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Only three states — Arizona, Michigan, and California — currently allow fast food restaurants to take payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as “food stamps”), but Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC and Taco Bell, is currently leading a push in its home state of Kentucky to open that option up to state residents there.
Joining the fast food giant in lobbying for this change is the Coalition for the Homeless, which believes that, for people who don’t live near a grocery store and can’t afford a restaurant, “This would allow people to get a reduced price meal at a small deli or a restaurant, and that does include fast-food restaurants.”
Update, now at least 5 states allow it:
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) 2/14/12 –
What would you think about restaurants accepting food stamps? Five states allow it for homeless people and those who can't physically cook. Some restaurants have petitioned the State of Virginia to allow them to accept food stamps.
Since the economy tanked in 2007, food stamp recipients in Virginia have shot up 89%, from 232,000 households to 438,000.
Now some restaurants want to be allowed to accept food stamps. The Department of Social Services says that Yum! Brands, which operates Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut, petitioned Virginia to let them accept food stamps. Five other states already allow it for the homeless, the elderly, and disabled people: California, Arizona, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Florida. Kentucky said no. Ohio will decide next year.
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The Feds haved allowed states to permit food stamps use at restaurants for over 30 years, but most states do not choose to do this.