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USDA Rules Would Increase Food Stamp Access to Healthy Foods

  • Associated Press

FILE - Jock Riggins looks over the fresh fruits and vegetables on the Fresh Stop bus, a mobile market, in Eatonville, Florida, Jul. 15, 2015. Under proposed rules retailers that accept food stamps would have to stock a wider variety of healthy foods.

FILE - Jock Riggins looks over the fresh fruits and vegetables on the Fresh Stop bus, a mobile market, in Eatonville, Florida, Jul. 15, 2015. Under proposed rules retailers that accept food stamps would have to stock a wider variety of healthy foods.

Retailers that accept food stamps would have to start stocking a wider variety of healthy foods or face the loss of consumers under proposed rules expected to be announced by the Agriculture Department on Tuesday.

The rules are designed to ensure people who use food stamps have better access to healthy foods. But they don't dictate what people buy or eat. A person using food stamp dollars could still purchase as much junk food as they wanted, but they would at least have more options in the store to buy fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and bread.

The rules would require stores to stock at least 168 items that the Agriculture Department considers healthy.

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