Should people be able to use food stamps for fast food?

Photo: frugivore

U.S. Department of Agriculture records show that the number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010. Vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program. Now, fast food chains like the YUM! brand are trying to get government approval to accept food stamps too. If it’s approved, the government will technically be paying for low-income people to eat at places like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Long John Silver’s.

The food police and public health advocates are not happy about this. I assume that many of you who pay taxes are not happy about it either. Obviously, the public would prefer that food stamp recipients make good nutritional choices with our hard-earned money. Fast food is bad for you right? How bad? Are you assuming welfare recipients are making good decisions in the grocery store aisle and that fast food options will derail that sensibility? Should poor people not be able to enjoy a Whopper? Should we have special EBT aisles in stores where people can only buy what we deem as healthy? Lots of questions. Not a lot of good answers.

 What do you think the answer is?

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