GardenShare

GardenShare

Thursday, August 4, 2016

BANNING SNAP USE FOR “JUNK” FOOD IGNORES REALITY

Maine Governor Paul LePage threatened to end his state’s participation in SNAP unless Maine was permitted to ban recipients from using their benefits for “junk” food. The average SNAP benefit for a household is just $254, but healthy food costs more than low­nutrition options, leaving low­income families struggling to afford quality meals. Denying them SNAP benefits would only exacerbate this problem. But many strategies have been shown to improve nutrition among low­income and SNAP households:
● Increasing monthly SNAP allotments provides households the purchasing power to make healthy food choices. A recent study found that $30 more per month can improve consumption of vegetables and other healthy foods.
● Incentives promoting fruit and vegetable purchases increase consumption, as evidenced by programs that allow SNAP households to get more for their SNAP dollars at grocery stores and to use their benefits at farmer’s markets.
● Enhancing nutrition education and healthy food practices in local communities improves attitudes, knowledge, and behavior, resulting in increased fruit and vegetable consumption.

Source: Center for Law & Social Policy, 7/22/16, Junk Food