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New York Senator Ritchie proposes ban of luxury items purchased with food stamps

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ALBANY— A New York State lawmaker is looking to prevent the purchasing of “luxury” items with food stamps.

Sen. Patty Ritchie proposed a bill that would restrict the purchases that can be made through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The bill would ban the use of food stamps on foods or drinks that are deemed “luxury” items or foods that do no offer nutritious value. The list of prohibited items would be put together by the Office of Temporarily Disability Assistance.

According to lohud, the bill’s memo says that items like high-end steaks, lobster, energy drinks, and decorated cakes would likely be subject to the ban.

“At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer funded programs help low income consumers make wise and healthy food choices,” the bill’s memo states.

Senator Ritchie hopes that the bill will not only promote healthy food choices, but it will also protect taxpayers from abuse of the EBT program.