Allow Food Stamp Receivers To Buy Basic Goods

Target: Kate Brown, Oregon Governor

Goal: Allow Oregon citizens to purchase basic goods such as toilet paper and soap with their EBT cards.

The state of Oregon has a very successful food stamps program that provides thousands of families with food each month. However, what doesn’t get considered is that these people have basic needs that aren’t always able to be covered by their limited or nonexistent income. Basic necessities such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and toothpaste are all unavailable for purchase on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Demand that EBT cards allow purchase of common household items so that people can continue to live their lives.

Every day, thousands, if not millions, of Americans are going without basic hygienic necessities simply because their EBT cards won’t allow them to purchase these items. We know for a fact that your average person needs toilet paper, soap, and some sort of oral cleanser, whether baking soda or toothpaste, yet you can’t buy these necessities on an EBT card. Food stamps are the government’s way of recognizing struggle in someone’s life and offering as much assistance as they can to help them get back on their feet and rejoin productive society.

If the point of government assistance programs is to help citizens into reforming themselves so they can be more productive members of society, we should allow them to purchase basic necessities with the most widely used government program there is. Chances are, if someone is on food stamps, they don’t have the financial means to buy other basic goods, so they are left to choose between paying rent and buying basic toiletries. Sign below to demand that the rules are changed in order to allow EBT to cover basic hygiene staples.


Dear Kate Brown,

Every month, Oregon families receive supplemental income in the form of an EBT card, which allows them to buy food. Yet many of these families may not have enough extra money leftover after paying bills to buy any soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, or other hygiene staples. I feel that people who are already receiving government assistance should have all of their basic needs met, not just the ones that the government finds important.

It’s well established that humans need soap and toilet paper in order to be integrated with the rest of society. Any respectable person should be able to go to the bathroom when they please and be able to wash themselves if they so choose to. Think about those who have to go to job interviews in order to make enough money to be able to live without food stamps, they have to wash and dress themselves to be presentable for the interview, yet many don’t have the option because they used all of their money on bills.

If we are going to establish a safety net for the citizens of Oregon, then we should make sure that safety net actually satisfies all of Oregonians basic needs, rather than just hunger. Everyone needs to use toilet paper, everyone uses soap in the shower, and everyone needs to brush their teeth; these aren’t conspiracy theories or broad stretches, they’re basic human knowledge. As governor your job is to serve the people, so begin by ensuring that every Oregon citizen has the opportunity to improve themselves, especially if they’re receiving help.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Photos8

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One Comment

  1. Food and basic necessities should be qualified on foodstamps, not cigarettes, alcohol, and fast food.
    Holy cow, kids need to be taught basic hygiene and healthy ways to eat. Especially if the government is helping to support their eating and hygiene habits.
    Parents on food stamps need to also put their best foot forward regarding what they receive from the government and what they (the patrons) are authorized and how to utilize the the food stamps.

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