Good news: USDA expanding food stamps to even more farmers markets

posted at 7:01 pm on May 9, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Once upon a time, I believe the case for food stamps was centered on the argument that, as decent human beings, we have a social obligation to come together and offer a lifeline to the absolute poorest among us and ensure that nobody is going hungry — at least while people get back on their feet after unemployment or sudden calamity. Agree or disagree with that argument, the case for food stamps certainly seems to have… er… evolved:

When it comes to giving more people access to fresh, healthy food, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has turned a great deal of its focus in recent years toward farmers markets. And, more specifically, opening farmers markets up to Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or “food stamp” users.

In fact, the agency reports, spending at farmers markets under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has already jumped by 400 percent since 2008 — and that’s with less than a quarter of the country’s 7,000 markets participating in the program.

“That’s a huge transformation in the farmers market world, in terms of people being able to feel like they’re invited to the party,” USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan said in a phone interview.

Expanding SNAP at farmers markets is part of the agency’s broader approach to increasing healthy food access for low-income communities that lack adequate grocery stores and public transportation — areas known (if sometimes controversially so) as food deserts. So when this year’s budget talks came around, the USDA requested $4 million to expand the effort. (Cost is a major reason why more farmers markets don’t already participate: SNAP benefits are redeemed through the EBT system, which relies on wireless technology, and that doesn’t come free.)

Wow. We are more than $15 trillion in debt, but the Department of Agriculture is dishing out taxpayer money to subsidize costly transactions so that more people will feel invited to the health-food party. The USDA  is apparently unfamiliar with the adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Not only does the federal government have no business spending other people’s money to try and influence people’s food and health choices, but doing so in no way guarantees that people actually will eat more healthfully — I wonder if they’ve given any thought at all to the opportunity costs or neighborhood effects that could come from their efforts to engineer the perfect crunchy society.

Food stamp participation is at an all-time high, but, according to USDA Secretary Vilsack, food stamps are among ‘the most direct economic stimulus you can get’ and create jobs and wealth. So, riddle me this, Mr. Secretary: Why don’t we just put everybody on food stamps? While we’re at it, why don’t we get rid of all of our ATMs and airport kiosks? We’ll be the richest country, evah! Or something.


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There goes the neighborhood!

sonnyspats1 on May 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

What the hell part of the sentence, “We don’t have the freaking money to pay for this!” do these leftists not understand?

Kim Priestap on May 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

We have several farmer’s markets in my home city. They don’t sell anything you can’t buy at a decent grocery store. With far less selection and far less convenience and no better quality. But they’re trendy, and libs love trendy.

Fenris on May 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Expanding food stamps access -at a new costs of millions of dollars -when people can already buy food at regular markets is waste if not fraud.

Sounds like vote-buying backscratching of a farmer’s market” constituency.

profitsbeard on May 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

I’m sure it’ll be just a matter of time before “Farmers’ Markets” are a sort of Grab-And-Run display by “the government”: collectives labored on by collectivists who deliver the stuffs to “Markets” where the other collectivists grab and go.

Stalin tried this, Kruschev continued it, look how that worked out. Obviously, the Democrats in the U.S. read some other “alternative” version of world history than the rest of us, one that claims that Stalin and Kruschev built a DisneyWorld called the U.S.S.R. that never ran out of toilet paper…or food at all those ” Farmers’ Markets”.

Lourdes on May 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Thanks Food Stamp President.

Electrongod on May 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Unnecessary waste. Every grocery store I’ve ever been in has sold fresh produce. More of aolution looking for a problem.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

“Farmers’ Markets”…this must be what Michelle Obama has in mind with her “fresh foods” idea to squelch all those mean, ugly, Capitalist “food desserts” that plague our nation.

Gahhh, food desserts, they’re so awful, must be the reason so many people in cities where those food desserts are located are obese.

Lourdes on May 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

OT:

I just received a phone call inviting me to meet Mitt Romney here in Omaha on May 10.

Put me down as a no show.

Dack Thrombosis on May 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Unnecessary waste. Every grocery store I’ve ever been in has sold fresh produce. More of aolution looking for a problem.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Shhh, don’t counter the Obama propaganda.

Lourdes on May 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

hopeful o

May 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

solution

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Artists must eat!

Electrongod on May 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Really? Unless Chicken McNuggets, Funyunns and Diet Coke are available at farmers’ markets, why would any welfare recipient want to go there?

Pork-Chop on May 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

When do animal shelters start taking food stamps?

malclave on May 9, 2012 at 7:21 PM

I absolutely agree with this expansion of the Food Stamps program.

Farmer’s Markets are typically much cheaper than grocery stores.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Artists must eat …without having to rub shoulders with proles!

Electrongod on May 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM

FIFY

profitsbeard on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Maybe some enterprising people into urban farming will take advantage of this to earn a living.

sonnyspats1 on May 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

“That’s a huge transformation in the farmers market world, in terms of people being able to feel like they’re invited to the party,” USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan said in a phone interview.

This woman has just expressed the whole free-loader mentality in nice concise phrase.

Bitter Clinger on May 9, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Obamanomics: Damn those ATMs and airport kiosks!

I can see both sides to this-obviously people do lose jobs with increasing automation. But historically this automation has led to increased prosperity and new occupations, less skill required to get jobs or run businesses, safer workplaces, wealth creation and so on.

On the other hand, it’s getting hard to tell if that’s going to continue-if/when we can get the Socialists out of the way then we’ll know for sure whether what’s been working for us since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution will continue or not.

The ATMs are indeed a convenience as is online banking, ordering items online and so on. But there are times when I need to speak to a person to solve a particular issue and I often get the feeling that no one really wants to talk to me about it…as if maybe if I sit on the phone listening to the jazz or Musak long enough I’ll go away.

There are few jobs that can’t be replaced through automation. It’s not cost effective right now to use robotics to replace plumbers, electricians, computer programmers themselves, roofers, painters, mechanics, janitors, truck drivers, gardeners, and I guess even prostitutes…but should there be a huge advancement in robotics technology then this could change very rapidly.

Those now who feel their jobs are secure from advancing automation may one day join the ranks of what they deem the Luddites-many of those simply have questions and concerns about the effects of advanced technology on society and economic systems.

We often like to allude to various science fiction/futurist writers regarding their dire warnings of a political or social nature, but seem to ignore those same “prophets” concerning what happens when you have most of the population living off of the government and doing little more than merely existing, watching telescreens, participating in interactive TV shows, engaging in criminal activity, queuing up for Soylent Green most of the day, and the like.

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 9, 2012 at 7:28 PM

There was someone on the radio the other day who said quite plainly that they didn’t actually *need* food stamps but if its free then why not?

The regime is bolstering the dependency culture using funny money. It’s a trick of 3rd world gangster regimes like Venezuela.

Awesome.

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

The (FCFE) program has grown 10,000% since inception and now the “Taxpayer Spending Agency” is requesting an additional $900 billion to expand this successful program, “Free Cars for Everyone (FCFE).”

—–”It is obvious that this (FCFE) wonderful program is a smash hit. Perhaps the best successful Governmental Program ever! Not only are people signing up to the program in droves, but they are signing up multiple times with dozens of requests!” –> Typical Liberal Senator.

Varchild on May 9, 2012 at 7:32 PM

And thank god they’ve removed any stigma by just handing out Visa cards.

You should have to worry about spending other people’s money after all.

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

So why are pizza joints approved to take EBT cards? Pizza is hardly the most nutritious food.

ladyingray on May 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I absolutely agree with this expansion of the Food Stamps program.

Farmer’s Markets are typically much cheaper than grocery stores.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

If it were just a matter of paper “food stamps” being accepted and then redeemed by farmer’s marketeers that wouldn’t cost ant new government money.

But there are no paper “food stamps” anymore.

It requires “$4 million” (guess an actual sum of $20 million) to wire the markets to accept EBT “credit/debit” style cards.

Unnecessary government spending when broke is the neo-definition of INSANITY.

profitsbeard on May 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I absolutely agree with this expansion of the Food Stamps program.

Farmer’s Markets are typically much cheaper than grocery stores.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Not if they have to raise their prices to gain the technology to accept the EBT cards.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Why sure, just think of it as small business assistance, right? I have a small business that requires raw ingredients. The family is fine, I just need to subsidize my business, to make it more profitable. Now with this I no longer require Wolly world for shopping. The best ingredients are no readily accessible now at my local farmers market. The fun starts win folks are weened off this assistance./

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 7:41 PM

So why are pizza joints approved to take EBT cards? Pizza is hardly the most nutritious food.

ladyingray on May 9, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Here in Virginia you can’t use food stamps for prepared foods. I’ve seen people’s cards rejected when trying to buy food bar items in a grocery store.

Oldnuke on May 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

I live in the country. Lots of farms around here.

But the “Farmer Markets” around here seldom have anything decent. You would be far better off getting stuff at WalMart. But Food Stamp people get farmer market money only good there. The flea market part of it is not bad though.

Steveangell on May 9, 2012 at 7:44 PM

…expanding the dependency!

KOOLAID2 on May 9, 2012 at 7:46 PM

I think Paul Ryan hit on the solution to all these “well meaning” government programs. We need to look at outcomes not how much has been spent as a quantifier of “success.” The beautiful thing about this strategy is that it’s easy to understand and stands up to the emotional pleas of those proposing to spend more money for (the kids/the seniors/the hungry, etc).

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Do the file pushers in DC know that farmer’s markets sell pies, cakes,pizzas and other ‘unhealthy ‘ foods ?
What is the guarantee that Obama’s moochers will not use EBTs to buy ‘unhealthy’ foods ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM

I absolutely agree with this expansion of the Food Stamps program.

Farmer’s Markets are typically much cheaper than grocery stores.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Then you should change your moniker to Government teet.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 7:51 PM

I’m pretty sure at our farmer’s market they just pick up stuff at the grocery store and then mark it up 200%. That is until the stuff they are selling is in season.

But WTH are people thinking buying Avocados in Iowa in may at a farmers market?

jhffmn on May 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

why would any welfare recipient want to go there?

Pork-Chop on May 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

No cameras there, lots of stuff just laying around,
and no popo either mostly…why wouldn’t Obama’s children go there ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Then you should change your moniker to Government teet.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 7:51 PM

What? How is that?

The $4M is to put the infrastructure in place for the existing farmer’s markets to accept EBT payments.

The small businesses and local farmers that make up farmer’s markets are now able to get into a market that was out of their reach due to the overhead related to accepting EBT payments.

The government is removing that obstacle from those small business owners.

That is a good thing.

This program doesn’t expand the rolls of Food Stamp recipients.

I would much rather see those tax dollars put back into the local economy, directly to the small business owners and farmers than go to a huge corporation that has to spend most of that money on administration costs to keep up with government regulations.

$4M is nothing for the benefit of having tax money go back to the small guy and allowing those on Food Stamps to be able to buy cheaper food that is just as good as they’d get in the supermarket.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM

how you can construe this into a bad thing – healthy food, lower healthcare costs, supports local farmers – is beyond me. you people are clearly insane.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Both of you are for expansion of the Government teet. Enough said.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM

how you can construe this into a bad thing – healthy food, lower healthcare costs, supports local farmers – is beyond me. you people are clearly insane.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

So unless Farmer’s Markets accept EBTs, mooching parasites will not get healthy ?
Is that the thing that is stopping the mooching class from eating healthy ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Unnecessary waste. Every grocery store I’ve ever been in has sold fresh produce. More of aolution looking for a problem.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Shhh, don’t counter the Obama propaganda.

Lourdes on May 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Do you frequent stores in the ghetto? Tell us how you’re even slightly correct.

bayam on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

A friend of mine sells produce at our local Farmer’s Markets. The Health Department Permit for 1 day runs $231, plus $40 for each type of product she sells. She must go in person and wait in line several hours each week to get her permits. Her booth fee is $150. Her liability policy runs $175 per month for no more the 10 events. She pre-packages and seals her products. If they were items such as squash – those fees are much higher.

After the first year, she learned that she can only go to the markets in the higher income parts of town; otherwise, she can’t generate sufficient business to justify the expense and time.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

If you have a brain and any sense of responsibility you can make healthy food using Walmart alone.

This is utter BS.

And as for Farmers Markets being cheaper, I’ve never seen that and I’ve been to a great many of them. And more healthy? Really? Based on what exactly?

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

What the hell part of the sentence, “We don’t have the freaking money to pay for this!” do these leftists not understand?

Kim Priestap on May 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The thing is, you don’t understand that phrase either. See: our lust far foreign wars and expensive weapons pointed at decaying former world powers.

ernesto on May 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM

What the hell part of the sentence, “We don’t have the freaking money to pay for this!” do these leftists not understand?

Kim Priestap on May 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Also, see: the drug war.

ernesto on May 9, 2012 at 8:08 PM

And as for Farmers Markets being cheaper, I’ve never seen that and I’ve been to a great many of them. And more healthy? Really? Based on what exactly?

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

A friend of mine sells produce at our local Farmer’s Markets. The Health Department Permit for 1 day runs $231, plus $40 for each type of product she sells. She must go in person and wait in line several hours each week to get her permits. Her booth fee is $150. Her liability policy runs $175 per month for no more the 10 events. She pre-packages and seals her products. If they were items such as squash – those fees are much higher.

After the first year, she learned that she can only go to the markets in the higher income parts of town; otherwise, she can’t generate sufficient business to justify the expense and time.

2nd Ammendment Mother on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

Where in the world do you people live? Must be some liberal nanny state.

I can get a booth at the Richmond Farmer’s Market for $10 and a temp health permit (prepared food) for $20.

And the food at the farmer’s market is considerably cheaper than any grocery store in the Richmond area.

Maybe Richmond is an anomaly, but it’s farmer’s market is exactly that: A farmer’s market. Not boutique shopping.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Do you frequent stores in the ghetto? Tell us how you’re even slightly correct.

bayam on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

So people don’t have cars in a ghetto ?
How do they go to the SS and Welfare offices and every
city, county, state and federal office to claim their freebies ?
How do they go to the malls to buy their Air Jordans and FUBUs, which are not sold in ghetto stores ?
Why can’t they go to buy groceries any farther than their local liquor store ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Late last summer, I drove a neighbor to a “farm market” set up for EBT in a nearby town. He used his “free” government card to buy the most expensive produce I’ve ever seen. He gave me half a dozen ears of sweet corn he’d “bought” at a ridiculous price, and it was so tough and tasteless I threw it out. My guess is that the “produce” had been shipped from overseas, it was so stale. This “farm market” was literally in sight of the Walmart Super Center where my wife buys quality, mostly locally-grown produce every week at a fraction of what my neighbor “paid” at the “farm market.”

Just yesterday, I stood in line at a convenience store while the fat young man ahead of me tried to remember the PIN for his EBT card. After several failed attempts, he finally got it right, and left the store clutching a bag of Doritos, a 20-oz. Mountain Dew, and a can of Red Bull.

Is there a problem? No, no, move along folks, nothing to see here…

Humphrey on May 9, 2012 at 8:21 PM

And as for Farmers Markets being cheaper, I’ve never seen that and I’ve been to a great many of them. And more healthy? Really? Based on what exactly?

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 8:07 PM

farmers’ markets are not necessarily cheaper than supermarkets, but the quality they offer is often superior and they’re the opposite of the former’s soullessness. they also don’t tempt you with the candy amassed at the cashier and the other ways big chains make you buy crap. their presence in poorer neighborhoods promotes a culture of healthy nutrition, in a population that’s the most affected by obesity and its negative health effects, which in turn drive up healthcare costs. this program may well end up saving much more than it cost.

but, of course, you refuse to see any of that. like a child.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

So moochers on taxpayer dime deserve taxpayers paying for their expensive tastes in Farmers Market merchandise because big corporate supermarkets are soulless and have candy lined up along the checkout aisles ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

like a child.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM

After reading some of the comments I now see the problem. What constitutes a Farmers Market varies depending on where you live. The Feds should get on top of standarizing rules and regs for what a Farmers market should be and determine appropriate fees and paperwork/

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I would support the program in its entirety IF this was the only food the stampers could buy…increase the farmers’ wealth and force the couch taters to eat taters–I am in..

hillsoftx on May 9, 2012 at 8:49 PM

So moochers on taxpayer dime deserve taxpayers paying for their expensive tastes in Farmers Market merchandise because big corporate supermarkets are soulless and have candy lined up along the checkout aisles ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM

yes. mind you, it costs the same to taxpayers either way. the money just ends up in the local farmer’s pockets and not walmart’s.

and with that, i’m going to go and use the beautiful courgettes, fresh eggs and pancetta i purloined at our farmers’ market to cook up a wicked carbonara.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Enjoy the teet while it last. You might want to buck up and learn some self reliance in the interim.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I think giving people ANY kind of cash is a mistake, and the EBT food stamp debit card has shown to cause corruption, here in MA anyway. That said, I think that of all the things we can give those who are out of work, some food is a reasonable thing, an essential thing. If only it were simple and easy.

I don’t know how they get food without corruption. But if the farmers can sell them some food, I don’t care how silly you think a farmer’s market is, I go to one once a week in season, and everything is fresh, ripe, and the foods are perishable, unlike the supermarket things sometime are. However, a lot of grocery stores DO take local farm foods in summer, so you can find things.

I am more interested in knowing that someone with a card got real food, not chips, not fast food, Sorry, and in my own home, I find that cooking from scratch saves money and has the best taste. Not everything, but most things. I don’t want to be mean or dictate, but as a taxpayer I expect you to buy nutritious food at the best price possible.

And then make Mom or Dad cook something!!!! Don’t tell me the kids have FOOD INSECURITY (Insane!) Don’t tell me they can’t bring some nice cheese or peanut butter to school for lunch.

I am MORE outraged than the people posting here, that they can buy junky candy and snack foods, just call me Michelle and i will find a sleeveless shirt. You can be a conservative and REALLY sensible about meals, i think they go hand in hand.

It is too bad bureaucracy is involved in the farmers markets but minus the corruption and bureaucracy I like the idea of spending the EBT money on Real Food at the farmer’s market.

Fleuries on May 9, 2012 at 9:08 PM

yes. mind you, it costs the same to taxpayers either way.

No it doesn’t.
When the same amount of money buys lesser amount of food ( as it does in case of Farmer’s Markets ) guess what the moochers will do ?
A. Get off their bumz and find a job to pay for their expensive tastes ?
or

B. Force hard working taxpayers to pay even more because buying expensive food with other people’s money is a civil right ?

the money just ends up in the local farmer’s pockets and not walmart’s.

So punching walmart in the nose an objective of this regime ?

and with that, i’m going to go and use the beautiful courgettes, fresh eggs and pancetta i purloined at our farmers’ market to cook up a wicked carbonara.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I’m going to boil some water for some Cup of NPoodles !

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Enjoy the teet while it last. You might want to buck up and learn some self reliance in the interim.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM

jawohl herr kapitan! but when you get your medicare-funded scooter replaced, i’m expecting a bloody thank you card, verstehen sie?

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Like I said enjoy it while you can. Many of us never intend to look to the teet for any substance. Many others will wither. Enjoy.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:19 PM

When the same amount of money buys lesser amount of food ( as it does in case of Farmer’s Markets ) guess what the moochers will do ?
A. Get off their bumz and find a job to pay for their expensive tastes ?
or

B. Force hard working taxpayers to pay even more because buying expensive food with other people’s money is a civil right ?

the food stamp amount a person/family is eligible for is always the same, so i have to go with a, but in all fairness the question answers itself.

So punching walmart in the nose an objective of this regime ?

that’s not the case, quite lamentably, but supporting local producers is part of this devious plan, yes.

I’m going to boil some water for some Cup of NPoodles !

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 9:09 PM

i think my carbonara wins that one, sorry sweetheart.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:20 PM

substance = sustenance

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Food stamps for boutique food . . . that’s offensive.

Food stamps for Oreos and orange juice and Lunchables and Wonder Bread (which is neither) and hot dogs and Tater-Tots . . . that’s counter-productive.

KrebsCyclist on May 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

farmers’ markets are not necessarily cheaper than supermarkets, but the quality they offer is often superior and they’re the opposite of the former’s soullessness. they also don’t tempt you with the candy amassed at the cashier and the other ways big chains make you buy crap. their presence in poorer neighborhoods promotes a culture of healthy nutrition, in a population that’s the most affected by obesity and its negative health effects, which in turn drive up healthcare costs. this program may well end up saving much more than it cost.

but, of course, you refuse to see any of that. like a child.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

What I like about this comment is about soullessness and tempting candy. First of all, if you are poor the ‘soul’ of a supermarket should not be an issue – you’re shopping on someone else’s dime for goodness sake.

Secondly the temptation of candy can be overcome with a tiny bit of self discipline, something leftists always assume is an unattainable goal.

As for healthcare costs, please.

You haven’t quite mastered pretentiousness or condescension yet but you show promise.

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Many of us never intend to look to the teet for any substance. Many others will wither. Enjoy.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:19 PM

you’re the hero of the universe. you breathe the rarefied air surrounding those who have reached the apotheosis of human perfection.

my pasta is almost ready.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:32 PM

The particular “farm market” I referred to above was put on in the parking lot of a RiteAid drug store, which had to cost some bucks. The only produce delivery vehicle I spotted was a large box truck of the sort owned by produce warehouses, NOT by farmers. The sole employee at the market was clearly “not from around here” and struggled with basic English, though she could count the money pretty well. My friend paid $6/dozen for that awful corn at a time when roadside stands by the score were offering fresh sweet corn picked that very day for $2.50/dozen.

As for fat boy and his junk food in my other example, I think he speaks (and probably belches) for himself.

In this era of internet and computers and SKU’s and UPC’s there is no argument to be made that we can’t put limits on the types of consumables that can be bought with EBT cards, as well as set a reasonable limit on unit prices paid.

This whole discussion is nibbling around the fringes of the real central issue — purchasing votes with taxpayer money.

Humphrey on May 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Untrue, but I am an honest man. Who treasures self reliance and hard work. You might want to consider adopting some of both at some point. Unless you are satisfied with your current condition and do not seek to better yourself.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Well, now that college students and some middle class people are getting food stamps the food needs to be a little higher quality. Food stamps, not just for the poor anymore!

Fallon on May 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Fallon on May 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Hi Fallon, knowing your interest in fine foods. Here is a thought to chew over. I am in line at the grocery a few weeks back. The lady in front of me has two carts of crab legs, full carts mind you. She pays for them via her government teet card. I later realize via ease dropping she has a restaurant. The ease dropping consisted of me being parked next to her. Overhearing her comments to her friend in the car. A tidy little subsidy for the needy.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

What I like about this comment is about soullessness and tempting candy. First of all, if you are poor the ‘soul’ of a supermarket should not be an issue – you’re shopping on someone else’s dime for goodness sake.

the idea is not to force people to eat healthier, but to nudge them toward certain desired outcomes, in this case to eat healthier, reduce obesity and the occurrence of heart disease, making people healthier and more productive and save on healthcare costs. you follow?

Secondly the temptation of candy can be overcome with a tiny bit of self discipline, something leftists always assume is an unattainable goal.

yeah, right. wipe that irritating smugness off your face. the fact is the same that people don’t come home from farmers’ markets with bags full of candy, and no amount of preaching about self-discipline changes that.

As for healthcare costs, please.

please what?

You haven’t quite mastered pretentiousness or condescension yet but you show promise.

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

i’m an elitist scumbag, pretentiousness and condescension are my default settings.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Yes because most elitist are on the government teet I’ve been told.

Bmore on May 9, 2012 at 9:46 PM

the food stamp amount a person/family is eligible for is always the same, so i have to go with a, but in all fairness the question answers itself.

Yeah right, that’s what the moochers are known for –living withing their (taxpayer funded) means, specially when there are Dems finding ways to divert even more money to these parasites, every chance they get .

that’s not the case, quite lamentably, but supporting local producers is part of this devious plan, yes.

Here is a bitter truth:
Supermarkets too buy from local farmers ,
and the so called farmers of the Farmer’s Markets are not all farmers, most of them get their produce from the same sources as the local supermarket and sell it on a commission basis .

i think my carbonara wins that one, sorry sweetheart.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 9:20 PM

my noodles come with soup….in one cup
I win :P

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Here is a bitter truth:
Supermarkets too buy from local farmers ,
and the so called farmers of the Farmer’s Markets are not all farmers, most of them get their produce from the same sources as the local supermarket and sell it on a commission basis .

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 9:51 PM

that’s not really true, a farmers’ market means that farmers themselves are selling their goods, cutting out the middleman.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:03 PM

that’s not really true, a farmers’ market means that farmers themselves are selling their goods, cutting out the middleman.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Lemme guess –you have never supplied produce from growers and importers to vendors , right ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

And the food at the farmer’s market is considerably cheaper than any grocery store in the Richmond area.

Maybe Richmond is an anomaly, but it’s farmer’s market is exactly that: A farmer’s market. Not boutique shopping.

ButterflyDragon on May 9, 2012 at 8:16 PM

Same in my area. The food is so much fresher and last a lot longer than produce bought at the local Safeway. Plus in my area we are always trying to support farmlands and local farmers, so I look at this as a plus for them.

As for the “boutique” routine, there maybe two booths at the most that sell pastry type things, but by and large it is veggies, all loose on a table or in boxes.

LazyHips on May 9, 2012 at 10:14 PM

that’s not really true, a farmers’ market means that farmers themselves are selling their goods, cutting out the middleman.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:03 PM

As I said earlier, apparently “farmers market” means different things depending on where you live. Regardless, no where in our constitution does it say people are entitle to fresh fruits and veggies. Frozen is almost as good as fresh and affordable. If it will cost tazpayers more to get farm markets up to the task of taking EBT cards it should not be done. We can’t afford it.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Lemme guess –you have never supplied produce from growers and importers to vendors , right ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 10:12 PM

no, i went to school instead.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

sorry taxpayers-it’s getting late

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 10:24 PM

no, i went to school instead.

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

and then never worked or owned a business after finishing school, right ?

burrata on May 9, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Regardless, no where in our constitution does it say people are entitle to fresh fruits and veggies. Frozen is almost as good as fresh and affordable. If it will cost tazpayers more to get farm markets up to the task of taking EBT cards it should not be done. We can’t afford it.

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 10:21 PM

but how will we otherwise immanentize the eschaton?

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Cost is a major reason why more farmers markets don’t already participate: SNAP benefits are redeemed through the EBT system, which relies on wireless technology, and that doesn’t come free.

Does this mean that USDA is subsidizing WiFi and terminals for the farmer markets?

slp on May 9, 2012 at 10:32 PM

but how will we otherwise immanentize the eschaton?

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Really? Trying to figure out if you are serious or if you have just been messing with us for fun all this time?

hopeful on May 9, 2012 at 10:36 PM

but how will we otherwise immanentize the eschaton?

sesquipedalian on May 9, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Yawn. Illuminati! By RA Wilson.

If that is your claim to fame you are relegated to the toilet bowl of HA participants.

CorporatePiggy on May 9, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Erika, I can’t help but wonder whether you’re being a devil’s advocate here, because your statement is so thin.

People in poor neighbourhoods have no access to fresh veggies/fruits because of economic forces. Well, if farmers’ markets are subsidised, then:

a) a free (subsidised) veggie basket is cheaper than a $1.99 McDogsh1t, so yes, people WILL spend money on it
b) poor people will be healthier as a result, and thus reducing healthcare costs and usage, freeing up doctors to treat things that are not preventable
c) small farmers get subsidized, not just the huge agricorps that grow corn (the most subsidized crop in the US, if not the world)

If the government has no business “picking winners” with subsidies, then why is the US government subsidizing corn growers in the US? Not only is it anti-capitalist, but it has awful consequences to the American diet (think High Fructose Corn Syrup) and Americans’ health too. If you’re gonna subsidize a food, why not subsidize something that’s actually healthy?

Anyway, this program, on the face of it looks really good.

AlexB on May 9, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Farmer’s Market?

Out here we call them Fruit and Vegetable stands. They are by roads.

But, then, I live in the country.

trigon on May 9, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Liberals can be pretty frustrating, but somehow it is even more frustrating when people on my own “side” are this maddeningly dense.

It’s one thing to talk about how more people have gone on food stamps under Obama, increasing dependency. The truth is on our side on that one. But don’t combine legitimate criticisms of Obama’s Food Stamp Presidency with piling ridicule upon farmers markets.

What the heck logical argument do you have for saying food stamps shouldn’t apply to farmers markets, if they apply to grocery stores? In urban areas, they are often cheaper, provide better produce, and provide a more direct connection between consumer and producer, which are good things, and have nothing to do with increasing government dependency. Just because a lot of lefties love farmers markets, doesn’t automatically mean farmers markets are the enemy.

Easily one of the dumbest posts I’ve seen on HA.

jgrodahl on May 10, 2012 at 2:55 AM

Easily one of the dumbest posts I’ve seen on HA.

jgrodahl on May 10, 2012 at 2:55 AM

You do realize that it is the spending of taxpayer money we are talking about , right ?

burrata on May 10, 2012 at 3:11 AM

Come on… Now this is really a good idea. I can tell you when I see people using food stamps they are buying junk food. I can also attest that in the DC area fresh vegetables are at lease 2x compared to a farmers market. The problem is that I am certain some frugal recipeints will take advantage (my mother was on food stamps and stretched every dollar – in fact I hated it). The problem with food stamps is that many of the recipients dont care they are on charity. They see it as a right, with no incentive to get the heck off the dole.

triumphus on May 10, 2012 at 6:04 AM

Once again, the HotAir outrage mystifies me. Our farmer’s market is much cheaper than the stores, and the quality of food is much better. It’s locally grown, so the money stays here. I can see how you don’t like to pay for someone else’s food, but you should like the fact they are buying healthy, inexpensive food.

tlynch001 on May 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

I have been thinking about it, and i am more Outraged over section 8 housing vouchers, public housing, Affordable housing schemes, and so many other things, that buying food at a Farmer’s market pales by comparison.

Sometimes when the people come together at Hot Air and post here, they are coming from completely different worlds. My farmer’s markets in my area of MA, are real farms with real farmers who don’t grow enough to supply a big chain store. They are entrepreneurs, not cheats, operating in a capitalist system. They run their business out of a little truck, you can see their logo on the truck, you can read the address of their farm.

I will tell you another instance here on Hot Air that I noticed recently. In some states, the state college system is the big university for the state, and there are not very many private colleges. The state college system is a Government school, whether you like it or not, and your big football team, is at a Government school. Here is the funny thing, people accept the football team and get excited and follow it on tv, and the government school can do no harm when it comes to the team. AND people who go to these government colleges and pay under 10K in tuition think the rest of the cost falls from the sky, not from the tax payer. And people who pooh pooh college educations, still hooray about the team. Go figure. They would shut down the college, but not the football team. Amusing. I would shut down the college because I don’t believe in government schools.

Fleuries on May 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I am more interested in knowing that someone with a card got real food, not chips, not fast food, Sorry, and in my own home, I find that cooking from scratch saves money and has the best taste. Not everything, but most things. I don’t want to be mean or dictate, but as a taxpayer I expect you to buy nutritious food at the best price possible.

And then make Mom or Dad cook something!!!! Don’t tell me the kids have FOOD INSECURITY (Insane!) Don’t tell me they can’t bring some nice cheese or peanut butter to school for lunch.

[SNIP]

Fleuries on May 9, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Once again, the HotAir outrage mystifies me. Our farmer’s market is much cheaper than the stores, and the quality of food is much better. It’s locally grown, so the money stays here. I can see how you don’t like to pay for someone else’s food, but you should like the fact they are buying healthy, inexpensive food.

tlynch001 on May 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

I agree. Depending on what’s available at your loocal farmers’ market, I much prefer to see people with SNAP cards buying the raw produce and cooking with it. Healthier, requires a work ethic, and they can teach the kids to cook.

My hunch is that the SNAP recipients who would take the time to cook from scratch would have little more “get up and go” to them, instead of being the “funemployment” type.

cane_loader on May 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

The particular “farm market” I referred to above was put on in the parking lot of a RiteAid drug store, which had to cost some bucks. The only produce delivery vehicle I spotted was a large box truck of the sort owned by produce warehouses, NOT by farmers. The sole employee at the market was clearly “not from around here” and struggled with basic English, though she could count the money pretty well. My friend paid $6/dozen for that awful corn at a time when roadside stands by the score were offering fresh sweet corn picked that very day for $2.50/dozen.

[snip]

Humphrey on May 9, 2012 at 9:35 PM

That was what I call a “boutique” farmers’ market. You’re right – those suck: high prices, mediocre produce, etc. They are more of a gimmick. Of course, not everyone lives in areas close to where farms are, so some of this is unavoidable. You’re better off driving to a farmers’ market in a poor section of town. Food’s probably better and prices lower.

cane_loader on May 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I would like to replace the food stamp program with subsidies to make brown rice, pinto beans, garlic, and cabbage really cheap for everyone. You can make a good healthy meal of them, but having to it every day would make people find a job.

thuja on May 10, 2012 at 10:29 AM

jgrodahl on May 10, 2012 at 2:55 AM triumphus on May 10, 2012 at 6:04 AM
tlynch001 on May 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

The objection (at least mine) is over throwing more taxpayer money into a program loaded with waste and fraud. I have no objection to people eating healthy and personally I like farmers markets but if someone isn’t buying healthy food at their local grocery store,they aren’t going to buy healthy food just because it comes from a farmers market. Years ago I had some siginificant medical and car bills while in grad school. I had very little money for food. Much less than the monthly per person that an acquaintance on welfare got for her family. She filled her cart with soda, blister pack bologna and oreos and had no food stamps left by the fourth week of the month. I always managed to get some veggies in my diet in spite of having about a quater of what she had to spend on food. I never bought junk food; I couldn’t afford it. As for subsidies, the argument shouldn’t be that we give it to corn growers so we should give it to small farmers via local markets, the argument should be to do away with subsidies all together.

hopeful on May 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM

That was what I call a “boutique” farmers’ market. You’re right – those suck: high prices, mediocre produce, etc. They are more of a gimmick. Of course, not everyone lives in areas close to where farms are, so some of this is unavoidable. You’re better off driving to a farmers’ market in a poor section of town. Food’s probably better and prices lower.

cane_loader on May 10, 2012 at 10:16 AM

You missed my point, or perhaps I didn’t quite make the point. This farm market literally would not exist if not for EBT cards. Everyone there was buying with EBT cards. This “boutique” market, as you call it, was specifically created to sell crap produce at outrageous prices to holders of EBT cards, in the knowledge that the roadside stands we actually drove past on the way there and back could not accept EBT cards.

“Boutique” is your word. Mine is “scam.”

Humphrey on May 10, 2012 at 12:21 PM