NY bill would block use of food stamps for steak, lobster other ‘luxury’ items

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ALBANY, NY (WCMH)– A bill being introduced in New York would keep food stamp recipients from buying “luxury” items with the state’s assistance.

According to the Journal News, Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence County, introduced the bill that targets non-nutritious or high-end “luxury food items” .

Some of the examples in the bill are lobster, certain steaks, and energy drinks.

“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.

Jeremy Saunders, co-executive director of Vocal New York, a group that advocates for low-income New Yorkers, told the Journal News that the bill is “ridiculous.”

“Our food-stamp system is set up for people that do not have enough access to food to be able to get food,” Saunders said. “This is a Republican attempt to make it appear that poor people use tax dollars to buy steak and lobster.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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