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      DHEC seeks your input on proposed SNAP eligible food list

      NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is holding a series of forums to give you the chance to let your ideas be heard on the possible restrictions facing people on the SNAP (food stamp) program.

      You can take the opportunity to tell DHEC officials what you think should be allowed on the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

      Supporters of restricting sugary drinks and candy cite the obesity problem in the state which is shown to contribute to sickness, deadly diseases and costs the taxpayers when it comes to treatment.

      At DHEC's last obesity stakeholder meeting, Gov. Nikki Haley and S.C. Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller recently announced a plan to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help South Carolinians who participate in SNAP eat healthy and avoid obesity.

      According to DHEC, more than 878,000 South Carolinians participate in SNAP, commonly known as "food stamps," receiving cash benefits of $1.4 billion per year.

      The list of eligible food items that can be purchased under SNAP includes almost all consumable products, regardless of an item's nutritional value.{}

      The meetings will be held locally in North Charleston but also in other cities around the Palmetto State.

      COLUMBIA:

      March 21, 2013 at 5:30 - 7:30 PMRichland County Council Chambers, 2020 Hampton Street, Columbia, SC 29204

      FLORENCE:

      March 28, 2013 at 5:30 - 7:30 PMBevis Conference Center, Pee Dee Mental Health Center125 East Cheves Street, Florence, SC 29506

      GREENVILLE:

      April 18, 2013 at 5:30 - 7:30 PMGreenville County Council Chambers (County Square)301 University Ridge, Greenville, SC 29601

      NORTH CHARLESTON:

      May 2, 2013 at 5:30 - 7:30 PMSterett Hall at the Navy Yard1530 7th Street and Hobson Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405

      If you can't make any of the above meetings, you can comment online using an online form by clicking here.

      You can also send an email to snapcomments@dhec.sc.gov or simply call toll-free 1-866-664-0483.

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