EBT Cards – Who Knew?

Color me curious.  How many places and what products can you use Food Stamp EBT cards for?  Seriously, honest question.   I had no idea that you could purchase jewelry, tattoos, buy gas, get nails manicured and hair done etc.

I thought the Food Stamp program was to give poor people  food.   Stupid me.

Daily Caller – Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick has vetoed the state legislature’s attempt to ban the use of EBT cards — or food stamps — to purchase items such as tattoos, porn and jewelry.

Patrick vetoed the reforms Sunday while signing the state’s $32.5 billion budget.

According to the Boston Herald, which first reported the veto, the governor berated the legislature’s stab at banning the purchase of specific items like manicures, tattoos, guns, porn, body piercings, jewelry, and bail by saying the move was “political grandstanding” at a time when such reforms are already on track elsewhere.

“I’m not going to do anything that makes vulnerable people beg for their benefits. This notion of humiliating poor people has got to be separated from how we make a program, and frankly separated and disposed of, from how we make a program work and work well,” Patrick said, according to Wicked Local Hanson.

Patrick allowed bans on the use of EBT cards in establishments known for the sale of seemingly controversial items — such as tattoo parlors, gun shops, casinos, cruise ships, and adult entertainment facilities —- to stand.

House Minority Leader Brad Jones pointed out, however, that the items slated to be banned — such as porn and guns — could still be purchased at other facilities.

The Massachusetts governor based his decision on the independent EBT Card Commission’s ruling that banning specific items was, among other reasons, difficult to enforce, according to The Herald. He did however, veto bans on the use of EBT in places like nail salons and jewelry stores.   (read more) 

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39 Responses to EBT Cards – Who Knew?

  1. Jay says:

    News to me I thought it was for food items only. I know years ago people would use it to buy cigg and beer and get change back.


    • boricuafudd says:

      It varies from state to state, some mix cash benefits, ie, welfare payments and food stamps in the same card. Sort having money in checking and saving and being able to draw from both. California is another state where you can use your EBT at fast food restaurants, liquor stores, etc. and that is with Food Stamps. What a great country we live in.


      • LawDog says:

        Didn’t I read not to long ago that EBT cards were being used at the Casinos in Cali? These people getting EBT cards are setting themselves up to depend on the government for EVERYTHING. You will become a slave. You will do what they tell you to, if not you will go hungry, or perhaps sober with horrible nicotine withdrawals.

        My great grandfather survived the great depression by selling fruit. He fed his family on his meager earnings, and every pigeon in downtown Chicago feared his sling shot. He would cut off his hand before taking charity. He took whatever work he could find. I remember my grandpa telling me “the only thing shameful about a job is not having one”.

        Sorry, just ranting. The lunacy of the left does that to a fella sometimes.


        • Casinos…. I can’t even buy a lottery ticket with my debit/credit card, using MY OWN MONEY, and yet these people can use TAX PAYER MONEY to buy all this GARBAGE that I can’t even afford to buy for myself! Damn liberals! Spending EVERYONE else’s money but their own!



  2. BigMamaTEA says:

    I think it is determined by each State. In Oklahoma, you can only buy mostly food products. However, people using the cards sure eat a lot better than MY family!


    • WeeWeed says:

      In Tejas, too, Mama.


    • Michell says:

      I’ve heard though there is a way around that even in Oklahoma. It takes the store to be an accomplice but it has to do with the credit card machines. Most stores around here are honest and won’t let them do it, but we all know there are stores who don’t care.

      Even the honest stores though by law have to allow them to buy sandwiches at convenience stores that accept the cards as long as they aren’t heated up, but then they buy them and heat them up in the store’s microwave.
      I get frustrated though when I’m behind them at the grocery store and they’re buying all pre-packaged, pre-cut veggies and fruit, frozen pizzas, frozen chicken breasts, hb patties, etc. I want to tell them have a little respect for my money and buy the less expensive veggies and fruit you cut up yourself. Buy the fresh meat which is cheaper than the frozen stuff. The pizza actually makes me the less frustrated especially when they’re buying Tony’s which is almost on sale for less than $3.

      Then what really ticks me off is when they’re standing outside a store trying to get someone to buy the use of their card.


  3. jordan2 says:

    I have never heard of this happening here in Florida. Here, EBT cards can only be used for food and that excludes hot prepared food.
    I am not saying that there is not fraud here but I have not seen it reported.


  4. ctdar says:

    I love how those that have the common sense to do the right thing;
    Spend within their means,
    Save for children’s education ( yet when you ask for help from the government for tuition loans you are denied),
    Save for retirement (but get taxed to heck on it)
    In order to do must cut coupons, limit/sacrifice vacations, dinners out, shopping sprees..etc in order to live on a budget is all just to pay for someone else’s alcohol, cigarettes, tattoos, piercings & manicures.


    • aliashubbatch says:

      Can we really refer to “Common Sense” as such? It seems like a rarity these days.
      Also, between this story and the one on Fast and Furious, I’m getting real annoyed about all this.


  5. Michell says:

    BTW that picture looks like Obama is wanting to give him a kiss.


  6. ED357 says:

    If your state has a deposit policy on plastic bottles and/or metal cans……..

    check out the local Walmart, Target, and/or Sam’s parking lots……

    I’ll bet that there’s a top layer of sticky syrupy ooze covering areas of the parking lots……

    caused by……




  7. sandy says:

    You didn’t know SD because it isn’t true. In Massachusetts, food stamps can only be used to buy non-taxable food items. You cannot even purchase prepared food in a grocery store with the card. The EBT card has two accounts – one for cash benefits and one for food stamps benefits. The Legislature is trying to limit where you can use the cash benefits. It is an exercise in futility. The EBT card is a debit card which can be used to access cash at any ATM. If the gun shop can’t take the card, just go to the nearest ATM and buy the gun with cash.
    While I certainly agree that there needs to be some way to monitor how the cash is spent, I don’t have any idea how it is possible to do so. There should also be a ban on what foods can be purchased. Lobster and crab meat are not staples and are definitely a misuse of funds.


    • If you cant do it, then why would Deval Patrick veto legislation thereby allowing people to continue to be able to do it.

      I’m confused. The report from Massachusetts says the Governor did not want to stop people from spending their money on such things as jewelry, porn shopping, etc. Yet you are saying they can’t do it. He’s saying they can, and he likes it that way.

      Huh? Help me understand.


      • sandy says:

        Welfare (cash) and food stamps are two distinctly different accounts but they are both accessed by the same EBT card. Patrick vetoed the portion that concerns the welfare money which would have stopped people from spending it on guns, porn or whatever. The bill sounds like a great plan but in reality there is no way to monitor how the cash portion is spent because the cash can be accessed at any ATM machine. How is limiting where the cash portion of the card can be used going to stop misuse of the funds? The food stamp portion of the card can only be used to purchase not taxable food items. Of course, the people who want to abuse the system have found ways around that too. They will go to the store with a friend and let them spend say $100 on food in exchange for $50 cash. Very sad because the cash and food stamps are suppose to benefit children,


          • sandy says:

            Probably not but why let a little thing like that stop you. Sad isn’t it. If they spent as much time at an honorable pursuit as they do on how to rip off the system they would probably be rich.


          • Michell says:

            No it’s not legal, however there is now way to enforce it. My opinion is there should be some sort of paper trail, like a receipt that must be signed by the user and the store manager and then that mailed into the state. It still wouldn’t stop 100% of the fraud, but it would make it harder to do. Of course the argument against that is it would take too much time and money.
            For the welfare end of it, I think they should be required every month to account for what they spent the money on. Once again by saving receipts and having to turn those in. Of course it wouldn’t stop all the fraud and they could just get people to give them receipts, but it would curb some of it.


            • minpin says:

              Isn’t it already too late once the welfare recipent has already done the deed? Yeah it may stop future bad purchases, but who is looking at it all. This is retributions on steriods, and it will never end until we get rid of the Bomba.

              Hey, what ever happened to the lady standing on line for Obama money. She said she was getting money from the Bomba’s stash. Was she invited to one of the weekly big bash WH parties.


    • kyoyen says:

      well actually lobster and crab meat is not always that expensive determining where you live. thou i have no idea if the state of Maine has EBT i can tell you that those products are alot less expensive then around here in Iowa and the like, and can be considered a staple food there.


      • ChuckBrons says:

        Yep In Mass and Maine, it’s kind of hard to charge a fortune for something they can almost walk into the surf and catch. AND… When you get a Lobster or Crab meat roll here, it’s actually lobster and crab in it.


  8. rocker124 says:

    I don’t know the exact quote, but Benjamin Franklin said (paraphrase), if you want a person to not accept being poor, make it uncomfortable to be poor. how far we have come. Those cards are just a legal way to buy votes.


  9. Sentenza says:

    In Washington, 20% of welfare people have taken money out at a casino. Kind of makes it hard for me to feel bad for people on welfare.


  10. gz4cmmdr says:

    I believe a single person is allowed about 200.00 a month on food, other folks actually get cash for family needs and that seems to be the issue?.


  11. minpin says:

    Tats is bad enough, but a heroin dealer in Mass, used his card to get bail money-


    You just can’t make this stuff up. Welfare payments to get outa jail, even when you’ve been arrested before.


  12. ytz4mee says:

    You can use your EBT card to gamble at Vegas.


  13. LawDog says:

    The entire concept of giving them a card that looks like a debit or credit card bothers me. You should have to have food stamps printed on big pieces of paper. There should be a welfare only section of the grocery store filled with generic labels. A big red light should start flashing when somebody on welfare is paying for their groceries. The scarlet letter for the lot of them. I’m so sick of seeing the stereotypical welfare queens carting a load of groceries to a car that they have no business owning.

    Sorry, ranting again.


    • ctdar says:

      Have it like a food bank set up by churches and shelters. Each recipient gets a “chit”/coupon book (follow similar makeup to us $ so no fakes out there. The person’s monthly welfare allotment has already been added to the big pot which is used to supply the necessary food staples, paper goods, etc.
      Make people WANT to get off welfare so they can use their extra $ to buy the fun stuff….as it is now what’s stopping them, they are no different than the hard working stiffs that stick to budgets but do it without aid. Oh wait there is the difference, they work.


  14. deadassassin says:

    in st louis I saw it personally in the ghetto, mostly at the corner stores ran by arabs.
    there was one on keokuk st that you could buy cigs, beer, blunt wraps, cell phone cards…..conversely go out to the white county, your lucky to find a place that even takes stamps.


  15. zauber says:

    Why this should be monitored by the dedicated and hard-working civil servants charged with guaranteeing the integrity of the program! Oh…yeah…never mind.


  16. Barack Obama Lies says:

    Wasn’t it Nancy Pelosi that said that every dollar put into a program like this generates two dollars in the economy?
    I mean she is potentially correct if you allow EBT cards to be used for gambling and the card user pulls every dollar available on their card and then gets lucky when they bet it all on black in Vegas, right?


  17. I love how those that have the common sense to do the right thing.I mean she is potentially correct if you allow EBT cards to be used for gambling and the card user pulls every dollar available on their card


  18. H. S. says:

    My husband and I have worked our share. We had to move due to loss of jobs in Ind, lost our house due to the Banks. My Husband Thank God has found a job. I cant find anything yet, it’s been a year in
    april. We had to get food stamps because food banks do what they can but for a family of 4 you dont get enough meals to last a month.

    I Just want all of you to know not every one who gets food stamps is a cheating, lying. drinking, smoking, no good fat lazy bad person. Some of us just need help to feed there children some decent un-out dated soured not molded picked food!

    So all you bad apples thank for ruining the barrel!!!!

    But I Thank God for the HELP at this time in our time of need!!!

    I approved your comment, but why are you commenting on a post written last July? Admin


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