Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania is trying to cut down on the amount of people who are selling their food stamps.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as SNAP) cards, can only be used to purchase food products. However, SNAP trafficking happens when cards are exchanged for cash, services, or anything other than food.

Pennsylvania State Senator Judy Schwank is Chair of the Senate Health and Human Service Committee.

The cards are sometimes purchase illegally by individuals or even by stores, who pay cash for pennies on the dollar for the card. Then the small business owners might purchase bulk amounts of food and then sell it on their own shelves. Individuals might sell their cards to get money to use for rent, repairs, or drugs and alcohol.

Although the underlying problem or finding people jobs, the ability to pay for rent or repairs, or get addiction counseling is still there, the fact remains that buying or selling SNAP cards is illegal.

Earlier this year, Act 29 became law and provided the Office of Inspector General with original jurisdiction over criminal statutes relating to public benefit fraud. The law also gave the OIG the ability to issue subpoenas or search warrants and partner directly with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

If you suspect fraud you can report it via phone at 1-800-932-0582 or make an online complaint at the OIG’s website.

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