Locals react to proposed Louisiana food stamp changes

Locals react to proposed Louisiana food stamp changes

Louisiana Senator, David Vitter introduces act to require phtoto identification for SNAP purchases.

You might remember the scene at retail stores in October. A system failure removed spending limits on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or 'SNAP' cards. The result was some beneficiaries piling shopping cards with food and making purchases beyond their spending limit.

It's one of the triggers for Louisiana Republican Senator, David Vitter's 'Food Stamp Fraud Prevention And Accountability Act' introduced this week.

The act would require anyone making purchase with a SNAP electronic benefits card provide photo identification.

Local retailers say they are unsure about the proposed changes because many of their customers don't carry photo ID's. At Village Food in Shreveport, Mohammed Rayyan, says nearly half of all sales at the family owned business are made with SNAP funds.

"I think the food stamp thing is already safe, there is a pin number, so when the customer comes to the store, there's no pin number, they can't use the card," says Rayyan. The store is also concerned about how enforcement will take place.

Pamela Johnson who lives nearby say many in the surrounding neighborhoods will be upset. "It could be a great thing but a lot of people don't carry ID, they lose their ID, they send their kids for bread and milk for convenience, i just don't think it's worth it," she says.

In the most recent fiscal year the Department of Children and Family Services which oversees the SNAP program reported $4 million dollars of losses due to fraud.
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