So last year, as part of the farm bill, Republicans pushed for cutting the food stamp program. Essentially, they closed a loophole in 16 states, including my home state of Pennsylvania. When applying for SNAP benefits not only income and assets are considered, but ongoing bills including utilities. [Read more...]
So as I have been researching the SNAP program, proponents of it often tout it as access to healthy foods, but in reality SNAP will pay for a whole host of unhealthy foods. Funny, since SNAP stands for Supplemental NUTRITION Assistance Program.
To stop this, 18 mayors last year proposed a SNAP ban on sugary drinks, including soda. Nearly $2 billion (yes that’s with a B) in SNAP benefits are spent on sugary drinks each year or 58% of all beverages purchased by SNAP beneficiaries.
Soda has been linked to obesity and a whole other host of health problems, so much so, that the American Medical Association supported the SNAP sugary drinks ban. There is a growing obesity and diabetes epidemic especially in the South, as shown in this article, which explains how taxpayers are paying for food assistance and then paying for much more costly assistance later in the form of healthcare.
However, many, speaking on behalf of those in the SNAP program, opposed the ban citing that the poor should not be punished or shamed for their choices. Perhaps this somewhat surprising opposition is a little more clear, when such advocacy groups receive donations from the very corporations who benefit from the SNAP program. [Read more...]