SC Agencies Want Public Feedback on Proposed Food Stamp Restrict - WSPA.com

SC Agencies Want Public Feedback on Proposed Food Stamp Restrictions

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COLUMBIA, S.C. -

In an effort to curb obesity, Gov. Nikki Haley and two state agencies are proposing to limit what kinds of foods South Carolinians can buy using food stamps. Now, she and officials from the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Department of Social Services are asking for public input on the idea.

According to DHEC, more than 878,000 South Carolinians receive food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, totaling $1.4 billion a year.

Haley, DSS director Lillian Koller and DHEC director Catherine Templeton don't think that money should go to buy soda, chips and candy. They plan on asking the federal government for a waiver, limiting what people in South Carolina could buy with food stamps. Details aren't final yet, but one idea is to limit SNAP purchases to the same things that are allowed under the federal WIC program, which is a nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children.

Under WIC, food purchases are limited to things like milk and dairy, fruits and vegetables, rice, grains, breads and beans, cereals, juices and baby food.

DHEC held its first public hearing on the proposed changes Thursday night in Columbia.

It's planning these other public hearings:

March 28, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Bevis Conference Center
Pee Dee Mental Health Center
125 East Cheves Street
Florence, SC 29506

April 18, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Greenville County Council Chambers (County Square)
301 University Ridge
Greenville, SC 29601

May 2, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Sterett Hall at the Navy Yard
1530 7th Street and Hobson Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29405

Persons wishing to publicly comment during any of these meetings will be asked to register to speak at the door. For those unable to attend the meetings, comments can be submitted:

    through DHEC's online form at http://www.scdhec.gov/SNAP
    via email at snapcomments@dhec.sc.gov
    by calling toll-free 1-866-664-0483.

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