Food stamp recipients in New York are using their tax-payer funded benefits to buy groceries to ship to their relatives overseas, the New York Post reports.
The paper says the practice of shipping food abroad to places like Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic has become so common that hundreds of barrels line the walls in grocery stores around the city to be used to send the food.
Supermarket workers tell the Post that customers usually get one of the barrels and then fill it up over time with groceries. The barrels are about $40 and then are usually filled with about $500 worth of food.
“Everybody does it,” a worker at an Associated Supermarket said. “They pay for it any way they can. A lot of people pay with EBT.”
The customers ship the food because it is better quality and less expensive than in foreign countries.
A spokeswoman for the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service told the Post states should intervene if food stamp recipients are caught sending food abroad, as the benefits are only meant for use in the home of the recipient.