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Neenah Rep. Kaufert wants healthier choices made by FoodShare recipients


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Republican state lawmaker wants those who get public FoodShare benefits to eat healthier, and stay away from the high-priced delicacies.

Neenah Representative Dean Kaufert says he and his colleagues get stories about shoppers standing in line to buy ground beef with cash while, “the people in front of them are buying tenderloins with food stamps.”

Kaufert tells the Wisconsin Radio Network he’s also concerned about using food assistance to buy junk items like pop and chips. He says he doesn’t want to tell people what to buy – but it is tax money, and it needs to be used to, “get the most bang for the buck.”

Kaufert is proposing a bill to create a pilot program to help FoodShare recipients make healthier decisions – either by limiting what they can spend on junk food, or giving incentives to those who make smarter choices.

The change would need a federal waiver. But Kaufert says it would let Wisconsin be a national model to encourage healthier eating.

It would not change FoodShare’s eligibility requirements, or the total amount of benefits that recipients get.