Russia to introduce electronic food cards for the poorRussia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade revealed details of an aid program for the poor. The country plans to introduce electronic food cards for those in need.

Food cards for the poor in Russia

Disadvantaged Russians will be able to buy locally produced food using special cards. Seedlings, feed for farm animals, and seeds are also included in the list.

Payments for alcohol and tobacco products as well as some other items deemed “unhealthy” will be made impossible using food cards.

The register of products has been developed in accordance with the Ministry of Health regulations, reports.

The following goods are allowed:

  • milk
  • meat
  • fish
  • vegetables
  • cucurbits
  • fresh fruit
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • water
  • salt and sugar
  • pasta
  • flour
  • cereals
  • dried fruit
Food cards for the poor in Russia

Predictably, Russians will not be allowed to buy alcohol with their social cards.

Initially, the list included predominantly fresh produce.

It is reported that the new program may be introduced already this year. The food cards will function on the basis of the national payment system “Mir”.

Buyers will be denied the purchase of forbidden goods. The system will automatically monitor that.

The cost of the program estimated at USD $4 billion (240 billion rubles), Vestifinance reported.

The users will have to spend their allowances in full monthly as accumulation will not be possible.

About 15 million Russians or over 10% of the country’s population could be eligible for assistance through the scheme. The monthly value of the aid is planned at 1,400 rubles (about USD $23).

Experts state the Russian scheme is comparable with food stamps in the USA. Over 44 million people in the United States get social assistance through this system at present time. For comparison, in 2009 only 28 million of American residents were getting food stamps.


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There are a few countries where the same methods work for years, in fact. I mean it actually shows how crisis destroys the Russian economy, even though this system is in use by such countries as USA and the UK. Hopefully, these cards are not the first sign of something really bad.


Sounds like a good idea, though I wonder how much money they will put on the card monthly. I am also sure that it is better to solve the problem with the unemployment than to feed the poor. Except for the cases when people cannot work due to disability issues or age. As they say, teaching a man to fish is much more efficient than just giving him a fish to eat.