Twitter and Facebook Poll: Should Fast Food Joints Be Allowed To Accept Food Stamps?

Posted on 07/15/2011

Right now just three states, Michigan, Arizona and California, allow for the use of food stamps in fast food restaurants and according to reports lobbyists are working to add Kentucky to the list. Supporters say it gives homeless people who may not be located near a grocery store access to food. But those against the move say it will just prevent people from choosing healthier options, leading to more obesity and health problems. Talk about a hot button issue—when we asked whether or not fast food joints should be allowed to accept food stamps you passionately told us your thoughts through Facebook and Twitter.


Lloyd Charles Trout III: I don't think so. In our house going out is an extra, not a staple to live which is what food stamps are supposed to be about: giving someone a hand in order to help them during a down time in their life.

Carol Morgan: Yes. A lot of fast food joints do have healthier options now. Besides, at least at a fast food joint people will actually be buying food and not beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets. Yes, that still goes on even though it's supposed to be illegal.

Pete Mazza: No. I know a bunch of individuals who bring their children to a McDonald’s joint every day. If you get food stamps then you should get out of your car and walk into a grocery store and not be so lazy and pull into a drive thru. Allowing EBT at fast food joints like I said earlier just promotes bad habits and bad diet. These fast food places claim to have healthier choices but they are altered and high in fat, sugar and sodium… not to mention artificial ingredients.

Kristen Nastasia: NO! Food Stamps should remain for staple items - already too many luxuries are covered at the store. Have you seen the stickers on the aisles of all food stamps buy now? Far from just "necessities" like it used to be. Plenty of goodies can be picked up in the grocery store... Going out to eat should be extra - and if food stamp families want to do that - then they should work to earn the money for it like the rest of us.

James Akers: Yes. It is FAR cheaper to feed a family at McDonald’s than at home... it’s bad for you… but unless we are going to give families enough money to provide healthy food, which we can’t afford to do, then we should allow them to make their own decisions.

Rebecca Vereen: It wouldn't be a nutritious option... so in the long term, I don't think it would be helpful for anyone. There are some healthy options at fast food places, but are you really going to choose some APPLE DIPPERS when you have a choice of seasoned CURLY FRIES... heck NO! I try to avoid fast food altogether, because when I'm there, I want my cheeseburger, fries, and maybe a milkshake too if it's been a really sucky day.

Karen Bradley: No way! I work for a non-profit that works a lot of clients that receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The program is to provide a supplement to purchase food to prepare meals. Not go through the drive thru! And the SNAP EBT card will not allow them to purchase basics like toilet paper, Ziploc bags, dish washing soap... So NO they should not be able to use at McDonalds or any other fast food place.

Rhiannon Wells: No. Food stamps should be used to buy healthy groceries and shouldn't be used for junk food in the grocery stores either!

Stephanie Storm-Robertson: Sadly, no. We are already such an unhealthy society. We will be paying for this person’s unhealthy fast food and then for the healthcare we need to provide because the food made them unhealthy. That just seems crazy.


@CherishBenton: Absolutely NOT. That's a one-way ticket to obesity! I don't think you should be able to buy junk food period w/food stamps.

@Fraukuech: No! There's plenty of junk at the grocery store you can get with food stamps. Dining out, even fast food, is a luxury.

@Erinoneil: NO!!!!!!!!! bc we should be educating low income families on healthy eating habits. What are the stats on obesity and low income families?? if they use food stamps there's a good chance that they don't have health insurance and can’t afford to treat the health issues that often come along with obesity: Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. I could go on and on and on.

@kristin_carlson: Unfortunately, if they're on food stamps, there's also a good chance that they're on Medicaid and the state pays for said health issues. It's certainly a slippery slope as far as the state budgets are concerned.

@DebtChronicles: Nope. Food stamps are tax payers' money and should be used wisely. One could buy more food at a grocery store for the same $!

Got an opinion to share? Feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment below!

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Posted on 07.15.11 at 4:04 PM

If it came with restrictions (i.e. could only be used on specific, healthier menu items like fruit, grilled chicken sandwiches, milk, etc), I would be okay with it. In some areas there are "food deserts" where the only food available is fast food or junk food from convenience stores if you don't have a car. Otherwise, no.

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