22 June 2011

KFC's parent company lobbies for food stamp use in Kentucky fast food restaurants

Low income families in Kentucky may soon be able to use their food stamps to buy a KFC Double Down or a Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Supreme.

Louisville-based Yum! Brands, the parent company of many popular fast food chains including KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, is currently lobbying the state of Kentucky to allow the use of the EBT card to make food purchases in their restaurants.

Supporters of the proposal argue that this would help low income families in areas where there are no local grocery stores or farmer’s markets, put a hot meal on the table.

Opponents point out that the move would be nothing more than a government subsidy for fast food retailers and an even steeper price would be paid in the form of poorer health for the state’s most vulnerable communities which are often already plagued by diabetes and heart disease.

According to statistics, Kentucky was ranked number seven in the U.S. in terms of obesity rates, with over 30 percent of adults being obese. Childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes are also on the rise in the state.

Rather than making it easier for low income individuals and families to buy a heart attack-inducing sandwich and a ice cold cup of sugar, the legislators in Kentucky might look into funding nutrition classes and healthy cooking demonstrations for these communities so that folks can learn that with the right direction and just a little time, a healthy, balanced meal for a family of four can cost less than that combo meal.

Sara Best | @shbest
Sara was literally born into the animal welfare movement. While growing up, her father worked with various organizations on campaigns from the Canadian seal hunt to the slaughter of dogs in the Philippines to the ivory trade in Africa. Eventually, Sara became involved in animal protection projects herself. Now she is a writer living near Toronto, a mom to two little omnivores and married to one dedicated carnivore. Visit Sara's blog.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/marufish