Republicans are once again hellbent on making life harder, this time by placing drastic limits on the foods Americans can purchase with their SNAP benefits.
Republican state legislators in Iowa have introduced a law to ban SNAP recipients from purchasing cheese slices, crumbled cheese, white grain bread, flour, white rice, canned fruits, canned soups, baked beans, pasta sauce, and several other common food items. Instead, SNAP recipients would only be able to purchase foods approved for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which is much more restrictive.
Known as “House File 3,” this new proposal would provide $1 million for the state’s Double Up Food Bucks program, which matches SNAP EBT dollars and goes towards fruits and vegetables. However, the proposed legislation will significantly cut down on those who actually receive SNAP benefits. Additionally, those who receive Iowa’s Medicaid may be required to work at least 20 hours a week.
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, an outspoken co-sponsor on the bill, called food assistant initiatives “entitlement programs.”
“They’re the ones that are growing within the budget and are putting pressure on us being able to fund other priorities,” she stated to news outlet KCCI.
Iowa Hunger Coalition Executive Director Luke Elzinga slammed the bill, pointing out that such constraints would significantly affect people with restrictive diets.
Sadly, the bill is now moving forward, being reviewed by the state legislature’s Health and Human Services committee. No decisions have been announced.