Governor Bobby Jindal Cancels SNAP Cards: Louisiana EBT Free-for-all May Come at a High Price


Remember last month when EBT cards in Louisiana showed no limits? Remember how all of those EBT users had a chaos-fueled shopping spree and emptied store shelves within hours? Remember how that one woman with only 49 cents left on her card tried to leave with $700 worth of food?

Well, the governor of Louisianna remembers too, and he has taken the unprecedented move of canceling the benefits cards for every person suspect of participating in the fraudulent free-for-all.

louisiana-ebt… Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s office will cancel food stamp benefits for anyone who participated in a fraud and shopping spree catalyzed by an EBT malfunction.

More than 12,000 people were sent an insufficient funds notice when the problem with the EBT cards was fixed on Oct. 12; those who transgressed may lose their EBT cards for a year.

Suzy Sonnier, the secretary of state at the Department of Children and Family Services, released a statement saying: “We must protect the program for those who receive and use their benefits appropriately according to the law. We are looking at each case individually, addressing those recipients who are suspected of misrepresenting their eligibility for benefits or defrauding the system.” (source)

It all started on October 12, when technical problems plagued the EBT system across the country. 17 states were affected. Most of the benefits recipients couldn’t use their cards at all, causing mini-riots across the country when they were unable to buy food for their families. Within a few days, the USDA had sent notices to the states ordering them to freeze SNAP funds as a contingency plan because of the government shutdown. Meanwhile, in a few places in Louisiana, the EBT malfunction caused the cards to show no limit, and many stores allowed users to shop anyway.

And shop they did. Even though the accepted policy is to allow benefits recipients to purchase $50 worth of groceries in the event that cards malfunction, many stores did not limit purchases. Grocery carts were filled with reckless abandon and users gleefully left the stores with hundreds of dollars worth of ill-gotten supplies.

It looks like dishonesty was not the best policy, however.

Governor Jindal’s move comes after public urging from the office of the Louisiana Attorney General, David Vitter.

Sen. David Vitter urged Louisiana officials Wednesday to pursue charges and strip food stamp benefits from Wal-Mart shoppers in north Louisiana who turned a technical glitch into a free shopping spree.

Vitter, R-La., called for state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the Jindal administration to take action against shoppers who generated national headlines, spawned YouTube videos, and created a Twitter frenzy after a failure in the electronic benefit transfer system — the process for using food stamps — allowed them to spend beyond their balances in mid-October.

Smartphones captured images of carts piled high with groceries that were abandoned once the system came back online.

Taxpayers did not lose money because of safety measures built into the food stamp system.

“It should be clear that someone who tried to buy massive amounts of groceries purposely attempted to exceed the program limits. That sort of fraud should be met with disqualification from the program at the very least,” Vitter wrote. (source)

Those whose cards have been cancelled may appeal the decision in hopes of having their benefits restored, but if they lose the appeal, they could lose their benefits anywhere from one year all the way to…forever. Suzie Sonnier wrote, “Louisiana’s current SNAP policy allows a one year sanction from the program for a first offense, a 24 month suspension for a second offense and a permanent disqualification for a third offense.”

Let’s hope, for their sakes and that of their innocent children, that the fraudulent shoppers purchased long term storage foods, because it looks like they are going to need it. As always, it’s the children who will really pay the price for the irresponsible actions of their parents. Through greed, dishonesty, and an entitlement mentality, these folks have just created their own SHTF event.

UPDATE: Find out who is paying the bill for the unlimited EBT access at Wal-mart by clicking here.

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About Daisy Luther
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]
  • Boberator

    What about punishing the stores that also violated the $50 limit and let people walk out with hundreds of dollars. They still get the sale and the profit from selling the goods when they made it easy for people to break the law. Accountability should also be applied to merchants who "CHEATED THE SYSTEM" and made a profit at the expense of the taxpayers. Come on Govenor, you need to take them to the woodshed too.

  • Renee Vlna

    They have that same policy in Ohio. I think it's a great program. Unfortunatly the kids have to suffer, but if they are allowed to get away with it then it a precedent that it is allowed and there will be consequences.

  • jea

    This is one of the most obnoxious and hate-filled wing nut forums I've ever seen. You people are bloody racist redneck morons. Just about everyone on here is a disgusting hater. I'd wager most of you live in the deep south too. No wonder you folks down there take more from the Federal Government than you give. No wonder you have the worst schools, the highest illiteracy rates and the highest percentage of children born out of wedlock. You gotta love those Christian family values, huh? Disgusting. I need a shower after visiting this site. Never coming back here.

    • DwnSouthJukin

      "bloody racist redneck morons"

      You use racial slurs while calling others racist......who's the moron again? lol

    • jea

      Racial slur? What racial slur? Redneck? Not a racial slut. It can apply to anyone. Strike one. Moron? Not a racial slur. It can apply to anyone. Strike two. Bloody? Um, fail. Strike three. Whatever are you talking about? I guess I hit a nerve, huh? If the shoe fits....

    • DwnSouthJukin

      "Racial slur? What racial slur? Redneck? Not a racial slur. It can apply to anyone."

      So when you use the word "redneck" we're supposed to pretend to were talking about the Burmese?

      Lol...Liar.

      To be a Leftist you must first be dishonest. You are the perfect example of this.

  • jea

    The vast majority of the comments on this thread make me ill. Has anyone here every been jobless? Homeless? Down on their luck? Needed help? Ill? Disabled? Jesus H. Christ people, you sound like a bunch of redneck haters. There are not a lot of decent, good paying jobs out there. After the GOP has off-shored companies and jobs, busted unions, enacted right to work laws, imposed austerity, looted the Treasury (See, Wall Street), they now wonder why more and more people need help. This kind of hatred is sickening. I hope none of you ever need a helping hand but maybe it would be the best thing that could happen to some of you so you weren't so self-righteous and smug about the suffering of otheres. There will always be people who abuse the system, whether that system is government or private industry. But, to characterize the vast majority of people on SNAP as lazy, worthless, shiftless thieves is disgusting and unbecoming of America. I don't recognize my country anymore. Where is the compassion we are so famous for? Where is the recognition of the Enlightenment principles upon which our country was based? The notion of the Social Compact and the idea that we rise and fall together. A lot of you sound like a bad replay of Fox News, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and the rest of the haters.