Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Essay

1276 Words6 Pages
As of 2013, one sixth of the entire country was enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Through this program, 47 million Americans are given federal financial aid to purchase fresh groceries (Plumer). One of the highly debated provisions of the SNAP program is what participants should be allowed to use their food stamps for. As of right now, food stamps can only be used to purchase food that can be cooked or eaten at home, preventing families from spending the federal aid at restaurants (USDA). Recently, the fast food corporation YUM!, which owns Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, has lobbied to change this restriction (USA Today). Should people benefitting from the SNAP program have the right to spend their money on…show more content…
If food stamps are designed to feed the hungry then does it really make sense to deny them access to certain foods? I understand Gourdine’s point; that it seems counterproductive for the government to fund the purchasing of foods that are known to cause health complications. However the purpose of the SNAP program is not to promote a healthier country. According to the Food Stamp Act of 1977 created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the intention of the SNAP program is “to alleviate hunger and malnutrition … by increasing food purchasing power for all eligible households who apply for participation” (FRAC). Therefore, widespread access to food should be the primary concern, not increased healthcare costs or nutritional value. The hope in forcing food stamp recipients to buy only fresh food is that they will venture to the grocery store and engage in healthier eating habits. Having said that, there are very few restrictions regarding what you can use SNAP benefits once when you get to the grocery store. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 defines
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