In the contemporary American society, people have taken actions for the purpose of qualifying for food stamps or preventing a reduction of food stamps. Food stamp and SNAP is the largest and most comprehensive program in America. It was started as a creative way to overcome severe hunger that was caused by the Depression and as a way of supporting farmers. Food stamps are meant to purchase any food stuff sold in grocery stores and household articles, but people have misused that privilege by buying cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco and food eaten in stores. In the recent years, people have bought or sold their cards to receive these benefits. Others have lied about their status to receive the benefits in more than one parish. Food stamps fraud is in the limelight as people have taken advantage of this generous act and turned it into a business of fraud. Is it greed, immorality or it's being entrepreneurial? Someone make the world understand the concept underlying food stamp fraud and why there are so many cases in the social media of SNAP and fraud. The U.S government has put in place measures to curb fraud (The Food Stamp Program 25)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) about food stamp program is targeted towards those families who need it most. People are exchanging SNAP benefits for cash, others are lying on their applications to receive more benefits than they should get. Retailers are also participating in fraud by lying to get in the market again if they had previously been disqualified. Misuse of the program of fraud is against the law. People have used food benefits to purchase items that are not eligible. They have failed to report any changes in income, composition of household, or any other suitable factors that should be declared. Some are using improperly obtained food stamp benefits. What has become of us? Where are the moral values or is it moral decay of the whole community? There are people out who survive on this program but even those with no financial crisis want to take what do not belong to them. Taking care of our brothers and sisters who happen to be people in the society should be our core goals. There is no more love in the society. People want to have private lives without minding other people; this is selfishness.
Recently on the social media, a case of food stamp fraud is ongoing where the owner of Worcester convenience store will be ordered to repay $3.6 million to the federal government if she pleads guilty of stealing food stamps benefit cash. She was charged with conspiracy to commit SNAP benefits fraud that is money laundering. She paid cash to people and bought the SNAP dollars at half the value where she moved money to different accounts. Causey, the owner of Worcester store has no more moral values. According to the US government, the program has been misused by many as they do not understand its advantages to the less fortunate (Fraud and Abuse 42). Even if she has not been charged yet, claims for conspiracy of stamp fraud shows how the community is living a lie. Doing wrong is walking away with it has become part of the society and people do it openly. Therefore, if the government does not stand with the financially physically challenged and be their advocate, then the world will collapse as we watch. Sometimes I try to justify and understand them, but it tends to be hard. Maybe as I said earlier, they are entrepreneurial who take advantage of any chance that comes by to make money.
KCK Convenience store owner has been in the limelight for food stamp fraud. He got imprisoned for $227,000 for five years. After the business was taken under scrutiny, it was found to be involved in the exchange of SNAP benefits for cash getting almost 50 percent of half dollars. Rules of the program prohibit vendors from trading cash for food stamps. Chaudhry was sentenced in a federal prison for 57 months and ordered to pay $227,000 in the institution. Why dont these people understand what the program does and how it helps? The program caters to the needs of the masses who work part-time or for low income or those unemployed. The program gives a chance to the student adults between 18-49 years to get SNAP benefit it they qualify. The program also supplements the wages of the low-earning citizens. Hunger is reduced by this program as beneficiaries can access grocery stores and purchase products. (New York Times)
The food stamp given depends on the family situation. A family with less income and more dependents will get a significant amount of the allowance compared with a family with fewer dependents and more allowance. To ensure that the system is fair, the government should put in place agency investigation. Government agents should ensure that they conduct research to find out if people are getting involved in food stamp fraud. If such crimes are committed, then legal action should be taken which are strict to be a hard lesson for others to learn from. They should be asked to refund five times what they had received from the government. As a society, we must report all illegal actions taking place rather than keeping quiet and letting the society rot. We are part of the society ad we should strive to make it a better place.
A Compilation of Food Stamp Program Regulations Issued under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, As Amended. Alexandria, Va: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Family Nutrition Programs, 1984. Continually updated the resource.
Fraud and Abuse in the Federal Food Stamp Program: Hearing Before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, United States Senate, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, Fraud and Abuse in the Federal Food Stamp Program, April 23, 1998. Washington: U.S. G.P.O, 1999. Print.
Fraud and Abuse Involving Food Stamps and Other Federal Programs: Hearing Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations, House of Representatives, Ninety-Seventh Congress, First Session, October 28, 1981. Washington: U.S. G.P.O, 1982. Print.
The Food Stamp Program: Overissued Benefits Not Recovered and Fraud Not Punished: Dept. of Agriculture : Report to the Congress. Washington, D.C: U.S. General Accounting Office, 1977. Print.
Severson, Kim. Food Stamp Fraud, Rare but Troubling. The New York Times. (2013): 3.
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