Two Republican state lawmakers this week filed proposals that call for barring the use of food stamps to buy soft drinks. Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, filed proposals (SM 1016 and HM 847) that would urge Congress to make soft drinks off limits in the aid program formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
The proposals, which will be considered during the 2018 legislative session, are non-binding “memorials” to Congress.
The proposals, in part, say soft drinks are “nutrient poor but rich in calories and can lead to nutritional deficiencies and health disorders including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.”
They said state and local governments have sought federal permission in the past to prevent SNAP benefits from being used to pay for soft drinks but have been rejected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a result, the memorials would ask Congress to take action on the issue.