various forms. Or the bloated military budget. Or taxpayer dollars given to agriculture not to grow certain food crops. Or milk and cheese being thrown out in order to artificially inflate prices, but it's easier to pick the low-hanging fruit as a deflection to the real waste and fraud. Too bad there's no toll free hotline to report these crimes, but beating up poor and hungry Americans is easier.
Confining EBT purchases to staples would be a hardship on the many elderly and disabled people I know who supplement their food budget with EBT. One is disabled and normally prefers to cook, but recently broke her femur and is required to rest a lot and put no weight at all on the leg. She bought frozen dinner this month because she cannot stand at the stove, nor stand and chop and prepare things.

Other people in my church have such low incomes they live in rooms with only a small fridge and microwave, which limits food storage and food prep. Microwave dinners are their best bet for a balanced meal. These are disabled people, not healthy youngsters who can adapt and get by on Ramen.

What is a homeless person going to do with a bag of rice and dried beans. There's no way to cook, and no way to store leftovers.

Should my elderly friends never ever have a decent piece of meat? Just that cheap roll of hamburger with hard things in it.

If there were no EBT program and you had a relative you had to buy food for, would they get only poor quality meats and cheap starches?
@PasswordNotFound wrote:

I'd like to eat chateaubriand and truffles, but I'm really too poor to afford them often. I certainly wouldn't expect someone else to be compelled to pay for me to do so. Yes, our economic positions should and do dictate what we eat, and that often means forgoing what we would LIKE to eat.

Again, it is not about "deserving." It's about basic economics.

Really, the people who buy more expensive things are only hurting themselves, not the taxpayer. People seem to think that the mere possession of an EBT card means unlimited food, so the cost of that food purchased is the taxpayers' business.

But in reality, people who are on SNAP are given a certain amount of credit on that EBT card, based on their income and family size. For families that aren't lying about their income or adding imaginary people to their household, if they decide to buy lobster all week at the beginning of the month and run out of funds on their card before it's reloaded, they're the ones who have to suffer the consequences.

Most families who receive SNAP benefits still have to supplement their food budget with cash anyway, but smart families will get meat that's been discounted and freeze it, buy in bulk when something is on sale, etc. As long as all the children are well-nourished (and if they aren't, that's a matter for CPS to investigate), getting a family-sized lasagna or a package of steak once or twice a month on SNAP isn't for me to judge.

So yes, you might see a person with a cart full of meat and soda at Kroger paying with EBT when they're running a 5/10 sale on their cases of generic soda (which are really good FYI, I don't get stamps but you'll see me doing the same thing when they're running that sale) and have some good deals in the "manager's special" section of the meat department. The smartest people will also be clipping coupons, using printable coupons, etc.

What I would be more curious about is if it's legal for a person to use an EBT to make the minimum purchase amount for reimbursement during grocery store mystery shops. I guess if they reported that income it would potentially be legal, but at the same time it's a way to convert stamps to cash. I personally wouldn't risk it, if I was unfortunate enough to need SNAP, because it could be seen as converting stamps to cash.
I wonder if the people who are so judgmental would mind if I took a look at their lifestyle choices. People on assistance get the same amount whether they spend it on a bag of chips or a bunch of carrots. If they make poor choices- --by someone else's standards--just offer up some gratitude that you don't have someone inspecting your cart and method of payment. Judge not.....
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