Dec 022011

Food stamps for Frappuccinos?

It may sound shocking, but the FOX 12 Investigators discovered you can use an Oregon Trail Card, which is part of the food stamp program, to purchase the luxury drink at certain Starbucks counters inside grocery stores.

With the help of Jackie Fowler, who has an Oregon Trail Card, FOX 12 went to an in-store Starbucks within a Safeway in Salem. Fowler purchased a tall Frappaccino and slice of pumpkin bread and paid for both using her Oregon Trail card.

“It’s crazy,” said Fowler, who showed us the receipt for $5.25.

“They’re overpriced as it is,” said Fowler of the specialty drink. “That’s money that somebody could be eating with — a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk.”

Fowler, who made the purchase only for the purpose of our story, says she thinks it’s a huge misuse of the food assistance program.

“There are a lot of loopholes,” she said.

A spokesman with Safeway told FOX 12 the store recently made the change as an added convenience to customers.

“We think that compliance with state laws is something we can easily do,” said Dan Floyd, of Safeway.

According to federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) guidelines, people cannot buy foods that will be eaten in the store or hot foods. However, luxury items that are allowed include soft drinks, candy, cookies, ice cream, even bakery cakes and energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label.

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h/t Business Insider