7-11 already an option
Should fast food qualify as food stamps fare? Fight pits hunger againstnutrition
Yum! Brands (parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver's, and Pizza Hut) is lobbying to get more fast food restaurants involved in the food stamps program and — unsurprisingly — it's all about the green. Dollars, not roughage.
"Between 2005 and 2010, the number of businesses certified in the SNAP program went from about 156,000 to nearly 209,000, according to USDA data," USA Today reports. "There is big money at stake. USDA records show food stamp benefits swelled from $28.5 billion to $64.7 billion in that period."
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has generally prohibited the purchase of prepared foods, except when it comes to the homeless, elderly and disabled.
National Association of Convenience Stores does not support Yum! Brand's push for a piece of the market.
"If the pie's only so big, nobody's going to want to see the pie sliced thinner," said convenience stores spokesman Jeff Lenard. "I'm not sure that's in the best interest of public health."
Really, Mr. Lenard? Are you talking about money here, or health? Because there's only so much that 7-Eleventaquitos can offer a person, nutritionally speaking. Or a Quik Trip "Cheeseburger Roller," or any of RaceTrac's "grilled" entrees.
Yes, fast food is an affordable option (do you know how far $5 will take you at Taco Bell?) and a viable one for those without access to a kitchen, but you really can't argue that Yum! restaurants have the consumer's health at heart, either. Sprinkling shredded iceberg and a few chunks of ethylene-ripened tomatoes on a tortilla and calling it "fresco" does not a healthy taco make. And those green beans don't even come close to a natural or appealing shade of green (I'm looking at you, KFC).
What do you think? Should the fight against hunger be more important than health-friendly options for those who can't afford it?