My Turn: 3SquaresVT program proven to improve health

Source: Burlington Free Press, April 3, 2011, by Marissa Parisi (E.D. of Hunger Free Vermont in South Burlington) “A recently introduced resolution in the Vermont House has many of us in the anti-hunger community concerned about peoples’ understanding of the effec­tiveness and importance the 3SquaresVT program (nationally called Supple­mental Nutrition Assist­ance Program and formerly Food Stamps). 3SquaresVT serves more than 90,000 of our neighbors — that is more than one in seven Vermont households. Proponents of the resolution suggest that 3SquaresVT dollars are “all too often” spent on foods with limited nutritional values. This perception is often backed up by anecdotes about how someone was seen buying food that doesn’t seem nutritious with their benefits. The reaction can be visceral, even if the intentions are good. But good public policy is not made based on anecdotes or good intentions; it is made based on facts. There is no research-based evidence that restricting what our neighbors can purchase with government benefits leads to improved health outcomes down the road. Research does show that 3SquaresVT participants make similar food choices to non-participants at all income levels. In fact, public health officials and physicians across the country support increasing participation in 3SquaresVT as an overall obesity-prevention strategy…” Full Story: My Turn: 3SquaresVT program proven to improve health PDF of Story: My Turn: 3SquaresVT program proven to improve health

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