- Politics and Social Issues
How to Make People Hate You When You Use Food Stamps (EBT Card)
There's Nothing Wrong With Receiving Public Assistance
Are you embarrassed about having an EBT card in your wallet? You shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, even in this rough economy, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to receiving food stamps. How do I know this? I spent 2 years as a cashier at a local supermarket, and I have been (gasp!) a food stamp recipient myself. I’m notorious for being passive-aggressive, so I’m going to help you score a few extra dirty looks the next time you’re grocery shopping with your EBT card.
- Dress for the occasion. Who says you have to look like a bum just because you’re receiving government assistance? Dress classy, dress trashy…dress however you want, as long as it looks like it didn’t come from Goodwill. Don’t forget to accessorize, preferably with some REAL bling-gold, silver (or better yet, platinum), and diamonds are where it's at, baby!
- It’s a common stereotype that people have a bunch of babies for the sole purpose of continuing to receive benefits. Don’t let the judgmental folks down - bring as many kids as you can with you. If you don’t have children, borrow some. Feel free to bribe them - candy bars are EBT-approved!
- Ramen Noodles are for poor people, so don’t even think about putting that crap in your cart! Load up on shrimp, lobster, steak, fancy-looking birthday cakes, and organic items. Also, it’s okay to purchase large amounts of junk food; the cashiers (and the nosy customers in line behind you) want to know that their tax dollars are being well spent. Grab a few bags of Spicy Hot Cheetos and a case or two of Pepsi. Don’t forget the Oreos!
- After you’ve selected everything that you want/need, it’s time to have a little fun. Start selecting items that are not eligible to be purchased with food stamps; “hot” foods such as the roasted chicken from the deli or a cup of cappuccino (which you should be drinking when you reach the register to pay) from the coffee bar. Make your way towards the household items, and load up on paper towels, toilet paper, and feminine products. Bonus points for selecting your favorite wine and a pack of cigarettes!
- Walk slowly towards the checkout; you don’t want to overexert yourself by pushing such a heavy cart! Set a few items on the conveyor belt, and then stop to answer your cell phone (it better be a Blackberry, iPhone, or Sidekick). Ignore the dirty looks from the cashier and other customers. Who do they think they are, the Line Police? They can wait.
- Ask the cashier what they are doing this weekend. If they say they will be working (and 99% of the time, that’s the response you will get; cashiers are rarely lucky enough to score a Monday through Friday, 8a.m.-5p.m. schedule), act horrified. Announce that you are having THE party of the year, and were hoping they could make it. Sigh loudly and exclaim that you are soooooo happy that you don’t have a job.
- Act completely shocked when the cashier informs you that toilet paper and alcohol are not eligible for food stamp purchases. Stomp your feet, throw a hissy fit, and scream that you’re sick of people disrespecting you just because you’re on EBT. Insist that the LAST time you went grocery shopping, your items were all approved. Demand to see a manager. When the manager arrives, ignore him while you answer your phone again.
- When the cashier asks if you have any coupons, laugh loudly and say, “Girl, please! I’m on EBT…everything in my basket is already free!”. Make sure she notices your Coach bag.
- Encourage the cashier to hurry up and finish your transaction. Inform her that you are getting your hair and nails done, and CANNOT be late. Moan that your French tips are looking all raggedy, even though you just got them done last week.
- Ask if a bagger can help you carry your groceries to the car. Explain that you’ve had a busy day of lounging by the pool and watching Maury. Be sure to whine that your new Jimmy Choos are KILLING your feet.
- When the cashier attempts to hand you your
receipt and thank you for your purchase, make sure you’re too busy yapping on
your phone to notice. Loudly scream to
all of the children you brought that it’s time to go. Breathe a sigh of relief when you remember
that you bought plenty of frozen dinners; the grocery store wears you out. You are WAY too tired to cook tonight.