Del. GOP Lawmakers Want Healthier Food Stamp Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. GOP Lawmakers Want Healthier Food Stamp Program

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware Republican lawmakers this week plan to introduce a bill to make the First State's food stamp program, also known as SNAP, more nutritious.

According to a recent report, about 150,000 Delawareans use SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. That's triple the number from a decade ago.

Supporters say this is a public health issue.

SNAP money cannot buy some things, like alcohol or tobacco. But people can use it for items such as soda, energy drinks and candy. The proposal would ask the state Department of Health and Social Services to develop a list of approved, healthy food choices that SNAP money could go toward.

"It's important that the program does exactly what its name says - that's giving nutritional food to the recipients of the benefits," said Rep. Tim Dukes, R-Laurel, a prime sponsor of the bill.

"I don't think they should say here's a list of what you can get, and this list is what isn't approved. I don't find that's appropriate," said Cortney Mott, a Dover resident, who has been on and off food stamps for four years.

Mott says she buys good food with her SNAP funds simply because it's the best way to stretch the little money she gets each month.

Even if the bill passes, the USDA has to approve snap changes. The department has yet to OK similar requests from other parts of the country.

Other assistance programs do have approved food lists. For example, the Women, Infants and Children Program, usually called WIC, has one.

Click here to check out WIC's list in Delaware.

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