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Rice and beans

Published October 9, 2012 1:01 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In 1962, I was injured in an accident and spent three months in a body cast. Although employed, I had no sick leave benefits, which meant no income. We applied for welfare aid and received staples such as milk, bread, butter, cheese, meat, etc. — sufficient for a family of four.

Fast forward to 2012, where we now have the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly known as the food stamp program). Recipients now receive an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card that allows them to transfer their government benefits to a retailer to pay for products; EBT cards act like a credit card.

I work part time in a convenience store where I process the daily SNAP receipts. It is not uncommon to see a SNAP receipt where $35-$45 has been spent for Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, soft drinks and a multitude of other junk foods. Supplemental nutrition assistance? Come on!

I don't begrudge anyone on welfare buying ice cream or a candy bar for a treat, but spending $45 of my tax dollars for junk food that is considered supplemental nutrition assistance is wrong. How about bags of rice and beans instead?

Gary K. Massey

West Valley City




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