Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.
The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.
The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.
A spokeswoman for the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service said welfare benefits are reserved for households that buy and prepare food together. She said states should intervene if people are caught shipping nonperishables abroad.
Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, called it just another example of welfare abuse.
“I don’t want food-stamp police to see what people do with their rice and beans, but it’s wrong,” Tanner told The Post. “The purpose of this program is to help Americans who don’t have enough to eat. This is not intended as a form of foreign aid.”
The United States spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show.
Still, New Yorkers say they ship the food because staples available in the States are superior and less costly than what their families can get abroad.
Read more: nypost.com