Arkansas Representative Creates Controversial Food Stamp Bill
Cailyn Finkel 12/21/2016
Food stamps are something over 43 million Americans rely on to get the daily nutrients and vitamins they need. Although the number of people receiving food stamps has gone down after the peak of the Great Recession, there is still a huge percent of the population that counts on them every month!
Most people who use these food stamps are responsible, but there are others who are the source of a whole new issue.
Unfortunately, sometimes these assistance programs are used to purchase junk food like cookies, soda, chips, energy drinks and desserts! These items are consistently substituted for the healthier foods that provide recipients with things their bodies crave on the most basic of levels!
To combat the wasting of government-provided food stamps on junk food, one member of the Arkansas House of Representatives has a plan....
The revolutionary bill was first introduced by Rep. Mary Bentley and it aims to ban all junk and unhealthy foods from the list of approved items. She's spearheaded the ban and is now determined to see it blossom into fruition!
Bentley told WSBTV News just how widespread the problem is with buying unhealthy food items with food stamps.
"Chips and Cokes and candy bars. People can go buy Red Bull with food stamps, and that's not encouraging health."
She knows that recipients of food stamps should be using their assistance programs to buy real, fresh and healthy food - not junk that will increase the likelihood of serious health problems!
If the ban is approved, junk food will join alcohol, tobacco, vitamins and prepared foods on the list of things that food stamp recipients aren't allowed to purchase.
Despite what her critics may say, Bentley's junk food ban is really aimed to tackle one of the more devastating issues in Arkansas: the obesity rate.
According to ABC 15 News, 34.5 percent of the adult population qualifies as obese - that means it ranks sixth-highest in the entire nation. For Bentley, it's not a problem she can ignore any longer!
Obesity can cause heart problems, diabetes, breathing complications, gallbladder disease and even some forms of cancer! Cutting out junk food is just one small, but meaningful, step in decreasing the state's alarming obesity rate and improving the health of millions who rely on food stamps for their meals!