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House expands nutrition requisite to all food-stamp recipients

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Legislation to require Indiana food-stamp recipients buy only products deemed nutritious was expanded Monday to include all Hoosiers who participate in the program.

As approved by a committee last week, House Bill 1351 – authored by Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville – would have created a pilot program to put new restrictions on food purchased through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

But an amendment approved 69-22 by the full House on Monday expanded the requirements to all SNAP recipients.

“I personally don’t think it’s appropriate to have a pilot program when it comes to the nutrition of our children,” McMillin said. “I think every child deserves the opportunity for good nutrition, not just some of them.”

The SNAP requirements are part of a bill that would also require some recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to undergo drug testing.

Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis, opposed the SNAP amendment. She said sometimes families can only afford unhealthy foods, like boxed macaroni and cheese. She also said currently families have one or two generations who don’t know how to find the best foods to eat, and need to be taught.

“If you’re going to do this, then you need to be able to teach people about nutrition, and teach people what are good foods and bad foods,” Summers said.

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  • How did people vote for summers
    Is she really that stupid?this country is in big trouble.
  • Are You Kidding Mr. McMillin
    Wow! I can't believe the party of "limited government" is now going to tell people what they can eat. How are they going to enforce this? Should we be watching what Mr. McMillin is eating so his potentially risky diet doesn't increase state representatives' health care costs, which we all pay for? Should the legislature include other groups that receive state benefits--unemployment insurance beneficiaries and state contractors, for example, since their health has a bearing on state funding. And, oh by the way, can the state really do this since SNAP is a federally funded program?
  • Food Pyramid
    Really? Is Rep Summers trying to say that people don't know fruit is healthier than chips: milk better than flavored drinks,,I'm not buying her logic. The children will be the big winners of this change and It's a shame adult behavior has to be legislated. The real battle here is with the food manufacturers they stand to loose.
  • How about no food stamps at gas stations?
    A few simple little tweaks, such as not allowing use of the SNAP card at the gas station would go a long ways. Nothing economical there at all and very little healthy. 99% of the time card is used at C-store or gas station is to purchase biggie Coke and jumbo candy or fries for adult(s), definitely not what the program was designed for. Simply tightening places program can be used to actual grocery stores would be a start. People who genuinely want to eat healthy do find a way to get to a real store; this is not discriminatory to people who don't have a car.
    • Who will decide?
      I can hardly wait to see who is appointed to determine what is nutritional and what isn't. Next watch for food manufacturers offering "incentives" to grocers to be sure that their item gets a nutrition "tag." I envision a whole new opportunity for graft and fraud. I think we need to leave this one alone.
    • Feed Me
      We need governmental intervention to teach people how to eat healthy. Then we need governmental intervention to police the grocery stores to ensure these people are buying "healthy" and then we'll need governmental intervention to teach them how to actually cook AND THEN we'll need somebody to feed them.
    • Learn to eat better
      Agree with DC Indy, plus Google can show anyone many free resources on how to eat right and cook, and I'm sure the private sector grocers know exactly what kind of sales volume is EBT, and can easily mark their shelves to show what items are EBT eligible...that's called customer service and marketing. No need for another billion-dollar program to teach these things.
    • What?
      So Rep. Summers is suggesting that we need another government program to teach SNAP recipients how to spend the money they get from the government program? And, by the way, wasn't this nutrition "thing" Mrs. Obama's pet project? Is Rep. Summers suggesting that it's not working? Look, I would guess that most SNAP recipients have a television. There are whole networks devoted to cooking. And I have a tough time believing that SNAP recipients are so ignorant that they have no idea that fruits and vegetables are better for you than Mac 'n Cheese and frozen White Castles. You can't very well legislate the lifestyle choices people make. Eating healthfully is one of those choices. Money has little to do with it.
      • Why
        Why would we want to force people who's food we buy to eat better than we do. Once we die off from eating the crap we eat, who will be around to buy food for poor people.
      • Food Stamp-Nutritional Buying
        Yes, this is a good idea, but I agree with Rep. Summers when she states that there are some from the last one or two generations who do not know how to find the best foods to eat, and need to be taught. I would also like to add that there are many who are used to buying box foods that are easy to prepare (heat and serve). How healthy are those foods? They are full of sodium, artifical dyes, artificial sweetners, and many other things that are not healthy for you. What they need is to be taught how to buy and cook nutritional meals for themselves and their families and get away from the easy to prepare meals. Granted you need to be able to buy some easier to prepare meals, but it shouldn't be the norm. Some children do not even know what it is like to sit down and have a regular home cooked meal. That is pretty sad.
      • Great Idea
        This is really a great idea. I think it will be a much better idea than the drug testing portion of it. When I worked at Walgreens, nearly everytime someone paid with food stamps, they were buying junk food, pop, candy, etc.

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