Kentucky May Allow Food Stamps to Pay for Fast Food
It may surprise you to learn that three states allow fast food restaurants to accept food stamps as a form of payment. Currently Arizona, Michigan and California allow chains to take payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But according to TheConsumerist.com, Yum! Brands, which is the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell is lobbying lawmakers to expand the rule to Kentucky.
The side in favor of expanding the acceptance of food stamps at fast food chains is the Coalition for the Homeless who argues that some people don’t have access to better options. Natalie Harris, a spokesperson for the Coalition for the Homeless, is strongly in favor of the idea. She told the Courier Journal, “For those […] who don’t live near a large grocery store and can’t afford a restaurant, sometimes their only option is the nearest gas station. […] This would allow people to get a reduced price meal at a small deli or a restaurant, and that does include fast-food restaurants.”
Those who oppose the plan say it’s just giving people easier access to
unhealthy food which will inevitably cause costly medical problems down the road. “It turns my stomach, the push for using food stamps for fast-food purchase,” former Louisville health department director Dr. Adewale Troutman told the New York Times. “It makes the unhealthy option the easier one.”
According to reports, last year Kentucky ranked seventh in the nation in terms of obesity. Nearly one in three adults are obese. Critics believe allowing food stamps at fast food restaurants would only add to this problem.