Originally published April 29 2014
Food stamp recipients should make healthy nutrition choices, Delaware lawmakers say
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Some lawmakers in Delaware believe that residents who receive state and federal food assistance should be required to make healthier food choices, to provide a better return on the taxpayers' investment.
One such lawmaker, Republican Tim Dukes of Laurel, is so convinced of it that he has recently sponsored new legislation requiring it.
"This problem, food stamps, SNAP is supplemental nutrition, and that's what we're focusing on. We want to see people purchasing nutritional food," said Dukes.
Right now, there are few requirements for federal and state food stamp recipients to buy less of the most questionable foods, in terms of health: sugary or salty snacks, desert items, sugary soft drinks, energy drinks and high-calorie foods, all of which have been proven to lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and other costly health problems.
Dukes told local media that his bill does not in any way reduce the amount of benefits or the amount of food that can be purchased by the state's "most vulnerable citizens." However, he said, "I just believe it is ludicrous to have a government nutrition program that subsidizes poor nutritional habits."
In addition, his legislation would direct the Delaware Health and Social Services Department to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees federal food stamp and assistance programs, in order to be able to implement the revisions.
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