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Bill proposes to ban junk food purchases with food stamps in Arkansas

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Food stamps could not be used to buy junk food in Arkansas under a bill filed for the coming legislative session.

The bill by Republican Rep. Mary Bentley of Perryville calls for the state Department of Human Services to ask for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps.

The bill does not specify what foods would be prohibited and calls for DHS to come up with a list, but Bentley told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says her idea would include items such as chips, sodas and candy bars.

The Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association has already met and agreed to oppose the bill.