Food stamps for fast food? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Food stamps for fast food?

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Yum! Brands, whose restaurants include Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Long John Silvers are pushing to accept food stamps as a form of payment. Currently, federal laws prohibit the use of food stamps for prepared food.

"For me going to Taco Bell is saving time as oppose to using the funds properly," said Amanda Hale.

Amanda Hale is a mother of three. She says the food stamps she gets don't pay for all of her family's needs, but she believes she should make them go as far as possible.

"We use them a lot, but I don't really think it's a great idea. Fast food is not a necessity. It's not something you need. I'm a little torn on the issue because I do have food stamps, but I feel like sometimes it's taken a little too far," said Hale.

From an economical stand point, she says adding fast food restaurants to food stamps wouldn't help her family save money.

"I could feed my whole family. It takes $20 or $25 to eat here, and for $20 or $25, I could buy meat, bread, cheese," said Hale. "I could have three or four meals for $25 if I work it right, so it's probably not the best technically economically."

"It could get into being a lot more expensive to eat than preparing your own," said Scott Daniels.  

"It would be absolutely affordable because you have all of the dollar menus and even a larger family a family of four could eat quit cheap, inexpensive with food stamps," said Derek Collie.  

While Collie says he thinks it could save families money, he doesn't think it's a healthy option.

"I do not think it's a good idea. I think it will actually exacerbate the obesity problem that we have in this country," he said.

"We do appreciate being able to use them. It really is a life saver for us, but I think there should be limits on what you can and can't use it for because buying candy and fast food and soft drinks is not necessity," said Hale.

Restaurants here say they were unaware that Yum! Brands were trying to incorporate food stamps as payment.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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