Many states have gone to the EBT type cards for food stamps, Aid for Dependent Children, Child Care expenses, unemployment benefits etc. Food Stamps still cannot buy any foods that are prepared already such as McDonald's or from a convenience store like the burritos and egg rolls. They also cannot be used for non food items like laundry soap, etc.
Aid for Dependent Children which is more often called TANF now is a very minimal monetary payment to help provide for children. If the parent also receives Child Support payments this may off set the TANF amount. Also used to offset medical payments for children.
WIC is a separate program designed to help pregant or nursing mothers and children up to age four or five receive basic important nutritional foods as staples.
If one has a card for food stamps one cannot get cash back from it period. Nor can one buy something for a dime and get chane from a dollar food stamp as used to be done. It simply debits their alloted food stamp funds, which are renewed once each month on a specific day.
I firmly believe that most people use their food stamps responsibly. Most states provide educational material on nutrition and even classes on nutrition and cooking. While others do not, it is not the case for most people. Those who use them wrongly should of course be punished. Who would want to go through all the invasive paperwork just for fun or to get something for free is beyond me.
As for those who are using food stamps and also have nice things, one need not be completely impoverished to qualify for food stamps, additionally, we have no right to assume that those things were purchased inappropriately. Perhaps the phone came through a domestic abuse program that provides phones to women so that they have access to help, perhaps it was a gift from a parent or grandparent. Perhaps it is the only thing they have left from their former life. It isn't my business and it is definitely not my place to assume they are doing something wrong. If they are they will be found out and there will be consequences, but I am not of the opinion that we revoke those aids from everyone because some people misuse the system. the system itself is continuously trying to find and correct loopholes.