Food Stamps for Fast Food? (4/12/11)
Louisville-based YUM! Brands is lobbying to make Kentucky just the fourth state to allow restaurants to accept food stamps from recipients who are elderly, disabled or homeless. They claim that since these are people who face difficulty in preparing their own food, they'd benefit from having this new source for a hot meal.
Some strongly oppose the idea, but I can see where it makes a certain amount of sense.
In response to complaints about the general unhealthiness of fast food, let's remember that food stamp recipients are already free to use them at the grocery for all sorts of unhealthy stuff, like doughnuts, soft drinks and candy. And really – what are homeless people supposed to do with the fresh vegetables and meat available at the store when they have no place to keep or cook it?
On the other hand, there's no question that fast food meals are less economical than food a person prepares for himself. Which means food stamp dollars would be used up even quicker than they are now.
While no one can deny the ingenuity of YUM! Brands for suggesting it, it's a complicated issue with plenty of pros and cons. But it certainly addresses some of the problems with the current food stamp set-up. I still have my reservations about several aspects of the plan, but hey -- maybe it's worth trying.
What do you think? Call and tell us.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.