State seeks to cut unhealthy food from Food Stamps
Some taxpayers consider it a sweet idea: Trim the purchase of soda and candy from the benefits provided to food stamp users.Why not limit the same foods the Obama administration has limited school lunch programs to. If properly implemented it would help reduce diabetes and reduce expenditures on Medicaid. Eating more beans and salads instead of chips and soda will make these people healthier and also give them a better shot at finding a productive job.
The state of Maine wants to do just that. To ban food stamp recipients under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from purchasing specific unhealthy items, state officials have to get approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The state requested a waiver Monday from the federal agency, Maine’s top human services official, Mary Mayhew, told The Daily Signal.
“We believe that this is a commonsense reform to actually focus on nutrition and healthier choices within the food stamp program,” Mayhew, commissioner of the Health and Human Services Department, said in a phone interview.
The proposal aims to improve health and cut the costs of medical care for low-income, obese Mainers.