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Lawmakers Target Soft Drinks With Food Stamp Bill
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on February 25, 2013 @ 12:08PM
Created on February 24, 2013 @ 5:52PM
 
Our state lawmakers are proposing a bill that would limit exactly what can be bought with federal food stamps.
 
The passing of the bill would ban soft drinks as one of the items that can be bought with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
 
Lawmakers hope the bill would help fight the state's rise in obesity.
 
Almost one in five people who live in the Mountain State receive benefits from SNAP and may soon have their benefits limited. One Morgantown resident who benefits from food stamps told 5 News that limiting what can be bought is unfair.
 
"If you're going to offer to help then why put stipulations on it? That's not fair; that's control", said Gary Clark.
 
But with nearly a third of West Virginians considered obese, one Morgantown man says limiting food stamps to buy nutritional food makes sense.
 
"High processed foods, candy, I don't think you should be able to buy candy with food stamps. You've got to have stuff with nutritional value, stuff you can feed your family with. You're on food stamps because you need help buying food, not junk food," said Chris Couch.
 
Sponsors of the bill say the goal is to make sure taxpayer money is used to buy healthier food choices.

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Comments (2)
Feb 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM
To start with their are so many people in this state who are frauding the welfare system just because they are lazy and don't want to find a job.I see no reason for you not posting this because I'm just stating the truth.
Feb 25, 2013 at 9:34 AM
To Gary Clark. If I am to offer help to hungry families via my taxes, I certainly do have a right to decide what kind of help I am to offer. If my own budget is low I have to cut certain unnecessary items out of my own shopping budget, when a family is hungry and hasn't the means to obtain proper nutrition on their own, I'm willing to help out, but sodas and chips and store made cakes at $35 bucks a pop are totally unnecessary. You can make a cake for about $3 bucks, use up some excess calories in the process and even bond with the children while doing so. I can't afford bakery cakes, why would I give money away so someone else can. And, gum, not only non-nutritional, but you don't even swallow it, why would I want to pay for that-I don't even chew gum myself. Food stamps are already limiting to a small degree, they don't buy alcohol or cigarettes or toiletries and many other items. This is a long time coming and has been a big gripe of mine for a long time. But aside from the way my tax dollars are spent, I also agree with the reasons being touted for this change. Simply nutrition. If you buy a prepackaged spaghetti sauce, you still have to cook the pasta. While my pasta is cooking I am sautéing broccoli and matchstick carrots in olive oil with basil and garlic. They are both done at the same time and I then mix them together. Nutrition at it's best (there's plenty of protein in that broccoli), not too mention it's gourmet delicious, and it took no longer to prepare than a boxed or bottled sauce with less nutrition and more chemicals. Seems no one wants to cook anymore, but what they don't realize is that they are using the same time and energy to put out the pre-packaged, pre-prepared foods at a higher cost. I have had to use my imagination in the kitchen, and educate myself as to nutrition in order to keep myself healthy at a low budget, there's no reason why those on these charitable tax dollars receiving food stamps can't do the same. If I am to put out an effort to help someone, I would be unalterably opposed to doing so if they also don't put out their best efforts to use the money wisely.
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