Want to Eat Out?

…Use Food Stamps

During the 1930s depression, there were long lines for soup kitchens. Soup was economical, because water could be added to serve more people. Soup kitchens began around 1929 when 12 million Americans were unemployed and hungry (25 percent).

Initially churches and charities ran soup kitchens. It wasn’t until the mid-1930 that the state and federal governments began operating them as well.

Today, government food stamp benefits help low-income families purchase food. If you are underemployed or unemployed the government will help your family buy food.

Working in a soup kitchen sounds like fun to Nicole.

In 2005, $28.5 billion were spent in food stamps. In 2010 that number more than doubled when it jumped to $64.7 billion. The federal government pays for food stamps, but the programs are managed on the state level. Each state places restrictions on what kind of purchases can be made using government support. Items like tobacco, alcohol and in some cases – sodas and junk foods are forbidden. Most states have managed to block restaurant use of food stamps by excluding the purchase of “hot food.”

The four states (California, Florida, Michigan, & Arizona) permit food stamp use in restaurants. They have all explained that it was done to help the elderly, disabled and homeless people. This is an exception allowed by the few rules imposed by the federal government.

It’s All About Greed
USA Today reported
that the National Restaurant Association is lobbying for food stamps to be accepted. Yum! Brands, the company behind restaurants like KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s and A&W, is the driving force pushing the proposal.

In difficult economic times, the substantial spike in food stamp dollars represents a considerable market for restaurants. That is the key: food stamps are a market for restaurants. Plain and simple.

It makes no sense to encourage eating of fast food. Allowing food stamp recipients to purchase restaurant food will only increase their hunger. It’s nearly impossible to make food stamps feed a family for an entire month, when people use them to purchase food, which requires cooking. (Click Here for ways to make food stamps last a month.) Many states have exceptions for heated food, even in the grocery store for that reason. The idea that the elderly, disabled and homeless people cannot cook for themselves is a ruse. This is all about restaurants getting a piece of the Food Stamp pie…which is growing.

Food stamps come from our tax dollars. The use of food stamps has nothing to do with individual rights. Each individual can purchase whatever kind of food they want, just not with food stamps. It’s totally acceptable the government restricts the use of food stamps for various items. That’s the best use of our tax dollars.

Allowing food stamps to be used in restaurants isn’t about hunger or about helping the elderly or the homeless. It’s about greed.

Government Telling You What to Buy
Should the government tell people where and what food they can purchase? Yes, if they are using food stamps funded by our tax dollars. You can eat wherever and whatever you want if you purchase it with your money (versus government money). After all, people didn’t have a choice for what kind of soup was being ladled out during the depression, either.


For a synopsis of Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater, Click Here.

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