Food stamps for fast food?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2005
Food stamps for fast food?
60
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 1:54pm
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2011-09-05/More-restaurants-are-targeting-customers-who-use-food-stamps/50267864/1

Florida is joining California, Arizona, and Michigan in allowing their folk to use their food stamps at fast food restaurants.
Should we overhaul this system?
When we have an obese nation, seems we are not going to cut health care costs going this route.
Should food stamps only be redeemed for healthy choices? Should we just be giving out prepackaged healthy meals?
Might as well just give them a debit card to spend any way they choose?
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Sun, 09-11-2011 - 4:45pm
Obesity and abundant food availability go hand in hand. Particularly in a country which does little manual work. Calories in being higher than calories out will generally result in obesity.

Food stamps would limit use to key food groups and could limit use to a percentage for various types of food. However that won't happen. Instead we will get one scam after another. People with 3 hot dogs in their mouth will complain about being "food insecure".
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 12:57am
I saw for myself the effects food insecurity had on my mother. BTW, she died when she was fifty. Pretty young, all things considered.

Ever been hungry, beyond merely having a healthy appetite? Ever had an ongoing struggle to find food for the next day, or the one beyond it? I ask because if you had, you might well have gorged on three hot dogs when they were available to you, if you knew that tomorrow, or the day beyond that, there would be nothing more than rice or beans.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 12:09pm
Many using food stamps are trying to buy as much food as they can to feed their families - they have to stretch those food stamps. That means buying the least expensive foods - like potatoes, etc. Fresh fruits & veggies, even in season, can be too expensive & cannot be stretched far enough.

Many times, prepared frozen foods are less expensive than buying the fresh healthier alternatives.

I'm not saying that food stamps aren't used for unhealthy food choices - like potato chips,etc. - just that they don't necessarily provide access to healthy foods for many families. I've known families that had to use food stamps for various reasons for various lengths of time & abundancy of food was NEVER an issue in their households!

 nwtreehugger  

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 2:38pm
I've been very very poor, and very very hungry. Never needed food stamps, and eventually I became not poor.

Anyone who needs food, and is poor, should go to their local government, see a minister, or visit the food stamp website.

Here is a good place for anyone who is hungry to start http://www.govbenefitsonline.org/
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 2:43pm
Mayor Bloomberg tried to prevent purchase of sugar sodas with food stamps and was denied by our enlightened federal government.

If the government wants to require people to buy healthy food, they can mandate it. As it is, our government seems to desire no accountability of those who receive the food stamp benefit regarding how its used.

Electronic medical records may eventually provide feedback to the food stamp administrators, and parents who purchase inappropriate foods for children could be educated about more appropriate choices.

Why any parent needs to have subsidized Coca Cola or Pepsi is beyond my understanding.

Here is a link to the soda story - http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/soda_ban_nix_leaves_mike_sour_mUVcsiA9P7gq2JWn3lls0I

Mayor Bloomberg's having a hard time swallowing this one.

The feds yesterday rejected his attempt to get soda and other sugary drinks banned from the list of products one can buy in New York with food stamps.

The news came in a call from US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said mayoral spokesman Stu Loeser. The city applied last October for a waiver of the food-stamp regulations in hope of conducting a two-year experiment to see whether eliminating sweetened beverages would reduce obesity and diabetes among recipients.

Experts had warned the odds of winning approval were slim. Still, the decision left a bad taste in the mayor's mouth.

"We think our innovative pilot would have done more to protect people from the crippling effects of preventable illnesses like diabetes and obesity than anything else being proposed anywhere else in the country -- and at little or no cost to taxpayers," Bloomberg said.

"We're disappointed that the federal government didn't agree, and sorry that families and children may suffer from [its] unwillingness to explore our proposal."
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 5:28pm
Not to be nitpicky about it but did you question if those who are suffering from food insecurity, might not have internet access either?

Nor do I wish to denigrate your success but considering the uniqueness of individual and circumstance, becoming "not poor" presents very different challenges. Those who are illiterate or physically/mentally unwell are going to have a considerably harder time.

Earlier in the thread I posted a link to the Fox News story on Latinos who also feel threatened by what they fear might be efforts to deport them if they attempted to benefit from governmental programs.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-03-2011
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 7:10pm
I just knew the reasoning for declaring that people aren't hungry is that there are plenty of poor obese people. It's so predictable.

What hasn't been talked about is the lack of adequate grocery stores in many very poor areas. The stores that are in some of those areas stock high calorie junky food. If one doesn't have a car, they are stuck with buying what they can get at inadequate stores in their neighborhood.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 8:15pm
I have read about those food deserts too. But at least in rural areas, putting in a garden is often an option.

In urban areas, not so much. Ironic too that in some cities, even the upwardly mobile fume about the dearth of markets or stores where one can buy fresh food. St. Louis saw many of its warehouses converted into loft housing. Great idea but city planners didn't address support services and goods.

Jabberwocka

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2011
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 11:42pm

So do these programs that allow food stamps to purchase prepared foods limit it to people who are not able to prepare meals themselves (i.e.. homeless, disabled, etc.)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2011
Tue, 09-13-2011 - 11:06am
Should the government pick which fast food company is preferred for subsidy? McDonald's has many healthy choices (salads, milk, apple slices). People who can't prepare food themselves usually get meals on wheels, in home care, or are in an assisted living situation of one sort or another. Food Stamps is run by the Department of Agriculture IIRC. Maybe it should be integrated with Medicaid to help assure healthy eating by all covered.