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Old 02-04-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,545 posts, read 8,287,930 times
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In the U.S., we have EBT cards (often still called by their old format, "food stamps") for those who cannot afford groceries, or at least say they cannot. The government puts money on EBT cards, which can be used to buy groceries at any participating market. There are certain income limits, depending on your family size, for this form of assistance. In Minnesota, at least, such social welfare services are administered on the county level, and you would go to apply at your county social services office.

Most supermarkets, to my knowledge, participate in the program. The way it works is simple: at the teller, you swipe your EBT card, and the groceries are paid for. If I'm not wrong, certain items (liquor, cigarettes, etc.) are excluded, but most food item are accepted.

Now for the question...

What's the closest equivalent of EBT cards / food stamps in other countries?
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Brisbane
2,654 posts, read 2,595,753 times
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Nothing like it at all in Austalia to my knowlege, you cant afford to feed the family you either starve or rely on a charity food bank to give it to you.
A few years ago the government did flirt with the idea of introducing an american style food stamp system to replace part of the social security payments. Their was a massive outcry and it never got anywhere. So poor families can continue to starve their children while the parents spend all their money on alchohol and gambling.
The social security system hear is very generous however, seeing families or children sleeping in the street is very rare.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Paris, France
320 posts, read 512,171 times
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In France, there are numerous vouchers that can be used as cash. They were invented as an advantage to employees whose employers did not have a company restaurant or canteen so that people can go to a restaurant or fast food place and get something at a lower cost. For example, at my company we have vouchers worth 7€ day of which 2.80€ comes out of our salary. This is also common in Benelux, the UK, Switzerland, Italy and some other EU countries.

Anyway, this system has been extended over the years and there are vouchers than can be used in supermarkets also, and they can be given out by social services to the needy. Otherwise, for the winter months, there are 'charity restaurants' that feed people and give out bags of groceries. There are also a few 'social supermarkets' selling almost expired food from the other places for next to nothing.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,545 posts, read 8,287,930 times
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So in Australia, SS essentially performs the function of food stamps, without limiting the purchases to groceries? Hmm.

I'd really like to know what the systems are like in Europe, especially the Scandinavian countries. In the U.S., we have a 5-year limit for cash assistance, which I believe includes food stamps / EBT. This limit was not there from the start, actually being a part of welfare reform enacted around 1995. It seems to me that these generous countries would permit a person to live on the dole for life.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,545 posts, read 8,287,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerouac2 View Post
In France, there are numerous vouchers that can be used as cash. They were invented as an advantage to employees whose employers did not have a company restaurant or canteen so that people can go to a restaurant or fast food place and get something at a lower cost. For example, at my company we have vouchers worth 7€ day of which 2.80€ comes out of our salary. This is also common in Benelux, the UK, Switzerland, Italy and some other EU countries.

Anyway, this system has been extended over the years and there are vouchers than can be used in supermarkets also, and they can be given out by social services to the needy. Otherwise, for the winter months, there are 'charity restaurants' that feed people and give out bags of groceries. There are also a few 'social supermarkets' selling almost expired food from the other places for next to nothing.
EBT cards are generally limited to the unemployed and underemployed. A food voucher for employees who can otherwise support their families but do not have a corporate cafeteria or canteen available is not really the same thing.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Springfield MO
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In Zimbabwe, you have to present your "Party Card" to be given food. If you are not a member of the party... no food.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Sweden
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We don't have any cards or stamps or anything like that.
We buy the food ourselves since we have the right to an allowance each month if we are unemployed or ill or retired.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Minnesota, USA
7,545 posts, read 8,287,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigSwede View Post
We don't have any cards or stamps or anything like that.
We buy the food ourselves since we have the right to an allowance each month if we are unemployed or ill or retired.
Can you be "unemployed" (not ill or retired, just lazy) for several years and still receive an allowance?
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:43 AM
 
Location: Östermyra
731 posts, read 764,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Can you be "unemployed" (not ill or retired, just lazy) for several years and still receive an allowance?
Yes.. a friend of mine, in his mid-20's last had a job in 2006. Gets about 410e/month + 480e/month housing allowance. Many people do that, all the while working "gray" jobs = paid under the table in straight cash.
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Old 02-06-2010, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Sweden
15,160 posts, read 40,308,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Can you be "unemployed" (not ill or retired, just lazy) for several years and still receive an allowance?
You have to be active and search for jobs to keep your allowance,but if you can't get a job you can take part in different projects while you are searching for jobs.
That way can get the allowance a little longer.
For example,in the mid 90s just about all unemployed citizens had to sign up for a class to learn how to use a computer and Internet.
It was basically considered a kindergarten for adults since it was complete chaos for a while.
It took three months and then you could add new days on the dole.
There was also a class where you learned how to search for a job.It also took three months.
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