A new bill in Tennessee aims to prevent food stamp recipients from buying soda and ice cream.
Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia wants to ban the purchase of foods such as ice cream, candy, cookies and cake, and levy fines against those who violate it.
“When you’re receiving taxpayer dollars, it’s not money that you’ve have earned. It’s money that other people have earned and is redistributed to you. Strings come along with that,” Butt said in a release posted on her website.
“By allowing their purchase with EBT cards, we are actually enhancing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity in at-risk communities.”
Butt said in the release that taxpayers are “subsidizing unhealthy lifestyle choices” for people who receive food stamps.
“At the end of the day, if you’re on public assistance, you shouldn’t be using taxpayer dollars to consume junk food that leads to additional health problems and more taxpayer assistance to address those problems,” Butt explained.
It’s amazing how people act as if tons of their money is going to programs like SNAP and WIC. And as if the general public doesn’t buy these same foods with regular money.
Linda Williams, the president and CEO of the RISE Foundation in Memphis, says if the government spent more time educating people on healthy eating, then maybe people wouldn’t buy the stuff. And she notes how this is just a way to punish the poor.
“We’re trying to impose a regulation on people where the general public has the same issue,” she said.
Clutchettes, do you think the government should control what types of foods can be purchased with food stamps?