Report: NY Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Taxpayer-Funded Groceries to Relatives Overseas

Leah Barkoukis

7/21/2013 8:00:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

Food aid is meant to help the poorest among us who do not have enough to eat. But a report by the New York Post finds that food stamps aren’t just helping Americans. It turns out recipients of taxpayer-funded benefits are shipping food to relatives overseas.

Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

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 feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans. […]

“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.”

With U.S. taxpayers spending a record $80.4 billion on food stamps in fiscal year 2012, this serves as yet another reminder that the SNAP program is in desperate need of reform. Either these folks don't truly need to be on the rolls, or eligibility for food aid programs must be reduced so taxpayers are only paying for what Americans need.