Celebs Get Silly To Call Attention To One Place Where You Seriously Can't Use Food Stamps

Affecting the health of millions.

These days, it seems there's very little you can't buy on the internet.


Kristen Bell, Rosario Dawson, Whitney Port, Shailene Woodley, Jordana Brewster, and Justin Baldoni lend evidence to that claim as they list out some wacky wants that can be found on the World Wide Web.

Their comments are parts of clips for a recently launched campaign that aims to bring attention to one purchase that, for millions of Americans, is not so easy to make — and it could be affecting their health.

Thrive Market — an online wholesaler of organic, healthy, and natural foods — launched a petition through its Thrive Action campaign urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow the use of food stamps for buying healthy food online.

According to a Washington Post article from earlier this month, food stamps from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cannot be used for online purchases. 

Check out this video starring Kristen Bell to hear some interesting things that can be bought online:

"The ability to use food stamps online would give struggling families access to healthy food and non-toxic products at the same price as conventional equivalents for the first time in history," says Gunnar Lovelace, CEO and founder of Thrive Market. "Healthy food should be available to all Americans regardless of income level or geographic location, we're simply asking the USDA to help make that possible by bringing food stamps online."

This, says a release from the company, would be beneficial to those who live in food deserts — areas where the nearest well-stocked grocery store is more than a mile away and difficult to get to due to recipients not having reliable personal or public transportation.

"The two main barriers most Americans face in terms of accessing healthy food are geography and affordability," Lovelace says. "It always seemed crazy to us that heavily processed foods — the ones typically loaded with chemicals — are less expensive than their healthy, non-toxic alternatives."

Some stats highlighted by the campaign: 46.5 million people rely on food stamps to supplement or entirely fill their fridge, and some 23.5 million people live in the earlier-described food deserts, possibly exposing them to long-term health issues.

But there's often a stigma associated with food stamps and those who use them, an issue complicated by those who may ask, "If you can afford the internet, why can't you afford to buy healthy food? Or a car? Or move to a better area?"

"In 2011, the U.N. declared internet access a basic human right — and for many low-income Americans, mobile technology is the only way they can afford to access the internet," says Lovelace. "The Obama administration has invested heavily in increasing access to internet connectivity as an essential step to 'level the playing field' for low-income Americans striving to connect to the global marketplace. In today's world, closing the digital divide through internet connectivity is critical."

And it could be the key to improving things within their own homes.

You can learn more about this issue, and view and sign the Thrive Action petition here.

And you can check out more videos featuring Rosario Dawson, Whitney Port, Jordana Brewster, Shailene Woodley, and all of them with Justin Baldoni.


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