Las Vegas Sun

December 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Restricting SNAP benefits recipients

In response to Karoun Demirjian’s recent article “House Republicans take aim at food stamps; some Democrats, including those from Nevada, try to fend them off”:

Stories about the recent outcry for an increase in food stamps and the growing trend of obesity in America’s poor often end up side by side in newspapers, illustrating an important and often overlooked issue that should be weighed just as heavily by the House of Representatives as it should by the American public. Nutrition, or lack thereof, in the lower-income class is becoming one of the greatest battles of our generation.

If we are going to give people food stamps, we should also give them the knowledge and ability to use that resource to the best of their ability.

I propose nutrition education be a requirement to receive food stamps and also limit the purchasing power of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program card to items that fall under well-established “healthy” categories.

The precedent to require these things is already established in the government-sponsored and thriving WIC program; thus we have proof that these ideas can and will work.

Eating healthier food leads to better physical health, and better physical health means less financial strain on sister programs like Medicaid.

In 2012, 47.7 million Americans received SNAP benefits. Fight obesity, get healthy, become better educated and positively affect future generations?

That’s four birds with one stone, multiplied 47 million times.

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