Keke Palmer is still fielding backlash over comments she made on Monday regarding food stamps.
“Imagine if your EBT card could only work on healthy items …” Palmer, 27, wrote on Twitter of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) government assistance program, which provides much-needed food-purchasing benefits for households with little to no income.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Palmer’s comment was immediately criticized as social media users were quick to mention that lower-income families often lack access to fresh and healthy food options in inner-city communities and others let Palmer in on the regulations attached to meal options when one uses their EBT card.
“I mean, you know that the choices you have when using EBT are restricted, right?” responded one Twitter user, adding, “For example, you can’t purchase cooked/warm foods. Being working poor or unemployed is already exhausting and now the government is telling me I can’t buy a hot meal for dinner?”
The onslaught of backlash ensued and others echoed the sentiment adding, “Imagine if actual grocery stores with fresh produce decided to set up in low income communities,” and “Imagine if ‘healthy items’ were more affordable and accessible to everyone in America.”
The “Hustlers” actress, who famously pleaded face-to-face with the National Guard to kneel with her during the George Floyd protests in Los Angeles, also tweeted her theory to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris following the blowback and appeared to amend her proposal.
“Hey @KamalaHarris I know you just started but me and my friends were talking about it and we think EBT cards should swipe free on all items considered HEALTHY. Xoxo,” Palmer wrote.
Keke Palmer’s recent comments regarding food stamps did not sit well with social media users. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Refinery29’s 29Rooms)
Many on social media believed Palmer doubled down on her stance after she issued a follow-up tweet, writing, “The gag is, no one gaf [gave a f—k] about eating healthy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH.”
“THE GAG IS YOU ARE IGNORING DISABLED PEOPLE TRYING TO EXPLAIN HOW HARMFUL YOUR TWEETS HAVE BEEN,” one critic said in response, adding, “You are willfully repeatedly doubling down on this. Without even considering anything we have been saying. farmers markets aren’t accessible. Fresh packaged produce is expensive.”
Palmer then entered into a brief discussion with the commenter, replying, “There’s nothing wrong with thinking healthy foods like veggies and fruits and certain meats should be free for people with EBT CARDS. I said nothing about anything else you said, only that I would be happy for my taxes to go towards something like that being possible.”
Despite engaging in multiple sparring sessions with commenters, the “Ice Age: Collision Course” voice-performer made a point to note that her proposal wasn’t a “cure-all.”
“Why did you take this one comment and make like it was my plan to cure poverty?” she asked one critic. “Lol all I said is I want people to get healthy food for free. It’s obviously not a cure all.”
She later explained her remarks adding, “To clarify my tweet was pertaining to issues w/ healthy foods being 2 expensive & thinking it should be free for those w/ EBT cards…”
Palmer also took the discussion to Instagram and added ‘context.’ (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV)
Palmer also took the discussion to Instagram and added more “context.”
“I have been eating extremely healthy lately and I have been sad about my debit card balance because of it,” Palmer wrote. “Healthy food is more expensive for a reason. It’s fresh, good for you and gives you energy. Bad foods are bad for a reason. They last long they taste good because of tons of sodium and they aren’t expensive because they’re honestly not food. Mostly likely they are food-LIKE products.”
“In any event imagine if you could get whatever healthy foods you wanted on your EBT card,” she continued. “Like all the healthy foods could swipe for free. Pretty much a reward for being healthy but even more so giving homes a break that want to eat healthy but can’t afford it!”
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 38 million U.S. citizens received assistance from SNAP in 2019.