Food-Stamp Recipients Can Now Order From Amazon, Other Online Retailers

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Judicial Watch,

Food-stamp recipients can use their taxpayer-funded benefit to order online from retailers like Amazon under a new Obama administration initiative that aims to facilitate the shopping experience for rural and urban residents. It marks the latest of many costly experiments by the administration to expand the fraud-infested program, which has seen a record-high number of beneficiaries under President Obama. To eliminate the welfare stigma, the administration renamed food stamps Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the rolls swelled to an astounding 46.5 million in 2016. This cost American taxpayers and eye-popping $70 billion, according to government figures.

It’s all part of the president’s longtime goal to eradicate what he and the First Lady call an epidemic of “food insecurity” among the nation’s low-income residents. Part of the problem is that this demographic has limited access to healthy food choices, the administration says, and the government must provide them with nutritional options. This is why taxpayers have been forced to dole out tens of millions of dollars to bring fruits and vegetables to the nation’s inner cities, coined “food deserts” by the administration because they lack healthy fare. The new online ordering program will help address this, according to the federal agency that runs the bloated food-stamp program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (USDA).

“Online purchasing is a potential lifeline for SNAP participants living in urban neighborhoods and rural communities where access to healthy food choices can be limited,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement announcing the new program this week.


“We’re looking forward to being able to bring the benefits of the online market to low-income Americans participating in SNAP.” Besides Amazon, a few other online businesses have been approved by the feds to accept food stamps online, including Hy-Vee, Hart’s Local Grocers, Safeway and ShopRite. The USDA acknowledges however, that “online payment presents technical and security challenges that will need to be examined and fully addressed…”

It’s the last thing that an out-of-control government program, long plagued with fraud corruption, needs. Under the Obama expansion SNAP has suffered a multitude of serious problems. Back in 2012 a federal investigation uncovered evidence that food-stamp recipients were using the benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors. A year later Judicial Watch broke a story, based on testimony and other evidence provided by a whistleblower, about the U.S. government knowingly giving illegal immigrants food stamps for decades. That was followed by another disturbing scheme in which SNAP benefits were being sold online using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and ecommerce websites like Craigslist and eBay.

Earlier this year federal authorities in south Florida busted the largest food-stamp fraud operation in U.S. history. Twenty-two defendants in the largely black and Hispanic areas of Miami-Dade County known as Opa-Locka and Hialeah swindled the government out of $13 million by fraudulently trading food stamps for cash. The crooked vendors operated food and produce stands at a local flea market as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to eradicate “food deserts,” common in poor, minority communities where fresh, healthy food is tough to find or often unavailable. The feds say the business owners and their employees let food-stamp recipients use their welfare benefit to get cash in exchange for a cut of the money. They swiped the recipient’s SNAP card for an inflated amount, doled out cash and kept a percentage. In most instances the recipient didn’t actually get food, according to federal authorities.


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Rich Stoehner's picture

Not working seems better than working these days

Budnacho's picture

It's nice to know my tax-dollars go to Amazon....

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Here comes the universal free income under the form of food stamps exactly like in the Soviet era.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Obama paying back Bezos for all the fake news help of his WaahPoo blog.

CheapBastard's picture

"How many SNAP credits do I need for dat purple Escalade on Amazon?"

RAT005's picture

My business has an online sales presence.  Maybe this will be the breakthrough we've been waiting for :-(

TeamDepends's picture

This message approved by the editors of WaPo.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) TeamDepends Jan 16, 2017 11:40 AM

I used to shop Amazon but now I won't buy anything from that creepy Bezos site.


two hoots's picture

First an epidemic of food security, next will be an XYZ card for free rent, then free auto/trans, then vacations/travel, free .   Leave these redistribution asshats in power long enough and .......

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) two hoots Jan 16, 2017 12:17 PM

I still have a little Amazon affiliate website.  I guess I should put a big sign on the front page saying, "FOOD STAMPS ACCEPTED HERE."


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

It sounds like you are describing basic income benefits.

robertsgt40's picture

"First lady"?  Didn't you mean 2nd dick?

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) two hoots Jan 16, 2017 6:56 PM

"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

GGuy's picture

The Juice need a bigger cut!


Jewff bezos is doing backflips

crazzziecanuck's picture

Yeah, but you do realize that these kinds of programs are ultimately corporate welfare, right? Think about this latest change.  Who is the one benefitting here?  It's Amazon and those corporate entities that feed it products to sell.

Our economic system is designed to suck wealth upwards.  Governments institute these programs so that people don't starve and revolt.  That's basically what SNAP is.  There is a saying that any civilization is just six meals from revolution.  Those at the top know this.  They feed off the system.  We work so they don't have to.  And so they need to keep the simmering pot from boiling over.  

SNAP is just another corporate welfare from top to bottom but there are vested interests working very, very hard for people not to see it for what it truly is.  

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Of course, but do you realize that there is no difference between your 1% neo-aristocrat lords and the former Soviet neo-aristocrat lords?! Both function on the same principle - an oligarchy using an extreme form of either right or left ideology so a fascist governing system. Same old story, nothing new, now it just came the time for muricans to experiment it on their o2n skin after living la vida loca for generations. Reality is a bitch and sooner or later catches up with one and the awakening is not pleasant at all that's why the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance is so rabid in the libtard sheeple who had to awake with a slap.

gatorengineer's picture

I think we are past the point of corporate welfare, its just a cash transfer to the Oligarchs.

Bezos, Buffet, Brin, Cook, the Walmart clan, and Musk, each get billions from the Giverment bucket 

Kidbuck's picture

How can Amazon know to whom or where to deliver this stuff? The dems told us all their voters were too stupid to have id cards or addresses.

Paul Kersey's picture

There's big money in poverty if you are a TBTF bankster:

"J.P. Morgan makes billions in profits from food stamps every year"

cowdiddly's picture

Ill take the Cattlemen's cut 3 pound crown rib roast with horseradish sauce and the sauteed brussel sprouts with garlic and herbs please. ANd tell the deliverly driver to carry a gun to guard it. Thanks.

Oh shit... its cut off. Ill have the Frankfurter Fiesta Sampler pack with red beans, rice and cabbage.

jmack's picture

do they deliver pizza and hotdogs, with extra cheese?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Serious question. Is SNAP accepted at fast food places like McDonalds?

cowdiddly's picture

I have no idea. Never had one. Im white. Plus, I raise my own food, Just don't trust most of the stuff unless my own hands do it for going into the "Temple" and have not ate at McDonalds in maybe 5 years.

Consuelo's picture



After all these years, and all the newfangled burger upstarts, those MacDonald's fries are still the best.    They have the right oil and cook time down.   And lots of salt, of course...

cowdiddly's picture

The reason I said I'm white, back in the late 70s I  was trying to work my way through college. Just about staving to death back then living on whatever was cheap and in season.

I went and applied for some emercency food stamps for maybe a few weeks. They handed me a clipboard with a form to fill out. I took it back to the lady and she went over the info in her fucking cat eyed glasses and proclaimed I did not qualify because my truck was to new.

I said "Lady, I can't eat my truck", to which see replied that I could sell it and buy something to eat. I laughed and told her that "I bet I could get some if I was black".

She told me that I could not talk like that here. So I asked her "Whats the matter you married to one or something"?

She got mad and called security, had me thrown against the wall and searched with a metal detector. I said Damn Lady, "I did'nt come here to steal anything, I was just trying to get some help for free" as they escorted me out of their building.

True story. I never asked the govt to give me a fucking damn thing since. I realized its Its not for guys like me or my tribe.

TeamDepends's picture

Oh yeah? Watch this and get back to us. A local restaurant whose owners are militant about food safety and quality is always your best bet.

zippedydoodah's picture

Your diet must be appalling if you think that shit is good.

nmewn's picture

Not sure at MickeyD's but here in town they have a fried chicken/pizza kinda thing attached to a convenience store that accepts it, they even have a sign stuck in the ground by the highway to let people know.

No fruit. No vegetables. No grains. Just pizza and fried food. 

Its fucking ridiculous. 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

We live in the poorest area of southwestern Virginia and it is not uncommon at all for local stores to have signs declaring they accept EBT. Even the convenience store/gas station has a notice on their sign next to the road.

What exactly are you going to buy in a major oil company tiny gas station convenience store that would be considered EBT eligible.

Clearly I have been asleep at the wheel for a while.

sharonsj's picture

The answer to your question, "What exactly are you going to buy...?" is FOOD.  All gas station convenience stores sell food.  Mine does.  And if you really live in the poorest area of southwestern VA you'd know that.  So you're still asleep at the wheel.

LyLo's picture

Dude, fuck off.  Those same "convenience stores" used to carry actual convenience products; now they're just shopping stores for the poor to make up for their being further distanced from society at large.  They're so poor they can't even drive to Walmart anymore, but at least they stop bitching about 'food deserts,' added to the double-plus-good of subsidizing the (let's be honest) immigrant businesses.

To answer the question above, that you fucking failed to answer because you don't know the answer, is (in my state, and a few others I looked in to at various points) at least one fresh product from at least 3 of the following groups: dairy and eggs, meat, veg and fruit, and bread products.  So now, instead of all those convenience stores carrying milk, cream, eggs, etc. plus candy and chips, that people actually run out of and need, they now carry a weird assortment of items.  Milk exclusively, 4 sad packages of ham shoved underneath everything else, a few stale loaves of bread or maybe two bananas (ever wondered about the two banana thing?  yep, food stamps,) and aisles and aisles of pop and candy that is now EBT acceptable.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

Do you really want the recipients of these benefits eating well and living longer lives? Give 'I'm guns, drugs and bad food and get them in the ground ASAP.

crazzziecanuck's picture

If not, it will be soon given Obama's decision here.  Petulant and greedy corporate executives really dislike when the government plays favourites.

mofreedom's picture

Not at places that cook the food. Takes and bake pizza places yes. I will never shop there.

Cash Is King's picture

Cog, not sure about Mickey D's but I've seen the sign at the drive thru at Jack in the Box & Pappa Murpheys. Needless to say but I've stopped eating at these establishments.

slyhill's picture

I thinks it's supposed to be used for "uncooked" food as a way to prevent some of the fraud. But as a way around that some entrepreneurs will sell you the raw food and then cook it for free. ala deep fried garbage joints and even some nationally known pizza dumps.

seek's picture

Yes they are. It's a state level decision.

Per google: The states of Florida, California, Arizona and Michigan already allow select restaurants like Golden Corral, McDonald's, Subway, some Yum! properties and others to accept food stamps.

I've seen a SNAP card used at McD's in AZ personally. They also are used in convenience stores, I've gotten stuck behind people playing SNAP bingo (which items will scan v. not) many times. Usually after the SNAP transaction they buy liquor/cigs with cash.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I had no idea it was a state level decision. I suspect that decision also entails sharing a larger portion of the EBT tab since it is a 'cost' sharing relationship with the Feds.

itstippy's picture

As I understand it, in Wisconsin the answer is "no".  SNAP dollars have to be spent on approved food items.  They can't be prepared ("hot") meals.

However, there's another kind of EBT dollars that are 100% fungible with real dollars and can be spent on anything including McFood.  One can even use an ATM at a jiggle show to get cash from the EBT card to stuff the dancers' g-strings with.  Those EBT dollars are primarily given to single Heads Of Households with minor children.  I believe both types of "dollars" are loaded onto the same EBT card or account.

itstippy's picture

I'm old and from rural Wisconsin.  In our vernacular a bar with topless waitresses is a "Tittie Bar" and a place with topless dancers on stage is a "Jiggle Show".  

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Clearly I need to visit Wisconsin.

For the vernacular, of course.  :-)

<Clearly Mrs. Cog would not appreciate the vernacular. >

Buck Johnson's picture

You know damn well this is going to make it even easier to be corrupt.  I see so many angles that it's not even funny.


yogibear's picture

Commander and chief of EBT/welfare will be leaving soon.

BossHog1776's picture

Nothing suprises me these days..