Senator Ron Stollings decided against continuing his legislation relating to the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and is opting for a resolution instead, calling on Congress to change the benefits nationwide.
Stollings’ bill directed the state Department of Health and Human Resources to apply for a waiver with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The waiver would prohibit the purchase of soda and junk foods with SNAP benefits, or food stamps.
After voting to cut the program by more than $8 billion last week, Stollings said now is the time for federal action for all states, not just West Virginia.
“The resolution, if we can get it passed, would call on Congress to make changes for all the states, not just the one state,” he said Thursday.
His resolution also calls for incentives for those families who are making healthy choices by giving them an increase, so to speak, in benefits.
“You’d get 25 percent more buying power if you were spending it on fresh fruits and vegetables particularly,” Stollings said.
The senator said this resolution is about influencing the public to make better choices for their children.
He admits this bill won’t do it alone, but is advocating for other legislation to increase physical activity and access to nutrition hoping they all work together to ensure a healthier generation of West Virginians.