Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dream of ID Requirement for Food

Dream of ID Requirement for Food
Michelle Collier
September 2005

I dreamed that in order to purchase groceries, you had to present your identification. At this time, you did not purchase your food at a regular grocery store like we do today, but rather you purchased it at a location that was assigned by the government.

Only people who had the proper identification were allowed to get food. Those who did not have identification were not allowed to get food. However, the workers who handed out the food were sympathizers and there was secret information that these sympathizers would allow people to purchase food without identification on certain days. It was like an underground resistance movement.

I had the sense that the people who did not have the proper identification were resisting the ID requirement. About this time I had a similar dream about requirements to purchase food but instead there were special machines installed within the grocery store where you were required to present identification.

2011 Update:

Bill advances requiring photo identification for food stamp purchases

By Dustin Hurst
March 17th, 2011
Food stamp recipients may soon be required to show identification
Food stamp recipients may soon be required to show identification

The House Commerce Committee approved a bill Thursday that would require those using federal food stamps to purchase groceries to show identification before doing so.

Rep. Christy Perry, R-Nampa, said that measure is meant to crack down on illegal sales of food stamps in Idaho. Perry told committee members that there are food stamp recipients who allow other people to use their food stamp debit cards and secret PIN numbers in exchange for some lesser amount of cash.

Leo Morales, legislative advisor for the Idaho Community Action Network, said the bill would unnecessarily shame food stamp recipients by forcing them to show identification, while other shoppers are not held to the same standard.

The bill, Morales argued, could also present difficulties for home-bound seniors who cannot obtain proper identification. “This bill, as written, could have some unintended consequences,” Morales said. “Home-bound elderly community members may have some problems with this law.”

Morales also pointed out that the state would be asking the grocery stores to perform the state’s job of detecting food stamp fraud.

Melanie Roper, legislative intern for Catholic Charities of Idaho, argued that immigrants new to the United States might have difficulty accessing food stamps. “Many refugees left their homes quickly without their belongings, and many arrive in the United States without photo identification,” said Roper.

Making it more difficult to access food stamps, Roper argued, hurts the poor, disabled, and elderly. “We believe all people should have access to food, particularly the vulnerable among us,” said Roper. “Having enough food to eat is a basic human right.”

In the end, the measure passed on a 7-2 tally, with Republicans supporting and Democrats opposing the bill. The measure now heads to the House floor.

Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, said that she thinks the law would bring unneeded attention to those on the public assistance program. “I think this would single them out,” said Ringo, adding that she remembers the days when actual stamps were used to purchase food, meaning a lengthy process at cash registers. “I kind of felt sorry for them that so much attention had to be drawn to them.”

Federal law prohibits states from enacting regulations that would single out food stamp recipients. Perry said that making food stamp recipients stand in a separate line at the store would be illegal, but requiring identification prior to purchases would not be. Rep. Steve Thayn, R-Emmett, strongly suggested that Perry get a legal opinion to gauge the measure’s legitimacy.


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