Should we allow fast-food restaurants to accept Food Stamps? Well, the largest fast-food corporation Yum! Brands, which owns well known fast-food chains Taco Bell and KFC, is leading a campaign to pressure their home state of Kentucky allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase items with food stamps. The cheap food suppliers are receiving considerable support from the Coalition for the Homeless, which claims the provision will help people who live in “food deserts” to feed their families affordably.
This provision is a controversial idea since the government would be using tax dollars to help bring large corporations additional customers, even making some consumers dependent on their restaurants. Even though it’s not new for the government to subsidize large corporations, such as oil and agriculture, but, in theory, those corporations indirectly and directly help the government function. This support seems to be a clear sign of corporate interests infringing on the common good. or is it?
Most of the food people can afford to purchase from small bodegas and supermarkets are just different versions of the processed food many fast-food restaurants sale. The overabundance of processed corn, wheat, soy, and meat makes a favorable case for corporations looking to cash in on government assistance, but it also highlights the disfunction and profiteering in the American food and nutrition industries.
It seems Americans need a serious discussion and action taken on behalf of the people in regards to where their tax money is going
If government can afford to subsidize big industries – and let’s face it, allowing fast food places to accept food stamps is ultimately a subsidy program for the corporations who own them – it can also show some support for small produce farms. Our taxes would be well spent by keeping healthy nutrition affordable for everyone and by investing in our local agriculture at the same time. Food stamps should be made welcome at all farmers markets and urban farms.
Fast-food companies and their lobbyists may have a good point when it comes to freedom of choice for the consumer, but these corporations already receive benefits when purchasing food wholesale from Big Agriculture, which also receives huge subsidies from the government to produce said food.
The people whose voice gets lost in this debate are the unfortunate who have to choose between fast-food restaurants or large chain grocery stores and don’t have enough money to purchase real, living, non-GMO food.
FrugiVoice: What do you feel about States allowing fast-food restaurants to accept food stamps? Sound off, where do you stand?