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Should States Allow Poor People to Use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits at Fast-Food Chains?

By Barbara Jones

The alarming rise in hunger in the United States has prompted some states to authorize fast-food restaurants to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Restaurant Meals Program allows elderly, disabled, and homeless SNAP recipients to use their benefits in restaurants. Allowing more people to use their benefits in fast-food restaurants has incited a high-profile debate between hunger advocates and health advocates. As more states consider allowing SNAP recipients to use their benefits in fast-food restaurants, they should push fast-food restaurants to limit sodium and trans-fats in their products and increase access to healthy foods in poor neighborhoods.

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