Jan 19, 2023 - Politics

No more sliced cheese, white rice under proposed Iowa SNAP bill

Illustration of a slice of bread with peanut butter in the shape of a worried face

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Iowa House Republicans are proposing restrictions on the state's SNAP benefits that could dramatically limit what foods recipients can get at the store.

Why it matters: The new bill introduces cumbersome rules that dictate what families can or can't buy at the grocery stores, said Luke Elzinga, spokesperson for DMARC, a local food nonprofit.

Driving the news: House File 3 also targets Medicaid and several other public assistance programs. Nearly 40 House Republicans have co-sponsored the bill.

  • A portion of the bill recommends narrowing SNAP food purchases to only what is on the state's approved WIC list, which is meant to be a supplemental nutritional aid for women, infants and children.

Proposed restrictions:

  • No white grains — people can only purchase 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice and 100% whole wheat pasta.
  • No baked, refried or chili beans — people can purchase black, red and pinto beans.
  • No fresh meats — people can purchase only canned products like canned tuna or canned salmon.
  • No sliced, cubed or crumbled cheese. No American cheese.

What's next: A House subcommittee will consider the bill.


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