NY bill would block use of food stamps for steak, lobster other ‘luxury’ items

Definitely an interesting dilemma. Who’s to say a steak is a luxury item or not. My pet peeve, and again, who am I to say, is seeing food assistance card being used for pop, snacks, candies, candy bars and such and then whip out a bill to buy the cigarettes and beer.

Perhaps a better bill would be to require people on food assistance to take classes on food management and healthy preparation of “raw” foods. “Cooking” as we know it today seems to be merely popping a frozen meal in the microwave.

Well as a recipient of food assistance at one time myself, but also of a generation of knowing how to purchase food, knowing that fresh is better, and was taught how to prepare food, my definition of what is considered acceptable is way different than what is acceptable today. We are an on-the-go society so that usage of the card to purchase a more expensive prepared sandwich or processed meal or making from scratch has a totally different meaning today. At the end, it’s really about managing what resources we have whether earned or given. That is a skill not necessarily known whether you are on food assistance or not. When you provide monetary assistance it is merely that with no expectation otherwise.
By NBC4 Staff
Published: February 19, 2016, 1:32 pm Updated: February 19, 2016, 1:34 pm


ALBANY, NY (WCMH)– A bill being introduced in New York would keep food stamp recipients from buying “luxury” items with the state’s assistance.
According to the
Journal News, Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, introduced the bill that targets non-nutritious or high-end “luxury food items” .
Some of the examples in the bill are lobster, certain steaks, and energy drinks.
“At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer-funded programs help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices,” according to the bill memo.
Jeremy Saunders, co-executive director of Vocal New York, a group that advocates for low-income New Yorkers, told the
Journal News that the bill is “ridiculous.”
“Our food-stamp system is set up for people that do not have enough access to food to be able to get food,” Saunders said. “This is a Republican attempt to make it appear that poor people use tax dollars to buy steak and lobster.”

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