A Missouri lawmaker wants to put restrictions on what food stamp recipients can purchase with their EBT cards.
State Rep. Rick Brattin has sponsored a bill that aims to cut costs for food stamps and put the focus back on nutrition.
The proposed bill would restrict food stamp recipients from purchasing items that are deemed “fancy.” Among the banned items are chips, cookies, soft drinks, steak, seafood, etc.
“It will reduce the luster of the program and it will have the effect of a drawback because the ability to buy anything and everything under the sun will no longer be there,” Brattin told KMBC.
Brattin added that if his family qualified for EBT, they would receive more than $1,000, and he “couldn’t dream of spending that much money per month.”
“I would have to just go through and just start throwing stuff into the cart,” Brattin said. “There is so much money being allocated into these programs, and if we remove the luster, I really think that it will have a drawback effect.”
The reaction to the proposed bill is mixed. While some people believe the bill will force food stamp recipients to spend taxpayer dollars more responsibly, others see it as an infringement on their freedom. There is also the argument of what food items would be classified as “fancy.”
“How would one label it fancy?” asked Thomas Randolph of Kansas City. “That’s one’s personal opinion. Fancy, you have different types of tomatoes. Fancy tomatoes and non-fancy tomatoes, so I don’t think that’s right to do.”
Brattin added that he plans to clarify steak and seafood so that low-cost nutritious items are not banned.
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