A brand new invoice launched by Iowa Republicans final week might dramatically cut back the varieties of meals folks within the state should buy utilizing Supplemental Vitamin Help Program advantages.
SNAP, previously often called the Meals Stamp Program, is a type of federal meals help for folks with low and no revenue. Recipients can use SNAP advantages to buy quite a lot of gadgets on the grocery retailer, together with fruits, greens, meat, bread, snacks, and extra.
The US Division of Agriculture’s Meals and Vitamin Service administers the SNAP program. The brand new invoice, launched Jan. 11, proposes that Iowa ask the USDA for a waiver permitting it to restrict the meals that may be bought with SNAP advantages throughout the state. The USDA didn’t instantly reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
The proposed waiver would restrict SNAP purchases to gadgets that seem on the state’s listing of authorized meals for one more federal initiative, the Particular Supplemental Vitamin Program for Ladies, Infants and Kids. This system, also referred to as WIC, offers meals help to pregnant girls, new moms and younger youngsters, and is considerably extra restricted than SNAP.
“SNAP Iowans won’t be able to purchase meat, flour, butter, cooking oil, frozen ready meals,” Luke Elzinga, president of the nonprofit Iowa Starvation Coalition, advised Iowa Information Now. “It is an enormous listing.”
Canned salmon and tuna might be allowed in lieu of recent meat, in keeping with Iowa’s listing of authorized WIC meals. Along with pantry staples like flour and oil, different banned gadgets embrace canned soup and sliced cheese. Solely brown rice might be allowed, not white, and consumers ought to change white bread and pasta with 100% entire grain choices.
The Iowa Starvation Coalition criticized the invoice in a press release, saying it will “prohibit SNAP contributors’ means to make their very own meals selections, take meals away from Iowans and improve starvation and meals insecurity in our state.”
Along with limiting eligible meals, the invoice would additionally impose quite a few restrictions that make it more durable for folks to qualify for SNAP within the first place.