Self-described ‘small-government conservative’ wants to restrict what poor people can eat

Sen. Patty Ritchie, a self-described small government conservative, plans to make changes to New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by exempting sugary snacks and certain types of costly items.

Image: State Sen. Patty Ritchie (Gary Walts)

A New York State Senator introduced a bill last week that will put restrictions on what welfare recipients purchase with the state’s food stamp program.

Sen. Patty Ritchie, a self-described small government conservative, plans to make changes to New York’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by excluding sugary snacks and certain types of costly items.

“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,” Ritchie says in the bill’s memo.

In the bill, Ritchie specifies items such as lobster, some choice cuts of steak, decorated cakes, and energy drinks that she believes are too indulgent.

“Many of these items aren’t just unhealthy, they’re also expensive,” Ritchie said.

“This legislation would not only help low-income families and individuals stretch their food budgets further and promote health and nutrition, it would also protect taxpayers from abuse of a program that’s intended to help those who have fallen on hard times.”

Under current New York law, EBT cards may be used to buy “non-essential” items such as cookies, cakes and soda, as well as luxury items such as steak and lobster. However, they are not allowed to purchase alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, pet food or prepared food.

Ritchie said that the measure will help improve the state recipients’ public health by limiting EBT use to nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables and granola bars.

According to Raw Story, These types of restrictions have been suggested by Republicans in other states, however this particular measure is unlikely to pass New York’s Democratic majority state Assembly.



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    February 22, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Does this ignorant GOPer realize that all of the food programs, not just SNAP take about 1% of the budget or less ? No, I didn’t think so. So if she wants to cut waste go after the MIC. As for granola bars, ungodly expensive and had a lot of sugar and fresh fruit and veggies are not exactly cheap, often averaging well over 3-4 dollars a pound for fruit. Steak and Lobster is a Reagan unrealistic lie. Several Governors have decided to ban many food even the food banks give out for food staples. And many elderly, disabled and children depend on SNAP. The current rate of $20/mth as a retired elder is about 65 cents a day. Can’t buy too much with that, especially at the real food prices, as our government is figuring food prices from about 1952-1955. A 4 ounce cup of yogurt is a dollar or more depending if you can find it on sale or marked down on the expiration date.
    The real reason for the obesity epidemic is not enough of the right kind of foods and if everyone could afford the proper diet, there would be no obesity problems. In the 1970’s there was “Weight Loss Clinic” which to provide a less than 500 calories a day cost about 80 dollars a week when food prices were low at grocery stores. The obesity reason is often cheap filler food – but not always is because it is cheap like rice, pasta, potatoes-which many Governors have banned, dried beans, beef, all fish, all nuts(peanut butter) pasta sauce so you can have plain boiled pasta. So when these non-doctor politicians continue to interfere with womens health and now they think they are nutritionists as well. If these politicians were actually concerned about the obesity epidemic, they would increase the food allotment to provide a proper diet for everyone who qualifies at todays food prices, that would be a good start to help people actually eat better and loose weight and not by starving them, as they have been doing on steroids in the past 3 years. And by not eating the right number of calories and shorting a body of proper nutrition does cause obesity too, not just eating bad as many skinny people overeat like crazy and all of the wrong things and are not physically active and remain skinny, It is a combination of many things why some people are obese when they should be underweight and why some huge over-eaters are underweight. I have seen it too often working in medicine.
    Time for politicians to get out of womens reproductive options, peoples private sexual moments, peoples diets, religious choices and do the job they were actually elected to do, which they still refuse to do.

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    February 23, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Its a Republican twit and it translates to making the rich richer, its unrelated to health, she is going to show how those poor bastards are going to heel to the rich, punish them by further measures, how dare they eat.(that she and her pals have disadvantaged). I hope she chokes at a steak dinner that has been corn fed by her pals at ADM. If you really want to help the world Sen, Pattie Richie, die and take your wealthy political donors with you, quit peeping in bedrooms, and keep your god out of my govt.

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    George Melendez

    February 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    This GOP “crack-pot” will definitely benefit when Bernie Sanders institutes his ambitious Health Care Plan….. Is pot legal in her state????

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