GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -
A south Louisiana lingerie store has posted on its front door to indicate it accepts most credit cards, including the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
Kiss My Lingerie, in Gonzales, sells adult specialty items. The store moved into the Magnolia Shopping Center on South Burnside Avenue a few years ago. However, accepting the EBT payment is something that happened eight months ago, according to the owner. The owner went on to say the store accepts every form of payment and does not discriminate against customers.
A woman who works near the store and asked not to be identified said in the last few weeks, she's noticed more people going inside the adult shop. She added that's when she saw the message on the front door of the store that the EBT card is listed as an acceptable form of payment.
"We were told anything could be purchased there, with the food stamp card," she said. "No child I know eats edible underwear."
The woman said to her knowledge, the EBT card is supposed to be used for the support of children. A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Family Services said the EBT card, or the Louisiana Purchase card, is not just for food stamps. There are also cash benefits available for other family needs. The only things the cash benefits do not cover are alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, casinos and adult entertainment.
Although this case skirts the line, state officials stated there's no violation of the law with the store accepting the card for lingerie and other adult items. They added because the cash benefits are part of a federal program, Louisiana does not dictate how families spend the money of those cards, which could be less than $200 a month or up to $400 a month.
"It's still the taxpayers dollars that are being used in a store like that and that really upsets me," the unidentified woman said.
DCFS said there are less than 10,000 people who get the cash benefits, compared to 835,000 people who use the card strictly for food benefits. Retail stores must apply to the federal government if they want to accept the EBT cards as a payment type.