Arizona Lawmaker Wants to Ban Food Stamp Purchases of Fast Food

Staff Writer
An Arizona representative wants to disallow people on food stamps to purchase fast food
Arizona Lawmaker Wants to Ban Food Stamp Purchases of Fast Food
USDA

Is this a good way of lowering obesity rates in poor communities, or is it an unnecessary infringement on our rights?

If you are on food stamps, federal law allows you to buy almost anything edible: from bread, fruits, and vegetables, to cookies, cake, and soft drinks. Many lawmakers recently, on both sides of the partisan fence, have been open to altering the law so that SNAP or food stamp purchases can only legally be utilized for healthy and nutritious items, according to an article in Slate. Rep. Rep. Kelly Townsend, lawmaker in Arizona wants to take the “junk food amendment” a step further to disallow the purchase of fast food with food stamps.

If Townsend’s legislation gets approved, it could eventually mean a federal ban on the sale of fast food to SNAP recipients.

“If you’ve got a budget crisis and you are looking out for ways to reduce your costs, you stop eating out and you buy your food from the grocery store,” said Rep. Kelly Townsend of Mesa, according to Arizona Capitol Times. “If you go to Jack in the Box, the meal is going to cost you $7. You could have taken that $7 and gotten a gallon of milk and a box of Cheerios or something that will last you.”

There are many opponents to her proposal, including anti-hunger groups that feel that the law would unnecessarily infringe upon poor people's rights, as well as disability activists who have argued that there are plenty of people who are unable to prepare their own food. To that argument, Townsend points to programs like Meals on Wheels.  

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