Why Is It Allowed?

With the economy as horrible as it is right now and so many people out of work many families are having to turn to government programs that assist them with obtaining their basic needs.  One such program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formally known as food stamps.  I admit we’re one of those families who have found ourselves looking for help now that Hubby’s unemployment is running out, and he still can’t find a new job.  Some may not agree with us taking advantage of the program, but I fully believe that’s what it’s there for.  We need help.  We’re not signing up just because we can.

After applying for the program I started reading through the list of items that are allowed or not allowed for purchase with funds from the SNAP program.  Of course the only thing that can be purchased are food products, but not all qualify.  Diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, laundry detergent, soap, etc have to be purchased separately because they are not covered under SNAP.  You are not allowed to purchase any “hot ready to eat” items such as hot foods served in the deli.  I don’t quite understand why, but ok. 

What I do have a problem with is the one non-food item that you are allowed to purchase.  It’s not ok for me to walk into a store and buy a rotisserie chicken to feed my family, but it is okay for me to buy all the fat burning supplements and diet pills I want. I don't agree with that. I don't feel like diet pills and supplements should be included. In my opinion they are non-food items. There are plenty of people who probably don't agree with me, but that's my personal opinion.

Part of the program pushes healthy eating, so I feel like the better option would be to disallow the purchase of “junk” food because you currently can buy junk food items with SNAP benefits.

The USDA Food And Nutrition Service website states:

Soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream are food items and are therefore eligible items.

Energy drinks that have a nutrition facts label are eligible foods

Energy drinks that have a supplement facts label are classified by the FDA as supplements, and are therefore not eligible

If energy drinks (which I don’t consume by the way) are classified as ineligible if they are labeled as a supplement why is it okay to allow diet pills?  I know many of you probably don’t agree, but I just wanted to state my own opinion on this.  I’d would much rather see the program banning items such as candy and junk food instead of allowing the purchase of diet pills.

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