Florida Sen. Ronda Storms is causing an uproar all the way to L.A. -- as seen in today's Los Angeles Times -- with her proposal to forbid Florida food stamp recipients from using the program money to buy junk food.
Storms' bill was approved by the Senate Committee on
Children, Families, and Elderly Affairs, a result of concern over the
health of poor children in particular, she claims. That, and it's just
not fair: "If we're going to be cutting services
across the board," she said, "then
people can live without potato chips, without store-bought cookies,
without their sodas."
And yet. According
to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, almost 1 million individuals who are eligible for SNAP in
Florida have not applied for assistance, which translates to $417.3 million in funding for food assistance that goes
When a fellow legislator pointed out that if passed, Storms' legislation would prohibit a mother from buying her kid a birthday cake with food stamps, she said, "They can have cake. You can buy flour, eggs, and sugar, and that makes a cake. I make my kids their own cakes."
The L.A. Times rails against this "socialistic" legislation in today's editorial.
"The notion that poor people have
any more time to cook from scratch than other Americans who rely on
prepared supermarket 'junk' food is clearly absurd, and infantilizing
them by restricting their choices in this way is demeaning." The paper
is critical of the Big Brother approach over providing nutritional
Florida joins California, Illinois, and a handful of states in states trying to restrict food stamp purchases. Forty-six million Americans were on food stamps in 2011, up from 26 million in 2008.
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