Tags: food | stamp | soda | purchases

Mayors Push to Ban Soda Purchases With Food Stamps

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 01:42 PM

By Melanie Batley

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Mayors in some of the America's top cities are pushing for lawmakers to prevent food stamp claimants from using their benefits to purchase soda, according to Fox News.

The mayors' recommendation came as the House voted Wednesday to cut $2 billion from the food stamp program.

The mayors, including New York City's Michael Bloomberg, who twice attempted to ban sugary drink sales, wrote to congressional leaders Tuesday saying it is time to test and evaluate approaches that would limit the use of subsidies under the program, Fox News reported.

ALERT: Stop Your Sugar Addiction With These 4 Tips.

They want the federal food subsidies, called SNAP, to be used only to purchase foods with nutritional value.

"SNAP can also promote healthful eating by providing incentives for the consumption of fruits and vegetables by SNAP recipients, similar to the programs which have been successfully piloted in many of our cities that provide additional spending power to recipients who use their benefits at farmers markets," the mayors wrote.

However, the proposal has been criticized by the Hunger Action Network of New York State, which disagrees with the approach of banning particular products.

"My group is anti-soda," Mark Dunlea, executive director of Hunger Action, told Fox News. "We have supported a tax on soda that would raise $1 billion worth of revenue for the state. . . [but] trying to restrict food choices by food stamp participants is not the solution to the soda or obesity problem."


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