USDA Uses Spanish Soap Operas to Push Food Stamps Among Non-Citizens, Citizens

Caroline May, Daily Caller, July 12, 2012

The government has been targeting Spanish speakers with radio “novelas” promoting food stamp usage as part of a stated mission to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

Each novela, comprising a 10-part series called “PARQUE ALEGRIA,” or “HAPPINESS PARK,” presents a semi-dramatic scenario involving characters convincing others to get on food stamps, or explaining how much healthier it is to be on food stamps.

The majority of the episodes end with the announcer encouraging the listener to tune in again to see if the skeptic applies for benefits or learns to understand the importance of food stamps to their health.

“Will Claudia convince Ramon to apply for SNAP?” the announcer exclaims at the end of a standard episode titled “The Poet,” “Don’t miss our next episode of ‘HAPPINESS PARK.’”

Listen to “The Poet”:

Click here for English translation

While the United States Department of Agriculture encourages its outreach partners not to stereotype SNAP applicants, the agency’s use of novelas is notable. The USDA is not promoting an equivalent English-language drama series and telenovelas are a popular form of entertainment in Latin American countries and a culturally relevant way to appeal to potential applicants.

The radio novelas are available on USDA’s website for state and local outreach partners to use as public service announcements.


In addition to the Spanish-language outreach, the USDA is also pushing to get non-citizens enrolled in the program. The radio novelas overcome one of the hurdles the agency has identified as hampering participation: “lack of knowledge” about the program.

“Although many non-citizens are now eligible for SNAP, SNAP participation has been historically low among eligible non-citizen households,” reads a 2011 Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility. “In 2008, the participation rate for non-citizens was 51% and the rate for citizen children living with non-citizen adults was 55% as compared to the national participation rate of 67% among all eligible individuals.”

While USDA is targeting non-citizens for SNAP participation, the agency stresses that illegals are not eligible for benefits.

“Non-citizens who are unlawfully present, are not, nor have they ever been, eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits,” Browne told TheDC.

Robert Rector, the Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow on welfare and family issues, noted that while illegals are officially barred from participation, the legal children of illegals are eligible for benefits, creating mixed households with the potential to be intertwined with benefit programs.


[Editor’s Note: Other episodes are available at the original article link below.]


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  • Regular soap operas are mind numbingly dumb.  I’m rarely in a position to where I have to watch them, (and I don’t watch them willingly), but when I am, I can feel the brain cells inside my head dying.

    Hispanic soap operas must be even more stupid.

    Yet, our Yankee government wants to feed the kind of people who watch Hispanic soap operas on our dime.  God bless America…or something like that.

    A few years ago, the Virginia Department of Health was trying to figure out how to warn recent Hispanic arrivals against statutory rape, because Hispanic cultures aren’t as strict about that.   They decided on fotonovelas, simple picture books with very easy written language, made for adults, to spread the message.

    • Reminds me of a conversation I had with a puerto rican woman at work. She was watching a spanish soap opera in the break room. I asked what was going on in the episode. She said, “that guy just tried to force the woman to have sex with him.” So I said, “Oh, he tried to rape her.” She looked at me puzzled, “No, rape is when someone jumps out of the bushes with a gun or something.” I had to explain to her that rape was any kind of forced sexual act.

    • Statutory rape? …… no, it’s incest that is the problem but no government organization would ever say that. 

  • Global Minority

    Hispanic’s love their soap operas. This is so wrong in so many ways. America is the offically dumping ground for the third world. It is going to be interesting once all 50 states and every inch of American soil reaches this status (sooner than you think) than what? Will the third world still want to pour in this country? They re-create the conditions they fled from wherever they go. The only consilation is the liberals will have their just deserts becasue their gated communties will be over run too!

  • Francis Galton

    Whatever happened to the concept of SHAME?!  Like I’ve said before, food stamp usage–in general–should be something shameful, something you wouldn’t dare mention to your friends or family for fear of becoming a black sheep (no pun intended!). 

    Food stamps, if they should even exist at all, should have a strict cumulative lifetime limit, either in terms of dollar amount or time–say, $5,000 for a lifetime, or maybe three years, depending upon the situation.  Yes, that’s right, as of right now there is NO lifetime limit, either in terms of time or dollar amount.  (And you thought welfare reform really happened!  Silly you!) 

    Oh yeah, and dem’ foo’ skamps should ONLY pay for bare-bones staples–skim milk, wheat bread, rice, dry beans, canned tuna, water, and perhaps a few other items.  No more energy drinks, breath mints, lobster, filet mignon, Snickers bars, or the like!

    Of course, the USDA strategy is brilliant for its own purposes–what better way for the USDA to bolster its own power than to get more clients, more supporters, more big-government voters?  It’s sick. 

    • IstvanIN

       When studying Ag Economics back in the 70s we were told that the reason the USDA has a “welfare” program called Food Stamps was to support farmers, not to help the poor.

    •  Blacks and Browns have no SHAME!  Come on you have to have figured this out by now! In fact these people are PROUD to be on EBT, SNAP programs!  In their mind they have it made compared to that crap hole in Guadalajara that they escaped.  For them EBT, SNAP is like getting paid, it’s “manna from heaven.”  Have you ever studied Mexican culture or the current state of Mexico?  The age of consent in Mexico is 13!  They live like peasants because they are peasants.  Shame is just a EUROCENTRIC societal standard.  Remember WE ARE DIFFERENT.  What we consider normal and civil, they consider “WHITE.”

    • Illegal invading Mexicans have no shame whatsoever in taking as much money on behalf of their anchor spawn as they can get their grubby little hands on. Their attitude is, your country is giving it to us, so we are going to take it.

    • I always though we should hire ex-soviets to manage our welfare system. Keep them fed and clothed as absolutely cheap as possible. You should be able to spot someone on welfare a mile away because they are wearing rationed clothing made by prisoners.

    • Oh yeah, and dem’ foo’ skamps should ONLY pay for bare-bones staples–skim milk, wheat bread, rice, dry beans, canned tuna, water, and perhaps a few other items.  

      Actually I would take it one step further and say that it should by distributed by the government from a delivery truck that has in big letters “GOVERNMENT SUSTENANCE DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM”. 

      Also included would be staples such as detergent, cleaning supplies, etc. All products would be generic.  Give them as many products are necessary to function in order to limit actual cash payments.  Give them nothing they can sell.

  • Athling

    Instead of encouraging people away from all forms of welfare our sorry govt. is doing just the opposite. Better make sure that Whites are taken care of because we’re paying for all this! What are we, a bunch of slave drones bled dry to feed every nonwhite from coast to coast?

    Wait until the money runs out. Lock and load when that happens.

  • Good, the faster we can bankrupt this country the quicker we can get on about the business of real change.

  • As if illegal invading Mexicans need any more encouragement to seek out welfare on behalf of their multiple anchor babies.

  • Yeah…like the anchor baby working at the social service office is going to ask a fellow La Raza for identification! It’s a prime example of the fox guarding the hen house. We have La Raza in charge of giving our tax dollars away to their invading raza.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    While USDA is targeting non-citizens for SNAP participation, the agency stresses that illegals are not eligible for benefits.

    According to Wake Up America’s  Illegal Alien Fact Sheet: 

    More than 43 % of all Food Stamps issued are to illegal aliens.

    The USDA is not promoting an equivalent English-language drama series 

    The USDA is not promoting an equivalent English-language drama series to those who are compelled to pay for the SNAP program.

    There, fixed.


  • This is promotion of government dependence.  It fosters loyalty to the regime — “Look what we do for you that the others don’t”.

  • IstvanIN

    The program was started in the 1960s.

  • Dan

     I heard on the news that in Massachusetts you can purchase booze and smokes with food stamps!