Senator Proposes Bill To Stop Consumers From Using Food Stamps to Buy Junk and Luxury Foods

Feb 23, 2016 05:48 AM EST | By Staff Reporter

A New York State senator proposes a bill that would prevent consumers from purchasing acquiring foods through food stamps. Sen. Patty Ritchie hopes that this bill would help would lessen by limiting the access of non-nutritional foods and restrict abuse of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

The bill provides a list of foods that are off-limits, among which are steaks, lobsters, and cake. Although the goal of SNAP is to promote good nutrition, at present, there are loopholes wherein the purchase of junk foods is still allowable. There are currently 3 million New Yorkers that take advantage of SNAP, which means that the state spends roughly $5.6 billion for refunding the program annually.

Aside from promoting a healthier diet, Ritchie also aims to help families with low-income with their meager budget through the stipulations of the legislation. In addition, the bill also protects tax payers from those who abuse the program. Ultimately, the goal of the new bill is to minimize obesity. In New York city alone, roughly 27 percent of the residents are obese.

The passing of the bill is not without its opposition. A number of democrats in New York are against imposing further restrictions on the food stamp, especially when there is still a large portion of the population that do not use them. This means that the passing of this bill does not entirely guarantee the decrease of obesity epidemic throughout the country. Currently, the restrictions imposed on the SNAP program include purchases from liquor and cigarette stores, gambling establishments, and strip clubs.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is surprisingly against imposing more restrictions on SNAP. Just recently, they approved additional stipulations that would make food stamps more accessible and that retailers that accept these stamps should provide more nutritional choices for their consumers, especially fruits and vegetables.

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