I was visiting some of my favorite social sites today and came across an interesting debate going on across the web. Apparently Taco Bell is lobbying the government and powers-that-be for the ability to accept food stamps. You can access the article here.
I can understand both sides of this argument. Many years ago, we were on Food Stamps. I see the argument for using them for a select few. The thing is, if you have no ability to cook where you are living whatsoever, it helps to not have to eat the same PB&J day in and day out. But the government already provides for this circumstance in most cases. Sit down restaurants can take special food stamp cards designed for this purpose.
I admit that there were times that I would have liked to have been able to use food stamps at fast food places. My husband is a computer guy. Always has been. It was hard to get a job in the early 90’s when you lived out in the country. I mean really country . We are talking Amish Country. So he was out of work for over a year. And we used food stamps. Most of the time no big deal.
But we often traveled away from home to larger cities while looking for work. An hour or more one way. With no money for food. We barely had gas money at times, let alone money for food. But we had food stamps. We would go to a grocery store and buy ready made sandwiches and sodas for lunch. See, with food stamps, you can’t even get a warm bowl of soup. No hot-ready-to-eat foods on food stamps.
It is times like those, in the middle of winter, in the snow, in Pennsylvania, that being able to use food stamps at Taco Bell makes sense to me. A chance to get in to a warm building (the car had no heat) and get something warm into your stomach.
But, how do you stop people from taking advantage of this plan?
The answer? You really can’t. There will always be people who take advantage of anything. and then there are the good hardworking people who NEED a helping hand. and an occasional warm meal in the winter.
I guess what I’m saying is that the answer to this is not always so cut and dried.
Hey Taco Bell? How about a challenge?
Instead of taking Food Stamps from those that can barely afford to eat, provide 2 free meal vouchers per person on food stamps per month? They get the warm meal that may need, and you have a loyal customer for life. People always remember businesses that help out in a time of need.
A few years ago, a Boston Market employee gave a free meal to a man in need while I was there. For as long as I lived in that city, I went out of my way to take my family to that business. Boston Market may have lost $7 by giving that meal away, but they gained soo much more in the business that a large family produces in a year. Not to mention the subsequent years…
I can’t say that this is the best solution for the food stamps at Taco Bell debate, but its an idea…