Using Food Stamps to Buy Soda May Soon Be Banned

Buying soda with food stamps may soon come to an end.

A bill, HB 47, filed Friday by Rep. Ralph E. Massullo seeks to prohibit the use of benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Programs to purchase “soft drinks.”

SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, provides food benefits and access to a healthy diet to low-income households.

Eligible food items currently under the assistance program include bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Ineligible items are liquor, tobacco-related products, pet foods, soaps, medicine, food to the eaten in-store, and hot foods.

Soda is listed an eligible “junk food,” according to the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

The bill states that if the requested waiver to Department of Children and Families to exclude soda from the list is denied, the department will renew its request annually until it is approved.