My opinion about the state of SNAP (food stamps) in Manhattan 2022.

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Greetings,

Before I get started the disclaimers: 

I don’t work for the government. Verify all information yourself. All information is subject to change. Use this information at your own risk. Call New York City 311 if you have specific questions from professionals about SNAP. 

This is a link to the New York City government about food stamps: 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/snap-benefits-food-program.page

First and foremost I always treat everyone who works for the government with the utmost respect at all times. 

I understand the United States has a huge population. 

I understand that everyone is doing their best under the circumstances with the resources we have. 

I would like to bring a situation to everyone’s attention so that we can hopefully elevate the process. 

I live in Manhattan. I’m on public assistance, cash assistance, and SNAP (food stamps). 

I don’t have the exact numbers but I estimate that about half the supermarkets and food markets in Manhattan don’t accept SNAP or food stamps. 

I want to be careful here because I plan on going into the food business one day. Therefore I’m not going to mention any of the supermarkets and food markets by name. Good or bad. 

The majority of the best Manhattan supermarkets and food markets in my opinion do not accept SNAP (food stamps). 

In my opinion, that’s not fair. 

I don’t work for a major media company so I’m unable to go from store to store and count them all up. 

For anyone that doesn’t understand how the SNAP (food stamp) system works, I’ll give you a quick idea. 

People on public assistance (welfare) such as myself are given a card that looks like a debit card. 

Everyone has their own situation with the public assistance (welfare) office. 

In my case, I receive about $250 cash per month and about $250 SNAP (food stamps). 

I can’t use the SNAP (food stamps) part of the money in over half of the supermarkets and food markets that sell food in Manhattan. For one reason or another, they don’t accept it. 

I’m guessing that one of the reasons is because a lot of people have money in Manhattan so the food-selling companies don’t need the people with food stamps to run their business. 

I’m calling on the politicians to rectify this issue. 

In my view, it’s discrimination against poor people for us not to be able to spend our SNAP (food stamps) at any supermarket or food market that we want. 

I’m not giving names but there are food sellers in Manhattan that look like hell that accept food stamps. Half or three-quarters empty shelves. Broken boxes and containers. 

Then next store there is a food seller that doesn’t accept food stamps with a similar inventory and the place looks perfectly clean and stocked. 

  1. The government should force all supermarkets or food markets to accept SNAP (food stamps). 
  2. Or, the government should give us the SNAP (food stamps) as a debit card that can be used anywhere. 

The government is so concerned that people on SNAP (food stamps) are going to waste the money or not spend the money on food that they are blocking us from buying food. 

If someone wants to waste the SNAP or sell it they are going to figure out a way regardless. 

I appreciate that the government has saved my life with public assistance (welfare). 

What I don’t appreciate is being treated like a child and having to shop in the worst food-selling businesses in Manhattan because the best ones don’t accept SNAP. 

I don’t know the exact numbers but there are a ton of us on welfare and public assistance in New York City. 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/opportunity/poverty-in-nyc/poverty-measure.page

We need to ban together and vote for people that are going to help us and treat us like equals. 

I’m 45 years old. I have been living in the Manhattan streets homeless for the past five years. 

I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t party. I don’t have a criminal record. I’m a full-time student at The City University of New York Baruch College. 

I applied for hundreds of minimum-wage jobs. For one reason or another, they didn’t hire me. Maybe it’s because I’m 45 years old, homeless, with horrible credit. I don’t know. I just want everyone to know that I tried to find a job. When I couldn’t find a job I went back to school. 

Please help. 

Thank you and have a great day. 

Mark Pine