Welfare recipients might be able to buy only necessities with their government benefits in the near future if President-elect Donald Trump’s administration approves state requests to limit what items people can purchase with food stamps.
According to The Daily Signal, officials in both Maine and Arkansas planned to ask the Trump administration to prohibit the use of food stamps to buy unnecessary items such as candy.
President Barack Obama’s administration previously denied any requests of the sort, and welfare recipients have been able to purchase whatever junk food they desire instead of necessities.
In 25 states, the purchase of alcohol and tobacco is allowed using food stamps, another measure approved by the Obama administration.
But Mary Mayhew, commissioner of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services, told The Daily Signal that federal and state government should only provide what is necessary to those who claim they cannot afford food.
“What an individual with their own money that they earned chooses to buy is their prerogative. What a program known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance — that is taxpayer funded — supports should be restricted and directed based upon the policy intent of the program,” Mayhew said.
In addition, the Arkansas legislature was considering a bill proposed by Republican state Rep. Mary Bentley. If passed, the bill will restrict food stamps to “food products and beverages that have sufficient nutritional value.”
There is also another more important reason as to why Bentley proposed the bill. She says it was for the health of state residents.
“Overconsumption of excessively sugared foods, food products and beverages increases the risk of obesity and other diseases,” the bill stated. “People living in poverty are more likely to consume nutrient-poor food.”
“The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn’t be needed often,” Trump said. “Thankfully, 96 percent of America’s poor parents say their children never suffer even a day of hunger. But when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud.”
It will be nice to have a little common sense in the White House for a change.
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