A reader sends along the picture above, saying it was taken at the Stop-N-Go on South 25th Street in Fargo.
The advertisement is for Rockstar Energy Drinks, and at the bottom it indicates that all of Rockstar’s drinks are eligible for EBT.
EBT standing for Electronic Benefits Transfer.
According to this definition, it “means that instead of receiving paper food stamps and paper checks, you will be issued a debit card…to purchase food products and access cash benefits.”
A quick Google search indicates that controversy over energy drinks being purchased with government food benefits isn’t exactly new, but this is the first time I’ve seen a company directly marketing their product as being eligible under the benefits.
During the Farm Bill debate Republicans and Democrats fought an ugly rhetorical battle over food stamps benefits, with Democrats decrying even modest reductions in benefits proposed by Republicans.
“It is ironic that these are many of the same Members of Congress who bailed out the big banks, but when a family needs a little bit of help, they can’t seem to find a way to help them,” North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, said in September of last year. “Not only did they vote to kick nearly four million people off nutrition assistance – including children, seniors, veterans, and disabled Americans – but they have seriously jeopardized the passage of a long-term Farm Bill that would provide certainty to North Dakota farmers and ranchers.”
So, according to liberal Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp, reforming food stamps benefits is tantamount to starving little children, seniors, and veterans.
Meanwhile, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for energy drinks.
Update: Another North Dakota reader sends along this: