The idea that limiting the foods available for purchase by those participating in government-assisted food supplement programs is somehow discriminatory is just a bunch of hogwash. These programs were instituted to provide “essential” foods to the families of those in our country who earn less than an established poverty-level annual income. Its a proper thing for a society to aid the less fortunate amongst us, especially those who struggle to have proper nutrition (and by nutrition I mean food in general -- not necessarily “nutritious” food).
Since we are providing this assistance we also can, and do, condition (or limit) what may be available to be purchased as part of the assistance program. We already properly omit liquor and tobacco products from these programs as they obviously have no food value. The same can said for all candy, cookies and soft drinks and at least half of the cereals. There is no dispute that these products contain only mountains of sugar without providing a single bit of essential food value.
“Essential,” not “nutritious,” is the key word here. These programs were not set up for low-income families to be “just like the Joneses.” If they wish to purchase fattening, empty-calorie products such as these they should have to spend their own money for them. Such products are not essential to the operation of one’s physical body and are only a detriment to those who consume them. As such it would be completely proper, not discriminatory, for us to designate these obviously sugar-filled, empty-caloried products (along with liquor and tobacco) as “non-essential” foods and therefore unavailable for purchase under these programs.
The writer lives in Garden City Beach.