>Takers part III ( I promise I’ll get to "Givers" soon)


Through the years I have occasionally forgotten that I should not go to the grocery store on the first weekday following the first of the month (when the welfare benefits get paid).  Without fail, every time that I have been at the grocery during the welfare shopping-spree, I have endured being witness to the same scenario.  I am ALWAYS in the checkout line behind paired women who have four or five grocery carts between them.  Inevitably, one woman will whip-out her welfare card and pay for all of the groceries and the two will then divide the carts and head off for their cars.  Twice, I have personally witnessed the food stamp paying woman get cash payment from the other woman.  Without qualms, in the open for all to see, they had no problem with apparently defrauding the welfare system by basically selling food stamps.
The last time was the best though.  Before the cash-for-food-stamps-purchased-food transaction took place, I had the honor of listening to the women’s conversation.  Apparently the woman who was on welfare was in a pickle; she was not going to have enough money to go with her friend on a vacation to Florida if she had to pay her cell phone and cable bills herself.  Luckily, her friend was able to give her a long list of local churches, county offices, state programs, etc that would likely contribute to her cell phone and cable expenditures.  She was reminded that her phone was needed to get emergent calls from the school regarding her children and from her mother if there were a crisis; and that cable TV was important for getting information regarding weather or civil emergencies, and provided lots of educational programming to help her eventually get a job. 
I was relieved that by the time they left it was looking like the Florida vacation was probably going to happen; because Grandma was going to get to spend two weeks with her grandchildren while “Mom” got some much needed and deserved rest time away from the rigors of finding others to pay her bills and selling enough food stamps to buy her beer, cigarettes, and vacation funds.