Take note of the next time you're in line at the grocery checkout.
1. Big family ahead of you in line (headed by one or more adult females -- no adult males).
2. Lots of groceries on the checkout table.
3. Total is rung up.
4. Card is presented for payment.
5. Card does not work.
6. Try card again. (Repeat steps 5 and 6.)
7. Alternate method of payment is discussed.
8. Argument ensues with cashier; or
9. Groceries are abandoned and customers exit; or
10. Customer withdraws large sum of cash from ATM (backup account) and pays.
Note the time of month (within a 30-day period) you witness this scenario.
I saw such an incident last night, with step 10 as the resolution. They were lucky they had money from somewhere else. This indicates that mid-month is when the cards run low.
Even better, shop where the LINK cards aren’t, if possible.
When choosing the shortest line at the supermarket, I now always evaluate the demographics of who is in line. The people that get their food for free can take forever to check out, although you do get a show.
It's something to see an EBT customer at the self-checkout with 400 items. That's a lot of work. Gee, I wonder what they could be up to.