Muddy Guidelines Not Helping Crab Sellers, Food Stamp Buyers - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Muddy Guidelines Not Helping Crab Sellers, Food Stamp Buyers

Posted: May 10, 2018 5:46 PM Updated:


CAMBRIDGE, Md. - For Lindy's Seafood owner Aubrey Vincent, selling seafood at her business in Dorchester County can be very confusing.

"There's a lot of misunderstanding and not as much guidance as I think some people need," Vincent said.

Vincent says when it comes to selling seafood to those using food stamps, she's often forced to turn to the USDA website. Last year, the USDA issued a video attempting to clarify what retailers like Lindy's can sell to those on the SNAP program. Typically, food stamps cannot be used for prepared, hot meals. That means things like steamed crabs don't qualify. Live or raw crabs do. So if someone on food stamps wants to have their crabs steamed, they need to use cash to pay for that.

"It's been really difficult to get the guidance you need," Vincent said.

Now, the federal government is enforcing those regulations, stripping violating businesses in places, like Baltimore, of their right to sell crabs to those on food stamps. It's also worrying others, like Vincent, who do comply but are already suffering from a hard season without their crab pickers.

Some say, regardless steamed or raw, food stamps shouldn't be used to buy luxury food items like crabs at all.

But Vincent says anything from claws to lump meat could feed a family for several days.

"I don't think anyone's purposely out here breaking the rules and trying to take advantage," Vincent said.

 

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