House expands nutrition requisite to all food-stamp recipients

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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