House Bill 186
149th General Assembly (Present)
House Health & Human Development 5/17/17
Committee Hearing takes place within twelve legislative days.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as “the food stamp program,” assists eligible low-income individuals with the purchase of food. This Act, known as the Delaware Nutritional Improvement Act, seeks to bring the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in line with other state programs and initiatives aimed at improving the health and welfare of Delawareans. SNAP benefits are paid entirely with federal funds, but the costs to administer the program are split between the federal and state government. As is the case with another jointly administered state-federal program – the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) – this Act seeks to require SNAP benefits to be used solely for the purchase of healthy foods identified by the Department of Health and Social Services as having beneficial nutritional value. This will not only improve the efficiency of such expenditures but it should also improve the well-being of recipients, as well as potentially reduce health care expenditures. Using the WIC guidelines as a starting point, this Act instructs the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) to draft a list of approved foods. The DHSS shall create the list with the goal of expanding on the WIC designations to improve selection and increase affordability. Under this Act, future SNAP benefits could be used only to purchase items designated as having beneficial nutritional value. Because the SNAP benefits are paid with federal funds, this Act would not become effective until the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture grants a waiver allowing its implementation. The status of this waiver may be obtained from the Director of the Department of Health and Social Services.
Takes effect upon being signed into law