EBT For You And For Me

Illustration for article titled EBT For You And For Me

I previously wrote about middle class families succumbing to the use of food stamps in order to avoid starvation.


As it turns out, stores that accept EBT say business is booming.

In its third-quarter earnings report, Family Dollar cited EBT as among the reasons for its success in this economy. Same-store sales were up 6.2% for the quarter. That figure is mainly attributed to the sales of and food and beverages.

Speaking with USA Today, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine told the newspaper that food stamps represent “a significant opportunity for us.”

Their success has spurred other chain stores to start accepting this recession’s most lucrative form of plastic.

Last month Target extended its acceptance of EBT benefits from its Super Target and other stores with expanded food selections to all 1,700 stores. And this month Costco started testing its checkout technology at six New York City locations to prepare for EBT acceptance nationwide. The wholesale chain decided to allow the form of payment after Costco members began asking the store to start accepting EBT cards.

I still hear people who may actually qualify for food stamp benefits turn their noses up at the idea of using them.


I know what some of you are thinking, “I refuse to be a statistic.” You’re saying to yourself, “I went to college. I earned a degree. I will not reduce myself to the level of ‘those folks.’”

Let me be the first to tell you: “Those folks” are eating better than you. And “those folks” are no longer the class and color the media would have you believe they are.


1 in 10 Americans are currently using EBT to EAT. If you didn’t get it before, there are people of every hue eating on the government’s dime. It’s time to get over yourself and stop using Visa to cover the cost of Kellogg’s.

Stores like Trader Joe’s accept EBT. I noticed it a few months ago and proceeded to give the store clerk the side-eye because I had to use my debit card to pay for my food. I encourage many of you to consider using EBT if you can. Think of all of the organic brown rice and wild Alaskan salmon you can buy with your card.


If I could get the benefits, I would certainly use them. Too bad ‘the man’ won’t let me be great – with her mean self.

Stop being so proud. You can’t live off 2.99 recession specials forever, can you?


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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.