Every day in the United States people all around the country receives SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). It can also be called EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) and food stamps, they are the same item. A SNAP recipient receives an EBT card to use at grocery stores and some gas stations to buy food for their household, the amount received is based on the income of the recipient. The sad concept is these benefits are being abused in the world and there are not many regulations. To promote health snap recipients should participate in mandatory substance abuse testing, be required to work, and should have a restriction on healthier food items.
Addiction to drugs is a major issue with the SNAP recipients in the United States. When a survey was taken eighty-five percent of welfare offices claimed drug or alcohol use and poverty were the top two problems (Economic Status and Abuse). It is an issue that should be regulated in the United States and more awareness should be projected towards it. Lower-income families are more likely to abuse substances in the world right now and have been for a while. In the homeless population, thirty-eight percent are alcoholics and twenty-six percent are drug users (Economic Status and Abuse), this is more than fifty percent of the homeless population with an addiction. Substance abuse is more common around families with low income or in poverty.
An addict would be spending the money that is earned of drugs or alcohol instead of their necessities, such as food and the items they need to survive. Numerous recipients would argue that it is an invasion of privacy to be drug tested or that it should not matter if there is an addiction problem because that would be judging. It is an invasion of privacy but one that doctors, truck drivers, and many other occupations do not have a problem with. The occupation with employees that are being drug tested work for the money earned on the job and a good amount of them went to school. A SNAP recipient that is wasting the money, they do earn, on drugs and receiving SNAP is relying on the government to feed them. If a recipient test positive for substances the benefits should be stripped away from them and handed to a citizen who is actually in need.
Another issue with recipients of SNAP is work requirements. Most citizens who receive SNAP do not work or have a low paying job. Many recipients will not try to work and rely on the government to pay for their food and housing. The government is letting these kinds of people live off the money of the citizens that work hard for their paycheck. The only issues that should be excused are if a citizen is disabled and physically cannot work. A lot of people will claim they do not have time to work or cannot find a job, which is sometimes acceptable. If one of the recipients have kids, the children have other needs that need to be met. Even if a recipient says they do not have time to focus on a job because they have children they still need to be a parent and meet the child’s other needs. A disabled person and a mom on maternity leave would be the only reason a person of SNAP would not be able to find a job or work. There are places and programs available such as the unemployment office to help citizens find jobs when they are struggling to find positions available.
The biggest issue with SNAP is there are no restrictions on what is bought. A citizen with an EBT card can go to a store and by nothing but unhealthy food. In an article from Investor’s Business Daily the writer John Merline talks about the rates of obesity for citizens of SNAP the rate if forty percent, while only thirty percent for the citizens who do not have benefits from SNAP. The government should limit the number of unhealthy foods bought with the EBT card. No more than half the groceries bought with the card should be unhealthy, people need nutrients and junk food is not going to give it to them. Citizens would argue that the unhealthier foods cost less, which it does in the United States. Buying bulk items are easier for people and junk food comes in bulk more often. Actually buying food and cooking it would cost less than all the bulk items bought of junk food that gets ate faster. The government would also argue that it would be more expensive to put limitations and observe the recipients. Losing money on unhealthy food and the taxpayers still paying for the poor’s medicine when they develop a heart disease or diabetes from being obese would be around the same amount. There is no win for everyone in that situation, but the world can become healthier. Unhealthy food is not needed in a household, yes it tastes great but does not help health.
SNAP needs more restrictions to focus on health, working to be independent and drug testing should be required. Citizens on any type of welfare become very dependent on everyone else to pay for their items and necessities. Many people could do so much more for themselves but do not know how to because the way they were taught is someone else can take care of them. The world needs a change and people need to try to work for themselves, the government is creating an extremely weak society.
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