EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 31, 2014

Letter: This system could help cut EBT fraud

To the editor:

I have a few points for a solution to the food part of the EBT problem:

1. Separate the food and household goods (toiletries, cleaning products, etc.) from other assistance.

2. There would be one card issued per family per address with a picture ID, address and how many people (adults and children) the card is issued for. It is very important that the state can verify that the number of people the person is applying for live at this address. The state would have to set guidelines for special circumstances such as more than one family living at the same address.

3. The state could consult a nutritionist at pre-determined intervals to make up lists from different food groups for the needs of the varying groups. The card holder would choose from the list to satisfy their family’s individual tastes and eliminate food waste.

4. There would be one state employee to standardize the amount of goods each card holder needs. This can be determined by the amount of people and square footage of the apartment or house. If more is needed the card holder would have to apply with the reason why.

5. There would be one distribution center in each of the minor urban and surrounding suburban areas and two or more if needed in the major urban areas. These centers would be operated by the private sector and have reception areas. They would only be able to fill orders and are not intended to be supermarkets.

6. Only the card holder would be able to arrive at these centers with their issued card. After verified confirmation of their photo ID, the card and the card holder’s list of products would be given to authorized personnel (either state or private). This person would have a paper printout of the recipients for the week and would be responsible for recording when the products were picked up. If there is any discrepancy, the card would be immediately confiscated and the problem resolved with a supervisor.

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