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I have friends that lately about the record number of people on food stands as of June almost 47 million Americans were rolled in the federal program called snapped.
Which cost taxpayers 75 billion dollars a year -- reports show.
The more than three quarters of a billion dollars in the program is lost to fraud spent on things like tobacco plastic surgery.
Wolf Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton wanted to see how it all works so we ditch as usual our team and -- off food stamps -- -- the mayor joins me now.
So what was it like.
Well it's tough I only had his 29 dollars with my total budget for one week which is exactly what someone who is.
Without food stamps that's their total budget.
And it was tough fight could not get anything other than they've very very bare minimum impact in order to meet budget -- -- a skip a few meals.
And -- is a tough thing I've developed a few pounds going through a but it hopefully make it better policy -- I was asked by a local group.
The Arizona -- -- association which is a nonprofit that deals with.
Folks living in difficult circumstances.
If I would take this challenge and I said sure that would make it better policy makers the least -- can do.
Now there's a big gap.
Between what you are talking about an all the other reports that we've seen about the fraud.
That seems to be rampant in the program I mean for example LA times that are reported just a few months -- -- 121000 dollars.
The and taking now it in food stamps from an ATM in top inside the strip -- I mean I don't know what people -- -- for the strip club.
But I don't I don't think it's fruits and vegetables.
Robbing it elsewhere in California there is a big investigation into.
Food stamp money being used for lottery tickets in Massachusetts the blue ribbon panel fat -- -- being used in jewelry -- Where's the disconnect between what you were talking about which is you know this very small amount of money.
You know being stretched over the course of the week for food and all this -- that we hear about.
Well I'll I can tell you is we are going through incredibly difficult economic times this is the worst economy since the Great Depression.
We're beginning he -- crawl out from underneath that the economy here in Phoenix is getting a little bit better but there -- still a lot of people.
That used to be solidly middle class that are living under very difficult circumstances including many who never thought they'd be on food stamps are living on food stamps.
And of course in any government program there's going to be a small amount of abuse but -- -- the vast vast.
Minority of people the vast majority of people are good hardworking people that need a program like this to help them get through.
-- times on a temporary basis.
And after this economy turns around they're gonna be fully employed so I I hate that you know criticize -- program because there are some people that abuse it.
The vast majority people are good hardworking people that needed I can only tell you that.
If you play by the rules yeah under the food stamp program you don't get a lot.
At least for food and that the real the ones I'm really thinking about during last week them.
We're kids and if no absolutely I think it if you don't -- to get through its kids living through it.
Nobody wants kids to go hungry and when I -- abuse I think that is money that's being wasted.
That could be feeding kids I mean what when you went through what was the mechanism like for you to go and and exchange -- the did you have a debit card I mean how did it works that we can root out.
You know where the way east and even the Friday is to get more -- the right people.
-- well if the first -- let me be clear.
What I did was they gave me the budget the dollar amount that someone on foods at that it actually sign up for food stamps as I would only do upper one week so they -- -- -- -- experience.
What life was like for someone and of course you can't fully experience of we're just one -- and I could always.
Pull up my debit card if I needed to silly you know I don't want to overstate what I did but I just want to show support.
And be a better policy -- but on that issue look.
If someone sees any kind of fraud or abuse call your local law enforcement authorities.
We shouldn't criticize an -- an entire program which helps a lot of people in need during incredibly difficult economic times.
Don't criticize entire program is because there is some.
Fraud and abuse in every major corporation today there's going to be some fraud abuse -- -- sugar reported it should be enforced and people should go to jail that are -- the rules but the vast majority of people the vast majority people are good hardworking people.
That gets legal help during these tough times mayor -- coming on the program we appreciate it.
Anytime I appreciate it.
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