Listen Up Gov. Rick Scott: On Food Stamps? No Fast Food For You!
I don't think everyone on public assistance is a lazy bum, but I'm happy about the welfare drug-testing bill (the only move Rick Scott has made that I approve of). More importantly, I don't think food stamps should be used to buy fast food.
So far, California, Michigan, and Arizona allow the purchase of fast food with food stamps. You can drive up to the McDonald's drive-through window in these three states and purchase a Big Mac value meal with your EBT card. And now, Kentucky is close to following suit.
Yum! Brands, the company that owns Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell, is lobbying the state government to follow in the footsteps of the other three morons -- California, Arizona, and Michigan. The fact that even one of our 50 states allows this is freaking preposterous. How the hell are we going to allow economically disadvantaged people to use their food stamps to purchase fast food?
Not only is this a glaring example of some corporation's heinous greed at the cost of what's better for the American people, but it would be pushing the poorer citizens of this country towards obesity and diabetes (even more so). The majority of these people, I'm willing to bet, don't have health care. If this is allowed, we would be encouraging financially strapped people without health care to eat high calorie, high fat, overly packaged goods.
Proponents argue that this move would enable homeless people to purchase hot, ready-to-eat meals. Mind you, in most supermarkets you can purchase hot, ready-to-eat meals that are more healthful. It is true that some states do not allow these meals to be purchased with food stamps. Well, guess what? That should be remedied. Let the homeless people waste money this way. Not on fast food.
And in cities or neighborhoods that don't have hot, ready to eat meals available in supermarkets? There are still cold cuts, bread, salads, fruits, cereal, and many other foods available. Let them eat cold.
Also, if homeless people are depending on fast food for their meals, how long do you think it will take for them to develop diabetes or high blood pressure? These are health conditions that need to be maintained on a daily basis. How easy do you think it is going to be for a homeless person to keep his or her insulin refrigerated?
If providing hot meals to the homeless is such a big concern for the proponents of this change, how about opening soup kitchen-style cafeterias all over town, which provide meals in exchange for food stamps? That way instead of subsidizing billion dollar corporations, the government subsidizes non-profits.
Or maybe the government should provide tax breaks to supermarkets willing to open in the so-called "food deserts," neighborhoods which have no supermarkets, effectively forcing residents to buy food at convenience stores and gas stations.
There are solutions for those willing to look for them. And allowing Americans to purchase heart attack happy meals with their food stamps is not one of them.
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