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Corruption Chronicles

$31 Mil in “Creative Community Partnerships” to Give Poor Fruits, Veggies

Less than a year after spending tens of millions of dollars to provide the nation’s food-stamp recipients with more fruits and vegetables, the Obama administration is generously throwing in another $31.5 million for the same cause, according to a recent announcement.

It’s the last thing Americans need to hear as the dreaded tax day approaches since, after all, they’re bankrolling the healthy food campaign for low-income residents. Under President Obama the country’s food-stamp program—rebranded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to eliminate stigma associated with the welfare benefit—has grown immensely, according to the government’s own figures. A record number of people, around 47 million, get free groceries from Uncle Sam at an astounding cost of about $80 billion a year.

It isn’t enough to give tens of millions of people free food. The administration wants to assure the welfare recipients are eating healthy and nutritious items by providing government-subsidized produce, whole grains and low-fat milk in neighborhoods it has labeled “food deserts.” It’s part of a broader effort spearheaded by Michelle Obama’s $4.5 billion law to revolutionize the inner city diet by providing fruits, veggies and grilled lean meats as alternatives to greasy, fried foods that tend to be more popular in those areas—presumably because they’re cheaper.

The money flows through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has poured huge sums into the cause and this month dedicated the additional $31.5 million. “Encouraging low income families to put more healthy food in their grocery baskets is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to improving the diet and health of all Americans,” said Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. He referred to the costly program as “creative community partnerships” that will ultimately help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. Officially the funds for this particular initiative have been coined Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive grants.

Judicial Watch has reported on this extensively in the last few years, exposing the enormous sums of taxpayer dollars that have been wasted on this ineffective experiment. In fact, last year JW wrote about an academic study that shows the First Lady’s pricey initiative to eliminate “food deserts” is failing miserably. The study focused on a low-income neighborhood in Philadelphia that received generous grants from the government to build new markets and add healthy food options to convenience stores. Researchers found that dietary habits or obesity were not altered and it did not lead to changes in fruit and vegetable intake or body mass index.

Before that JW reported that the administration wasted $75 million to study ways of better recognizing the nutritional needs of low-income communities and more than $100 million in Obamacare grants to “reduce health disparities” between minorities and whites by, among other things, eliminating food deserts. The administration even created a special internet mapping tool (Food Desert Locator) that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”

Less than a year ago the Obama administration announced that it was launching a special research center that will find ways to help food-stamp recipients make healthier and wiser food choices. It will be called the Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice and Americans will pay at least $1.9 million—possibly more—to create it. There seems to be no end to the madness, an obsession to control what private citizens consume and change the ingrained eating habits of an entire demographic.


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