Food Stamp users say 'no lobster' - Tucson News Now

Food Stamp users say 'no lobster'

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Several food stamp recipients say they are upset by the image which says they are lazy moochers using their food stamps for lobster.

It's not against the law they say, but the stamps are too valuable to waste on expensive foods.

Tree Lafferty has been on food stamps for the past four years.

She has worked full time during those years but can't make enough to be totally self sufficient.

Lafferty and her partner sell hand made jewelry downtown six days a week.

"When we aren't here, we're making what we sell," she says.

Most of the items cost $5 or less.

They are licensed by the city and pay for that.

"I'm hoping to get off food stamps soon because we're making more money at this location," she said standing on the of Penington and Stone, near the downtown library.

When asked if she buys lobster, an emphatic 'No, no. It's too expensive and I can't get it out of its shell."

When asked if she knows anyone who has she says "No, but I bought sushi once two years ago."

She says she bought a $5 dollar bag of sushi but ate it over two days, the only thing she ate.

"$2.50 a meal is not bad," she says.

Now she sticks to basics, "no more sushi," she says.

"I buy a lot of macaroni and cheese, decent inexpensive meat and vegetables," she says. "I don't buy much cans."

Her friends buy a lot of beans and rice because "it's cheap and can be stretched," she adds.

"I also take the bus," she says.

"People that talk about welfare queens and food stamp recipients should walk a mile in their shoes," says Brian Flagg, who runs the Casa Maria soup kitchen. "They need to come hang around where I live and work, in the soup kitchen."

Flagg says many of the people who come to hit kitchen work full time or work two or three jobs but they don't pay enough.

Their companies are constantly working for ways to cut their hours so they don't have to pay benefits.

"It's demeaning for them to work five or ten hours at one job, then go to another for a few hours," he says. "It's not that they don't want to work, it's just then can't find enough work.

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