Not only can the Agriculture Department boast that food stamps feed more than 47 million people in America annually, it turns out taxpayers are also inadvertently feeding ineligible people abroad.

The New York Post reports that New Yorkers are using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards — a vehicle for government benefits like food stamps and cash assistance — to purchase groceries, package them in large barrels and ship them to relatives overseas in places like Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The Post reports that in the more Caribbean-heavy areas of the city, supermarkets offer hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon barrels for shipping.

Patrons pay roughly $40 in cash for the barrels and fill them with $500 to $2,000 worth of items like rice, beans, pasta, canned milk, and sausages, the Post reported, noting that the goods are less expensive and better quality than those available abroad.

For about $70 a shipping company will pick up the barrels and ship them to the Caribbean in about three weeks, according to the Post.

 

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