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The Physicians Committee



Taxpayer IOUs Highlight Food Stamp Reform Plan

American taxpayers could save $176.90 each per year if Congress enacted PCRM’s plan to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to focus on healthful options. PCRM called attention to the possible savings by mailing select taxpayers IOUs and one check for this amount.

Under PCRM’s “healthy basics” plan, the federal government would save taxpayers $25.5 billion each year simply by making it easier for food stamp users to buy healthy foods.

The plan would require grocers to supply disease-fighting foods like beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables to food stamp users—and reward food stamp users who make healthful choices. Over 10 years, it would rack up $255 billion in savings.

“The Healthy Basics plan trims the fat off the food stamp program,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “If Congress were to adopt these reforms, Americans would actually see these savings on their next tax return. And food stamp users would see a great improvement in their health.”

Plant-based diets are associated with lower rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer. Federal nutrition guidance, including the MyPlate diagram, urges Americans to fill three-fourths of their plates with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and to think beyond meat and poultry and incorporate legumes for protein needs. But the food stamp program makes fatty meats, cheeses, sugary sodas, and candy just as accessible as healthier foods, rewarding the manufacturers of these unhealthy products but penalizing the health of the disadvantaged families that use food stamps.

To read the plan, visit PCRM.org/SNAP.
 



Reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program


PCRM Online,
December 2011

 
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