Hot rotisserie chicken not allowed by SNAP rules [OPINION]

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A woman called the program on Tuesday to tell me that she was not allowed to use her Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to purchase one of those delicious, hot, pre-cooked roast chickens from Market Basket. You know, the ones you can smell the second you step out of your car in the parking lot. Say what?

Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance issues EBT cards to provide food and economic assistance to people in need under the Federal Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nutrition, as in a healthy diet. The SNAP program enables beneficiaries to purchase nutritious food for themselves and their families. Chicken is a good source of protein. It is a nutritional food.

Judging by the loads of fries, soda, sugary drinks, frozen pizza and other bullshit that I see go through the taxpayer-funded queue every week, I had my doubts about the story of this old lady. So I checked it out. She’s right.

Mass Legal Services has a listing EBT Dos and Don’ts on their website. It’s right there, as simple as the day, “Hot foods prepared for consumption on the premises of the store or immediately (such as roast chickens) or restaurant meals” cannot be purchased with an EBT card. I am not joking.

The woman said she was allowed to return to the store the next morning and buy the chicken once it cooled down.

So you can buy crisps, pretzels, Coke, and ice cream with your EBT card, but an old lady can’t buy a hot roast chicken to take away for dinner under federal government rules because it is considered a luxury item? I have a headache.

By the way, the government will increase benefits to SNAP recipients by approximately $ 36 per person per month starting in October. Don’t dare try to buy a roast chicken with that, buster!

Barry Richard is the host of the Barry Richard Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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