Before I begin this post, I want to say from my heart that I would never look down upon anyone on public assistance, because there has been plenty of times in my life where I was one paycheck away from poverty myself. I hope this doesn't turn into one of those "politcal" threads where people start arguing or anything, but this really happened to me yesterday and I wanted to share it.
A really good friend and an extrememly loyal customer of mine called me and stated that a lady had approached her and asked her if I accepted foodstamps for cakes. Now my friend is always soliciting business for me. She won't buy a cake from anyone but me and always pays me what I ask. She said the girl was too embarrassed to call me herself. She told the girl that I didn't do that, but she still wanted to share with me what had happened. I told my friend that the lady must have known that I don't have the means (machine) to accept a foodstamp card even if I wanted to!! My friend told me that the girl said that you can purchase birthday cakes, etc at Walmart and Winn Dixie,etc. with a foodstamp card. She said that the lady said she knew someone who had purchased a wedding cake with one. I was floored!! I do live in a very small town and I guess that's why I have so many things like this happen to me. I could undertand a birthday cake, but a wedding cake? I did tell my friend that I would do her a 1/4 sheet cake and I gave her a lower price. I did that because I have been dying to try a buttercream transfer anyway. I feel bad that she wants a cake for her child, but only has foodstamps to purchase it with. I did NOT know that the deli/bakeries in grocery stores were accepting foodstamps for cakes, and wanted all my friends here to know that. I just didn't know, but they are food I suppose.
Yes, they sure do!!!
It's completely edible, that's why.
WOW........a whole wedding cake! They spent their foodstamps on a whole wedding cake!!!! It's still edible!!!
OMG....that is so sad for her......I TOTALLY would've made her a cake for free!!!!
guess Im a sucker for the underdog !!
You did the right thing.
That's the first I've ever heard about it. Gosh.
Oh yes the stores and bakeries definitely allow ANYTHING edible to be purchased with a foodstamp card anywhere the card is accepted.
It is a food item and the guidelines only stipulate that you purchase edible, non-alcoholic items with food stamps. (I remember that from working in a grocery store as a teen.) I won't get on a soapbox about misuse of public assistance and I have no problem whatsoever with a child getting a birthday cake, but a wedding cake does sound a bit extreme.
Oh that story makes me sad! I was raised by a single mother and for a time we had to be on foodstamps when I was little, and I know how it feels to not be able to have nice things for your kids because you can't afford it, and also the shame of having to use foodstamps in stores. And when I was little we didn't have the cards, we had the books that you had to rip the stamps out of. It was the worst!
That was nice of you to lower the price, hopefully she can afford it! But, a word of warning, it IS illegal to use foodstamps that were not issued to you. But I'm sure you're aware of that already.
Yeah, I would do the cake for free before I would accept any payment from her in the form of foodstamps. My friend hasn't called me back about that, so I figure she'll probably just go to Walmart and get it.
cass knows how i feel, so i'm just going to say that i think that you're doing the right thing
my only word of caution to add is, please make sure that u tell this friend of a friend, that this price is for her--don't let your kind heart be used against you. i say this not to me mean or unkind, as i currently do ALL of my cakes for free & haven't gotten paid for any of them.
that's insane..........I thought they weren't able to purchase prepared foods?? maybe you could give the woman a list of ingredients and have her go buy them and provide them to you.....make her a cake at cost!
I live in NYC and work with the homeless all of whom have foodstamps. The only things that can be bought with foodstamps is: food (hot, cold, prepared, raw, etc), food staples (oil, sugar, condiments, etc), non-alcoholic beverages. Our guys can walk into a store and buy deli sandwiches, potato chips, twinkies, cookies, whatever, so long as the store accepts food stamps.
If you want a jaw dropper, for those of you who don't know, drugs and alcohol can be purchased. The clients go in, make a deal with the store owner, they swipe their food stamp card and the owner gives them "change". For example, the card gets swiped for $10. The owner gives the client $5. When the governement reimburses the owner, they send him/her $10. The owner ends up with an extra $5 and the client ends up with $5 for drugs or alcohol. For those that truly need it, it's an ok system. But the abuses are many. And believe it or not, some are able to budget their food stamps a whole lot better than those of us who make too much money to qualify for foodstamps. That means they can go out and buys expensive cakes and what have you for their families.
Yeah Daltonam, I forgot to tell her that the price would only be this time for her. I STILL think you should be charging, though. Praetorian, it must be tough to work in an environment where you know that assistance is very much needed, and people still take advantage of it.
ive lost a lot of customers that use food stamps to get there cakes from Walmart and you get what you pay for. some are nice and some are just a big mess
Politics and sympathy notwithstanding, buying a celebration cake in all probability IS food stamp abuse.
The rules require that ONLY the qualified recipients eat that food---- that elcludes your guests, grandmother, friends, family, etc. What recipiant family will eat 100% of a wedding cake???
this made me curious so i went looking online and lookie what i found here--
i for one am glad for this
i'm no expert in this field but i think the fraud part comes in when they try to sell or transfer the benefits but apparently the feds figure birthday cake is food too--cool--
so when someone buys groceries for someone else with their snap/ebt card then that someone gives cash (or whatever commodity) for the groceries -- that is what i understand is fraud --
Households CAN use SNAP benefits to buy:
- Foods for the household to eat,...."
I have this information from my "real life" job. Under "the letter of the law", any SNAP recipient cannot share their food stamp benefit. So if they "share" or if they "sell" the benefit, it is a still a no-no. That is why recipients are asked if they prepare their food separately from non-recipients.
Like most things in life, a little "fudging" is not what makes people upset, but rather the blatant, wholesale abuses out there. Who would really ***** about some kid getting a WalMart sheet cake for their birthday?
yes definitely i getcha, j6ou-- i was just shocked, pleasantly surprised to finally find it spelled out like that so clearly too--i just always wondered how they wanted that to go and yes exactly for the little kids who need their birthday cakes -- but not to heavy on the decor--hahaha
sure-- the feds put out their set of instructions and each state interprets too--
i have worked for the peeps who transact credit card payments including ebt transactions--so i'm still no expert but in some states alcohol and fast food stores have called in and i have researched ebt transactions for those stores--idk -- we were always shocked out of our gourds but ??? it goes on out there -- and i mean the stores have to be programmed to accept the ebt transactions too--you can't just swipe them into any credit card swiper--
i just worked there....
The farmers' market I sell at just started accepting SNAP cards, at least those vendors whose food qualifies and who want to do it. I am not signed up for it myself, just because I consider what I sell to be luxury items. I've had one mom and daughter come, try a sample of my cheesecake, want to buy it, and then as an afterthought asked if I took SNAP. I said no, not set up for that right now, and the daughter started whining, "but mooooom, I want cheesecake!!!" The mom said something about didn't so-and-so say she could use some help, and the daughter could earn some money to buy it later. Now that's a novel idea...
Some people truly need help, but if I had to be on food stamps, I don't think it would be right to buy non-essential items like cheesecake just because I wanted it.
In the case of a birthday cake for a child, my mom would always make me a funfetti mix cake, messily iced with candles haphazardly stuck in it. You know what - I never noticed, I always looked forward to my made-with-love birthday cake. That would be an option instead of using food stamps to buy a custom decorated cake.
Just my two cents. ;)
wow--again i'm surprised and glad that's there's this whole article entitled,
"IMPLICATIONS OF RESTRICTING THE USE OF FOOD STAMP BENEFITS - SUMMARY"
i'm glad that the government doesn't put snap families in food prison* that would be awful (when i'm on my diet i say "i'm in food prison or food lockdown")
If you are referring to my post, do you really think the vast majority of people who have grown up with mom-made birthday cakes are deprived and in food prison?
If individual bakers in individual situations would like to bless someone with a free or deeply discounted cake, that's great! I have absolutely no problem with that! :) I just have a problem with the taxpayers paying for possibly hundreds of dollars for a custom cake, when there are plenty of people NOT on food stamps that can't even budget for that.
yes i was referencing your post to point to the article i found and to continue with all due respect 'food prison or food lockdown' as i say is my personal reference when i go on a diet and restrict myself --and no, mom-made bday cakes are not food prison/lockdown to me--
i agree 100%!
I think this also goes to the generation we live in where everyone (generally) feels they are entitled to everything even if they can't afford it. I feel so bad when clients can't afford an expensive cake but as my mum says, these are a luxury item that nobody has to have. The fact that they want it does not mean you have to lose money on it. I've started telling clients that make a fuss about the charge and want a discount that if I gave into them I'd have to to everyone and would then have to close my doors. It's simple math.
Cheating runs pretty rampant, just check out Medicare theft amongst untrustworthy doctors. Food stamps like Medicare is wide spread and I don't want to get into families that have so many children and their young children also have babies and they get major $$$$$ of stamps. Back on track though, I remember when Food Stamps went from Chits (receipts that showed the change from a transaction and they could use the slip later) to money allowed to be given as change. In the grocery store I worked in winos would come in and buy a pack of gum and get the money back from a $5.00 FS. Doing this a couple of times they would have enough money to purchase a bottle of Boones Farm Wine or a quart of beer. No matter what the rules are, there are those who find a loophole.
I see nothing wrong with offering a cake, very basic, for a birthday at no charge if you like. My only thought is that no good deed goes unpunished. Meaning that even though she is asked to keep mum on pricing or lack of, they are so joyous in the fact they have such a beautiful cake and of course spill the beans. Next thing you know others are coming with a sad story and you really will not know who is truly deserving of having it done. Or as everyone has said making one for the event yourself (meaning mom). To me when my mom made my cakes I LOVED it! I didn't see the lines were squiggly or there was a crack in the top cause it wasn't level, all I could see was that glorious cake! If it is for a birthday with all the excitement of the day, games and presents, I though I was a queen!
I suggest that you do what you are comfortable with.