I was excited at the thought of sitting out on our patio and eating. I went to a local seafood eat-in and take-out place to get one dozen crabs. During the 10 minutes I was there, three people came in and purchased crabs. One lady bought a bushel for $175, two others got half bushels for $90. All three of these people "paid" for their purchases with their Independence Cards. I was appalled. My first thought was, "Wow, how badly do they need this assistance when they are spending more than my entire budget for a week's worth of food on an indulgence?
Then I began to think about how many children would sacrifice and go hungry because their mothers misspent their food allowance. I asked the cashier about this as it was obvious that I was upset. She said there is nothing she can do. According to her, it had been happening all day long. She said people can purchase all the crabs they want as long as they are not steamed. One lady even paid the difference to have hers cooked with her own money.
I believe that assistance is a good thing and I am sure for every person who abuses the system, there are dozens who do not. I find it absolutely appalling that this type of thing happens. Why should I, a single mom who sometimes works two jobs to provide for my children, pay for someone else to indulge? I think our government needs to re-evaluate the entire welfare system. Perhaps put guidelines in place similar to WIC (Women, Infants, and Children).
WIC provides assistance to women who are pregnant or nursing or have young children to feed. The beauty of this assistance, however, is it only allows for the purchase of certain, nutritionally valuable foods (i.e. milk, cheese, eggs, etc.). As a matter of fact, I know about WIC first hand as I was a recipient nearly 20 years ago when my oldest was an infant.
It's time for our leaders to analyze a system that is outdated, unfair and abused. I will be contacting my local representatives and our governor with a copy of this letter. And, if anyone cares to explain what seems to be a blatant misuse of "benefits" to me, I welcome your comments.