Fox Hypes Baseless Attack On Food Stamps

Fox News continued its smear campaign against the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, by hyping an evidence-free claim that recipients are using the program to send food overseas.

A July 21 New York Post story claimed that low-income New Yorkers were using SNAP funds to purchase food to send overseas. The Post based its claims on anecdotes from unnamed sources at two New York supermarkets that “confirmed the practice,” but failed to include specifics. The anonymous woman that the Post provided as its sole example of the practice was not a SNAP beneficiary:

Last week, a woman stuffed dozens of boxes of macaroni and evaporated milk into a barrel headed for her family in Kingston, Jamaica. She said she didn't have welfare benefits and bought the food herself.

“This is all worth more than $2,000,” she said. “I've been shopping since last December. You can help somebody else, someone who doesn't live in this country.”

A man helping her pack the barrel said: “We're poor here, and they're poor. But what we can get here is like luxury to them.”

Fox News and other right-wing media outlets ignored the Post's lack of evidence to hype the story as an example of failed government oversight. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade reported:

You're paying for food stamps for foreigners? The New York Post reports that welfare recipients in New York City are buying groceries and sending them in giant barrels to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. The Agriculture Department won't investigate. That will be up to individual states. Thanks.

Fox has a history of assisting Republican attempts to smear SNAP and its recipients.