Monday, March 18, 2013

Raymond's bill will again attempt to curtail junkfood purchases with SNAP benefits

Laredo state representative Richard Pena Raymond filed a total of 99 bills for the current state legislative session. One of his bills, HB 751 seeks to prohibit the purchase of certain "junk" food under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

In particular, HB 751 seeks to prohibit the use of SNAP benefits for certain items.

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c),
a recipient may not use supplemental nutrition assistance
benefits to purchase:
(1)  a sweetened beverage;
(2)  candy ordinarily packaged and sold for consumption
without further preparation;

(3)  potato or corn chips
 ordinarily packaged and sold for consumption
 without further preparation; or

(4)  cookies ordinarily packaged and sold for consumption
without further preparation.
 HB 751 goes on to stipulate some exceptions, not all of which I have listed below. These two in particular would seem to allow for the purchase of diet drinks (Diet Coke) and some weight-loss beverages such as Slim Fast perhaps.

If these exemptions increase the likelihood of the bill's passage, it might be worthwhile. I understand that last time around, lobbyists such as grocers and soft drink companies came out in force against the previous bill.
(c)  The prohibition under Subsection (b) does not apply
 to the purchase of:
a beverage in which the only added sweetener does not add
calories to the beverage;
a beverage intended by the manufacturer for use for
weight reduction;


  1. Tom Wade, thanks for your comment. I would ask:
    1)In helping to feed the poor, should the government provide relief for basic staples. (yes)
    2)Should the government also provide relief for junk food?
    I would say no.

    What you're suggesting actually allows for more government involvement by subsidizing junk food in addition to the basics.

  2. But the problem comes in defining junk food. That is my point, which I did not make real clear.

  3. Thought it might pique your interest. Shouldn't we go after the the places that lobby for food stamps?

    Why blame the welfare recipient EVERY time? I mean, would you turn down free money? Marinate on these questions. ;P