I have never taken EBT/food stamps but I have used food pantries and eaten at soup kitchens for years.
The difference to me is that I know that the EBT cards are only given out after you fill out pages of paperwork essentially turning yourself over to the system in exchange for their 'goodies', to paraphrase another comment.
With the pantries and kitchens, however, I get real food that has already been grown and is now past sale-ability and will be thrown away if it isn't eaten or taken home that very day.
There has always been an abundance of food to be seen. On a few rare occasions when it looked like they were running low on 'stock' I have excused myself and bought a meal at my favorite authentic (ie cheap) Mexican restaurant.
Having grown up with the world's greatest coupon clipper (mom) and knowing that you can use coupons along with the 'stamps', I would easily be able to use the $250-odd dollars to get at least $5-600 worth of food and would give away some of the excess and also add to my rice, bean, and dehydrated food stockpile.
Also Goldman Sachs administers the EBT program and makes money from it.
Thanks for all the comments and insight. DP people are the best.
Pandas eat bugs.