The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cracking down on food stamp “trafficking” with new rules that make it illegal to indirectly trade food stamps for cash.
The USDA is targeting abuse of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as food stamps, as part of its “campaign to cut waste.”
It’s already illegal to trade food stamps for cash, but the USDA wants to make it harder for people to get around the rules by cashing food stamps indirectly. One common method is what’s called “water dumping,” using SNAP benefits to buy water bottles and other containers that can be returned for refund deposits.
“Where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way, and we must do everything we can to stay ahead of the curve,” Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said today in a statement. “Today’s announcement reaffirms USDA’s ongoing commitment to cracking down on abuse and protecting taxpayers’ investment in this critical nutrition lifeline.”