SC wants to discuss food stamp changes with feds

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina officials hope restricting what people can buy with food stamps will cut down on obesity.

Department of Social Services director Lillian Koller said Thursday she wants permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require food stamp recipients to use the federally funded benefits for healthy food. Now, Koller says alcohol and tobacco are the only prohibited items in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Koller says has asked the USDA to discuss making the changes. Koller says meetings will be held around the state next month to solicit public opinion on what restrictions should be enacted.

Department of Health and Environmental Control director Catherine Templeton says she supports restricting SNAP benefits to the same list her agency uses for a benefit program for women and children.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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