A New York state lawmaker wants to block the use of food stamps for “luxury” items like high-end steaks, lobster and junk food.
Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, introduced a bill Wednesday that would further restrict the types of purchases that can be made through the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly referred to as the food stamp program.
Ritchie’s bill would target what she calls “luxury food items,” blocking food stamp recipients from using their benefits to purchase certain foods that are either high-end or not nutritious.The legislation would require the state Office of Temporarily Disability Assistance to come up with a list of prohibited items.
But the bill’s memo lays out some examples: lobster, certain steaks, decorated cakes and energy drinks, to name a few.
“At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer-funded programs help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices,” according to the bill memo.