Bill prohibiting use of food stamps to buy lobster, steak proposed in NY

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Bill Prohibiting Use Of Food Stamps To Buy Lobster, Steak Proposed In NY

New York State Senator Patty Ritchie has presented a bill that would prohibit public aid recipients from buying luxury foods with food stamps.

Specifically mentioned are fancy steaks and lobster.

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The measure has been met with criticism.

Jeremy Saunders, an advocacy group leader in the state, told the Journal News, "This is a Republican attempt to make it appear that poor people use tax dollars to buy steak and lobster."

See photos related to food stamp laws:

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Bill prohibiting use of food stamps to buy lobster, steak proposed in NY
A sign on a frozen food case indicates that Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and food stamps are accepted at the Dollar General Corp. store in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. Dollar General is scheduled to announce earnings results on Dec. 5. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 27: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., right, and D.C. resident Vanessa Sherrie shop at the Safeway on 14th St., SE, to kick off the National Food Stamp Challenge. The challenge asks participants spend $31.50 on a week's worth of groceries, which is the average allotment of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly called Food Stamps. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Supporters for passage of a new agriculture law rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The farm legislation funds federal nutrition programs including food stamps, as well as subsidies to farmers that lower raw-materials costs for companies. Photographer: Rich Clement/Bloomberg via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Members of Progressive Democrats of America and other activists hold a rally in front of Rep. Henry Waxman's office on June 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The protestors were asking the congressman to vote against a House farm bill that would reduce federal spending on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by $20.5 billion and affect food stamps and other services for the poor. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Gracie Shannon-Sanborn, 5, holds a sign as she joins her father Allen Sanborn (L) and members of Progressive Democrats of America and other activists as they hold a rally in front of Rep. Henry Waxman's office on June 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The protestors were asking the congressman to vote against a House farm bill that would reduce federal spending on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program by $20.5 billion and affect food stamps and other services for the poor. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 01: Volunteers sort carrots at the SF-Marin Food Bank on May 1, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Food banks are bracing for higher food costs and an increased demand for food from the needy as food prices are skyrocketing due to a reduction in food stamps and drought conditions in several states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 01: A worker wraps a pallet of donated produce at the SF-Marin Food Bank on May 1, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Food banks are bracing for higher food costs and an increased demand for food from the needy as food prices are skyrocketing due to a reduction in food stamps and drought conditions in several states. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 7: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the Farm Bill, or the the Agriculture Act of 2014, into law after speaking about the importance of the Farm Bill to America's economy at Michigan State University February 7, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. Obama signed the largely bi-partisan legislation that reforms the farm insurance program and trims the food stamps by one percent. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
EAST LANSING, MI - FEBRUARY 7: The stage sits ready for U.S. President Barack Obama to sign the Agriculture Act of 2014 into law in the Mary Anne McPhail Equine Performance Center at Michigan State University February 7, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. Obama will sign the largely bi-partisan legislation that reforms the farm insurance program and trims the food stamps by one percent. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Brooklyn residents receive free food as part of a Bowery Mission outreach program on December 5, 2013 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Christan ministry says it have seen a spike in need since food stamps to low-income families were reduced in November with cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
BELLE GLADE, FL - APRIL 14: Yosef Muslet, a local business owner in Belle Glade says that he knows many seniors in the town that qualify for SNAP but will not apply. The sign (L) for food stamps shows that the program is administered with a credit card like payment system. He thinks some seniors think that food stamps are still stamps from a book that can be embarrassing when used. Many low-income seniors qualify to participate in the S.N.A.P. (food stamps) program but do not receive the benefit, often because they are too proud or unaware of it. Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC- JULY 28: , Carl G. Purvenas-Smith (L) sells produce to Sunday Smith (C) and Vanessa Edwards at the Ward 8 Farmers Market Cooperative on Saturday, July 28th, 2012. Carl brings his produce from Terrapin Station Herb Farm in York, PA. Carl and several other farmers at the market accept cash, WIC coupons, food stamps, along with credit and debit cards. (Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A sign on a frozen food case filled with ice cream and other desserts indicates that Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and food stamps are accepted at the Dollar General Corp. store in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, U.S., on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. Dollar General is scheduled to announce earnings results on Dec. 5. Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
PORTLAND, ME - NOVEMBER 23: Sindel Theberge, 7, points to a bag of Hershey's chocolate at at Mellen Street Market, which accepts EBT and food stamps, in Portland, ME on Monday, November 23, 2015. A new DHHS proposal is asking for a federal waiver to allow the department to ban purchase of junk food with EBT or food stamps. 'It's probably a good idea, it's not exactly nutritious to be buying candy,' Holly Plourde, Theberge's mother, said. (Photo by Whitney Hayward/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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The bill also places exclusions on junk foods, as, according to a memo, "At a time when our state and nation are struggling with an obesity epidemic, it is critically important that taxpayer-funded programs help low-income consumers make wise and healthy food choices."

Notably, a 2007 report published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found no link between food stamp use and either unhealthy dietary habits or obesity.

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