A reader offers some additional context on whether restricting food stamp purchases is necessary to ensure healthy eating on part of recipients:
In short, food stamp participants spend more on at-home food and less on food away from home than comparable non-participant households with the same income. This implies food stamps can not only increase food security but also shift household food spending towards types of food that are subsidized (at-home food, under current rules) AND away from foods that are not subsidized–without making any restrictions on how households spend their own money.
I understand the impulse that drives people to demand restrictions on how food stamp recipients use their assistance, but the simple fact is that it’s both wrong and unnecessary.
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