Hello, Big Brother! Food Stamps Won’t Buy Soft Drinks

Libby Kane
Posted

Why Limit Soda Consumption To Social Class?

Don’t drink your calories. That’s the message New York City and state officials are sending by proposing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that food stamps in New York City be unable to purchase sugary drinks for the next two years.

It’s A Contained Idea

The move, according to Bloomberg, is an effort to target the rise in obesity among low-income households, where obesity is “almost twice as prevalent” as in the city’s wealthiest households. Key word there being “city”: the ban would be active only for the 1.7 million people (out of the state’s 2.9 million) using food stamps within New York City.

The Danger Lies In The Wallet

Most of us are well aware of the dangers of obesity. We know that on an individual level, obesity endangers our hearts, bones, breathing, and lives. But it takes its toll on a fiscal level as well. From Bloomberg:

Obesity-related illness costs New York state residents almost $8 billion annually, or $770 for each household, according to city and state health officials. Overweight or obese adults compose 57 percent of the city’s population, they said. Almost half, or 46 percent, of the 22,300 people hospitalized for obesity-related diabetes each year live in low- income neighborhoods.

This crusade isn’t a new one for Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson. They previously moved to add a half-cent-per-ounce tax on sugared drinks in the hopes it would deter buyers, but it was blocked by beverage-industry lobbyists—an incredibly powerful force that is none too happy about preventing food stamps from buying sugared drinks.

Your High Horse Is Dehydrated

We understand the righteous zeal behind manipulating the food and drink consumption of people who appear to need assistance in many ways. We know it’s tempting to try to fix situations—and people—and that almost any move can be justified with a statistic or two. But we also don’t see the point in getting too enraged about this micromanagement of New York residents, as Big Beverage will never let it happen. The beverage lobby is one of the most powerful in the country, and they’ve stopped movements like this in the past with a hefty payout. It isn’t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isn’t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent. And neither is it up to the government.

Tell us in the comments: Is the idea of disallowing food stamps to be spent on sugary drinks a good one? Will it ever come to pass?

Posted in: , ,
  • Savvy

    This is horrendous. The government is NOT our babysitter.

    • A.Nice.Photo

      When they’re buying the food, paying the medical bills, providing the housing and the employment… uh, yeah, they kinda are.

    • A.Nice.Photo

      When they’re buying the food, paying the medical bills, providing the housing and the employment… uh, yeah, they kinda are.

    • A.Nice.Photo

      When they’re buying the food, paying the medical bills, providing the housing and the employment… uh, yeah, they kinda are.

    • A.Nice.Photo

      When they’re buying the food, paying the medical bills, providing the housing and the employment… uh, yeah, they kinda are.

    • A.Nice.Photo

      When they’re buying the food, paying the medical bills, providing the housing and the employment… uh, yeah, they kinda are.

    • Heather H

      The government isn’t telling YOU what you can and can’t purchase. They’re considering telling food stamp recipients what they can and can’t buy with government money. They do this in other areas all the time. No one complains that a HUD mortgage requires a home inspection before getting the funds for a house.

    • Heather H

      The government isn’t telling YOU what you can and can’t purchase. They’re considering telling food stamp recipients what they can and can’t buy with government money. They do this in other areas all the time. No one complains that a HUD mortgage requires a home inspection before getting the funds for a house.

  • Corynne Steindler

    I may be alone in this but I think it is up to us how food stamps should be spent. It’s taxpayer money that is supposed to be going towards feeding hungry families — a concept which I totally support. But when the money for food stamps is spent on junk food that makes it harder for kids to learn in school, let alone stay healthy, then I think it’s up to somebody to step in. nnPart of it is educating lower income families on healthy choices, and providing more access to healthy food. But part of it is protecting low-income children from living on soda and chips just because it is cheaper for their parents.

    • SpaCENErd

      On some level I agree with this, but I also think it starts blurring the line of where the government is and isn’t allowed to make your choices for you. nnEducation and limited food stamps are fine, whatever, but a real difference isn’t going to be made until someone takes on the absurdly powerful food and beverage lobbies. People will make lousy choices no matter what (I know I do), so addressing it on an individual level will be ineffective. Someone needs to quash the manufacturing of this junk– or are we too far gone?

      • Heather H

        Addressing it on an individual level is the ONLY way to handle the situation. People must be responsible for their own choices, including food choices and the choice to give up some of their privacy by applying for government assistance. The government shutting down an industry because they make unhealthy food is where we would be “too far gone”. We as consumers can shut down the industry through the laws of supply and demand. If we stop buying it, they’ll stop making it. Remember New Coke? No government intervention was necessary to change the company there, just public outcry.

      • Heather H

        Addressing it on an individual level is the ONLY way to handle the situation. People must be responsible for their own choices, including food choices and the choice to give up some of their privacy by applying for government assistance. The government shutting down an industry because they make unhealthy food is where we would be “too far gone”. We as consumers can shut down the industry through the laws of supply and demand. If we stop buying it, they’ll stop making it. Remember New Coke? No government intervention was necessary to change the company there, just public outcry.

  • Marnie

    I’m pretty sure that NY state doesn’t allow you to buy soda on food stamps already… so this would be for other sugary drinks. And where would they draw the “sugary” line? Bc tons of juices have a ridiculous amount of sugar in them already.

  • Monocle Mom

    I.hate.big.gov

  • Rachel

    Some types of food stamps for mothers and children (WIC) do regulate what type of food you can buy, down to the brand. When I worked in a grocery store I saw that the most commonly purchased items on WIC were milk, eggs, bread, cereal, beans, cheese and juice. Since it’s supposed to be a supplement to other food bought by the family, the variety is limited. I don’t think it’s a good idea for general food stamps to be limited to a short list of ingredients. Families need enough variety to make different meals and ethnic foods shouldn’t be excluded, either. I do think, however, that the point of food stamps is to make sure people get the nutrition they need. We don’t have to be nit-picky about every single item of food, but Coke isn’t a necessity.

  • ST

    What if the food stamp program as originally implemented hadn’t allowed for the purchase of soda? I doubt anybody would be supporting a change to allow them to be purchased. It’s the change that people are afraid of, not the concept itself. rnrnThe best food items to buy on a limited budget are rice, beans (in the bags), and oatmeal. Cheap, really nutritious and non-perishable. Milk, eggs, cheese, and carrots are also good. rnAlso for families with kids, they are establishing their eating habits that may stay with them the rest of their lives. another good reason to limit sodas and other junk

    • Anonymous

      Trey, this is a great point. Start them early with good habits. nCheers,nCaroline WaxlernLearnVest’s Chief Content and Community Officer

  • http://www.pureandhealthy.com/vitamin-c vitamin c

    Not the right thing to do because we have our freedom which one we want to consume, what they can do is impose a higher tax for that kind of products. Educate your citizens to choose healthy food options but don’t limit their access.

  • Rebekah

    Shame on you. If we are all paying taxes that go to food stamps and health and dental insurance for the low income, it better be to keep them healthy–the same thing we would want for our own friends and families. It should be up to us how our money is spent and it should be spent wisely to make our country a healthier country for every income.

  • Anonymous

    My personal bias lies along these lines. Sure, I like to think that a) I know what’s best for my fellow citizens and b) That I have any say over the use of my tax dollars, but neither of these is necessarily the case. We, as individuals, make the best choices we can for our families, and we should allow other individuals to do the same… without us acting as their conscience.

    • Eileen400

      I guess I don’t mind being someone’s conscience if it’s going to save their child from diabetes or the kid’s mother from heart disease. A lot of people think they’re making the best choice but, aren’t. Many people don’t know any better so, I think it would be helpful to guide people in a better direction. It should be a Food & Health Stamps.

    • Heather H

      If we’re acting as their providers by paying taxes that go to food stamps, then we have the right to ask that they spend that money wisely. One gives up some personal freedom when one takes support and provision from the government. And as it’s been pointed out many times, no one is saying they can’t purchase soft drinks, just that they should spend their own money rather than the people’s money on poor food choices. If they’re going to make bad food choices, they need to pay for those choices out of their discretionary funds.

    • Heather H

      If we’re acting as their providers by paying taxes that go to food stamps, then we have the right to ask that they spend that money wisely. One gives up some personal freedom when one takes support and provision from the government. And as it’s been pointed out many times, no one is saying they can’t purchase soft drinks, just that they should spend their own money rather than the people’s money on poor food choices. If they’re going to make bad food choices, they need to pay for those choices out of their discretionary funds.

    • Heather H

      If we’re acting as their providers by paying taxes that go to food stamps, then we have the right to ask that they spend that money wisely. One gives up some personal freedom when one takes support and provision from the government. And as it’s been pointed out many times, no one is saying they can’t purchase soft drinks, just that they should spend their own money rather than the people’s money on poor food choices. If they’re going to make bad food choices, they need to pay for those choices out of their discretionary funds.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

    • Beth

      Libby, while I agree that we don’t always know what is best for our fellow citizens, we have absolute proof that soft drinks are no only nutrient-free, they are actually detrimental to the health of those that consume them. It’s not an opinion; it’s fact.

  • Emily H.

    I agree with you, Corynne – I think it’s worth adding that it’s the government determining how people spend government money, which seems fair to me. The government isn’t trying to regulate how people who receive food stamp benefits spend their OWN money. Food stamps are assistance to make sure a family doesn’t go hungry – a safety net. Soda doesn’t provide any form of nutrition, and can be seen as something of a luxury.

  • Wendy

    I think if people are spending the government’s money, then the government has the right to oversee what they buy, particularly if the government is also picking up the tab for their health care. Perhaps restricting the freedom of those dependent on the government will serve as an incentive to become financially independent.

  • Anonymous

    I think if you are relying on government assistance for your food, the government can tell you what foods you can use it for. How many people receiving food stamps also pay for their own medical and dental insurance? If people are receiving both Food Stamps and on Medicaid, then the taxpayers are paying for what they eat, and the health and dental problems caused by their diet later on. If they really want that coke or “sugary beverage”, they can save their pennies for it, and use Food Stamps toward all their other food needs.

    • Kj22511

      I work and i receive food stamps this opens the door for not only people to tell us what to do but you as well government wont stop there trust and believe me they are finding ways to invade all of our privacy now if one has a pre-paid debit card or any card they can track your purchases not just the bank the government while they say they are looking out for our well being this is another way to see what and how we spend our money sometime i wonder why did i vote and sweety food stamp dont last like you think

    • Kj22511

      I work and i receive food stamps this opens the door for not only people to tell us what to do but you as well government wont stop there trust and believe me they are finding ways to invade all of our privacy now if one has a pre-paid debit card or any card they can track your purchases not just the bank the government while they say they are looking out for our well being this is another way to see what and how we spend our money sometime i wonder why did i vote and sweety food stamp dont last like you think

    • Kj22511

      I work and i receive food stamps this opens the door for not only people to tell us what to do but you as well government wont stop there trust and believe me they are finding ways to invade all of our privacy now if one has a pre-paid debit card or any card they can track your purchases not just the bank the government while they say they are looking out for our well being this is another way to see what and how we spend our money sometime i wonder why did i vote and sweety food stamp dont last like you think

      • Heather H

        It’s definitely a balancing act, trying to decide whether to maintain as much privacy as possible or to accept the assistance from the government. But it’s a principle as old as civilization, the borrower is a slave to the lender. As long as someone else controls the money, they control you. I agree that the intrusion into food stamp recipients’ lives is one step toward more government control in everyone’s lives, but it’s a step you can choose not to take.

      • Heather H

        It’s definitely a balancing act, trying to decide whether to maintain as much privacy as possible or to accept the assistance from the government. But it’s a principle as old as civilization, the borrower is a slave to the lender. As long as someone else controls the money, they control you. I agree that the intrusion into food stamp recipients’ lives is one step toward more government control in everyone’s lives, but it’s a step you can choose not to take.

      • Heather H

        It’s definitely a balancing act, trying to decide whether to maintain as much privacy as possible or to accept the assistance from the government. But it’s a principle as old as civilization, the borrower is a slave to the lender. As long as someone else controls the money, they control you. I agree that the intrusion into food stamp recipients’ lives is one step toward more government control in everyone’s lives, but it’s a step you can choose not to take.

      • Heather H

        It’s definitely a balancing act, trying to decide whether to maintain as much privacy as possible or to accept the assistance from the government. But it’s a principle as old as civilization, the borrower is a slave to the lender. As long as someone else controls the money, they control you. I agree that the intrusion into food stamp recipients’ lives is one step toward more government control in everyone’s lives, but it’s a step you can choose not to take.

  • Eileen400

    Food stamps are benefits-to be used to assist you during a rough time. I don’t agree that taxpayers should have to pay for others to spend their money on junk food or expsensive products. There are a lot of needy people that could use food stamps and i think if people were limited on only being able to buy the necessities or generic brands (similar to WIC) they may get a little more motivated to improve their situation as soon as possible. We also may be able to feed more people too with extra funds remaining, They can go and buy new york steaks for dinner everyday if they want to. I’ve seen a lot of people using their food stamps to buy a bunch of food for a party. To me, if you’re struggling it’s probably not the best time to be throwing parties you can’t afford. When I personally have the money I’ll have one but, if I don’t then I don’t. They can also buy gum and candy with food stamps and I don’t think that’s a necessity either. Fruits, veggies, cereals, milk, eggs, cheese, rice, beans, some meat, fish, chicken, and so on. Maybe they should dictate what you can and can’t buy with your stamps. Like a certain amount of meat, a certain amount of dairy, etc…it would help people learn to eat better and the food stamps would be spent more wisely. I think people are getting confused that food stamps is a way to live and eat instead of it being an assistance to not go hungry for a certain time period until you get back on your feet.

  • Eileen400

    no, they shouldn’t be. They are actually more like parents to people who are depending on the govt. unfortunately. So, if the govt. is going to help them then there should be some regulation.

  • Guest

    “It isnu2019t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isnu2019t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent.”nnIf I’m paying for somebody else to eat, you’re damned right I have a right to determine what they eat.nnSoda isn’t food, and it has no nutritional value. There’s no reason that my tax dollars should pay for someone else to drink it when they could be buying food for their family with that money.

  • Phogallen1

    Wendy, first of all its not the governments money its our money the people. We pay for it everyday out of our taxes and they take it. Then they want to turn around and oversee how its given back to us. I PAID TAXES FOR 25 YEARS now i am on food stamps due to the economy. If i wanna drink soda i will and its nobodies damn business.

    • linda

      I have worked for over 25 yrs also and have paid all my taxes..I am now on SSDI and i also receive food stamps, that i along with every other taxpayer has paid ..I pay for my own medical which is medicare.I still pay for all my medications which are not cheap. Medicaid is a diffrent  program…I may every 2-3 months buy a 12 pack of ginger-ale..I may treat myself to a nice steak every so often. I also make sure i have pretty much all my meals planned for a month for my family…I have bought candy and other sugery substances..I also use alot of coupons..I sometimes get mad at familys going to the store and buying food which is not healthy or a good choice and yes there on food stamps, but it is not my job so to speak to tell that family what to buy or not to buy..Food stamps is not a free ride for alot of people..I would really like to go back to work..but right now i am unable sooo..i need to ask the government for help in my food purchases,I do not need someone who lives in a glass house try and tell me i cant buy a candy bar or a pop..with my foodstamps…foodstamps are there…and be thankful you dont need to ask the government for food assitance or any assitance..some day you may have to eat those words

    • linda

      I have worked for over 25 yrs also and have paid all my taxes..I am now on SSDI and i also receive food stamps, that i along with every other taxpayer has paid ..I pay for my own medical which is medicare.I still pay for all my medications which are not cheap. Medicaid is a diffrent  program…I may every 2-3 months buy a 12 pack of ginger-ale..I may treat myself to a nice steak every so often. I also make sure i have pretty much all my meals planned for a month for my family…I have bought candy and other sugery substances..I also use alot of coupons..I sometimes get mad at familys going to the store and buying food which is not healthy or a good choice and yes there on food stamps, but it is not my job so to speak to tell that family what to buy or not to buy..Food stamps is not a free ride for alot of people..I would really like to go back to work..but right now i am unable sooo..i need to ask the government for help in my food purchases,I do not need someone who lives in a glass house try and tell me i cant buy a candy bar or a pop..with my foodstamps…foodstamps are there…and be thankful you dont need to ask the government for food assitance or any assitance..some day you may have to eat those words

  • Reynalda

    Who are these beverage lobbyist? and how can they over throw anyone buy using money over health?

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

    • guest

      yea, but what if they DONT have any money? people should be able to eat/drink what they want regardless if it’s from food stamps or out of pocket. If they run out of money before the end of the month, that’s their fault. 

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • A.nice.photo

    If obesity-related illnesses are costing the government (i.e. US, the taxpayers) $8 BILLION a year, and that’s a cost that can be significantly reduced by taking simple measures, like banning the ability to purchase sodas and other sugary drinks using PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, it should be done!!!! The government isn’t saying one can’t consume sugary drinks, only that one has to use THEIR OWN MONEY to do it.

  • Dunham

    I feel like things, such as sugary drinks and cereals are luxury items. If you need help from the government, it should be for basic needs. You do not need soft drinks to survive, therefore the government shouldn’t foot the bill. These are taxpayer dollars being spent, it is about time they start looking at ways to cut back on spending. By restricting non-essential goods, from the food stamp program, I feel they are moving in the right direction, even if it is in baby steps. As a person who does not rely on food stamps, I do not buy soft drinks if there are other things I need more. Why should some one on government assistance be any different just because they are not paying for it.

  • Dunham

    I feel like things, such as sugary drinks and cereals are luxury items. If you need help from the government, it should be for basic needs. You do not need soft drinks to survive, therefore the government shouldn’t foot the bill. These are taxpayer dollars being spent, it is about time they start looking at ways to cut back on spending. By restricting non-essential goods, from the food stamp program, I feel they are moving in the right direction, even if it is in baby steps. As a person who does not rely on food stamps, I do not buy soft drinks if there are other things I need more. Why should some one on government assistance be any different just because they are not paying for it.

  • Dunham

    I feel like things, such as sugary drinks and cereals are luxury items. If you need help from the government, it should be for basic needs. You do not need soft drinks to survive, therefore the government shouldn’t foot the bill. These are taxpayer dollars being spent, it is about time they start looking at ways to cut back on spending. By restricting non-essential goods, from the food stamp program, I feel they are moving in the right direction, even if it is in baby steps. As a person who does not rely on food stamps, I do not buy soft drinks if there are other things I need more. Why should some one on government assistance be any different just because they are not paying for it.

  • Camisty1011

    Two years ago I was a checker in a grocery store, I have stood with a twisted knot in my stomach and smiled and said “thank you, have a nice day” as I watched more than several “wasted” food stamp purchases walk out the door. 1) the young man with $80 in soda (on sale 5/$10) so a cart FILLED with 40 12-packs 2) the man with $60 in crab legs laughing to his friends about how he gets so much money in food stamps he can just blow it 3) the party girl trying to buy a $40 case of Red Bull bc her guy friend had just bought the Jagermeister, when i informed her that energy drinks were no longer a FS item she got pissed and told me she would just go to Wal-Mart. These are only a few examples and no NOT all people abuse the system but can we really afford the ones that do? Nowadays, my husband has a good paying job that allows me to stay home with our 4 boys, but are fridge isn’t stocked with soda or energy drinks, and we have never had crab legs…

  • Camisty1011

    Two years ago I was a checker in a grocery store, I have stood with a twisted knot in my stomach and smiled and said “thank you, have a nice day” as I watched more than several “wasted” food stamp purchases walk out the door. 1) the young man with $80 in soda (on sale 5/$10) so a cart FILLED with 40 12-packs 2) the man with $60 in crab legs laughing to his friends about how he gets so much money in food stamps he can just blow it 3) the party girl trying to buy a $40 case of Red Bull bc her guy friend had just bought the Jagermeister, when i informed her that energy drinks were no longer a FS item she got pissed and told me she would just go to Wal-Mart. These are only a few examples and no NOT all people abuse the system but can we really afford the ones that do? Nowadays, my husband has a good paying job that allows me to stay home with our 4 boys, but are fridge isn’t stocked with soda or energy drinks, and we have never had crab legs…

  • Camisty1011

    Two years ago I was a checker in a grocery store, I have stood with a twisted knot in my stomach and smiled and said “thank you, have a nice day” as I watched more than several “wasted” food stamp purchases walk out the door. 1) the young man with $80 in soda (on sale 5/$10) so a cart FILLED with 40 12-packs 2) the man with $60 in crab legs laughing to his friends about how he gets so much money in food stamps he can just blow it 3) the party girl trying to buy a $40 case of Red Bull bc her guy friend had just bought the Jagermeister, when i informed her that energy drinks were no longer a FS item she got pissed and told me she would just go to Wal-Mart. These are only a few examples and no NOT all people abuse the system but can we really afford the ones that do? Nowadays, my husband has a good paying job that allows me to stay home with our 4 boys, but are fridge isn’t stocked with soda or energy drinks, and we have never had crab legs…

  • Heather H

    ” It isn’t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isn’t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent. And neither is it up to the government.” Really? If I’m the one giving you money, I’ll have some say in how it’s used. And because my taxes pay for the food stamp program, as administered through the government, I think there should be limits on how food stamps are used. Food stamps should be used for wholesome and nutritious foods, not soft drinks and junk food. The program is an opportunity for learning how to cook healthy meals and budget wisely, just as much as it’s an aid for those in need.

  • Heather H

    ” It isn’t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isn’t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent. And neither is it up to the government.” Really? If I’m the one giving you money, I’ll have some say in how it’s used. And because my taxes pay for the food stamp program, as administered through the government, I think there should be limits on how food stamps are used. Food stamps should be used for wholesome and nutritious foods, not soft drinks and junk food. The program is an opportunity for learning how to cook healthy meals and budget wisely, just as much as it’s an aid for those in need.

  • Heather H

    ” It isn’t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isn’t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent. And neither is it up to the government.” Really? If I’m the one giving you money, I’ll have some say in how it’s used. And because my taxes pay for the food stamp program, as administered through the government, I think there should be limits on how food stamps are used. Food stamps should be used for wholesome and nutritious foods, not soft drinks and junk food. The program is an opportunity for learning how to cook healthy meals and budget wisely, just as much as it’s an aid for those in need.

  • Heather H

    ” It isn’t our place to judge lifestyle or beverage choices. It isn’t up to us to determine how food stamps are spent. And neither is it up to the government.” Really? If I’m the one giving you money, I’ll have some say in how it’s used. And because my taxes pay for the food stamp program, as administered through the government, I think there should be limits on how food stamps are used. Food stamps should be used for wholesome and nutritious foods, not soft drinks and junk food. The program is an opportunity for learning how to cook healthy meals and budget wisely, just as much as it’s an aid for those in need.

  • flowersnatcher

    There a lot of things wrong with the execution of government services, and people will always figure out a way to Abuse them. The REAL issue is how much appreciation do the people have for bail out programs. Receiving food stamps allowed me to use my cash to look for another job and keep my small apartment aka a roof over my head. Without that help, I would be at the local homeless shelter. Living there would use more private, state, and federal resources. I am very appreciative of the help and second chance it has provided me. I keep in mind that other countries dont have these program and it leaves their citizens at the fate of “survival of the fittest.” Back to the issue: MOST of the foods I buy are either very healthy to healthy. I get low fat ice cream once a month and make my own “cookies” using no fats, sugar, or flour :)  

  • flowersnatcher

    There a lot of things wrong with the execution of government services, and people will always figure out a way to Abuse them. The REAL issue is how much appreciation do the people have for bail out programs. Receiving food stamps allowed me to use my cash to look for another job and keep my small apartment aka a roof over my head. Without that help, I would be at the local homeless shelter. Living there would use more private, state, and federal resources. I am very appreciative of the help and second chance it has provided me. I keep in mind that other countries dont have these program and it leaves their citizens at the fate of “survival of the fittest.” Back to the issue: MOST of the foods I buy are either very healthy to healthy. I get low fat ice cream once a month and make my own “cookies” using no fats, sugar, or flour :)  

  • Kathleen_clark

    It is our DUTY to ensure the poorest of the poor (so to speak) receive good nutrition and maximixe their nutrition dollar.  Soda pop has absolutely no healthy nutritional value.  Why are tax dollars being spent on something that will lead to higher healthcare costs when the soda-drinking teens receiving assistance become soda drinking adults using more healthcare services than their water-drinking contemporaries.  At a time when over 50% of our populations is overweight, we need to make soda as inaccessible to all as possible. 

  • Kathleen_clark

    It is our DUTY to ensure the poorest of the poor (so to speak) receive good nutrition and maximixe their nutrition dollar.  Soda pop has absolutely no healthy nutritional value.  Why are tax dollars being spent on something that will lead to higher healthcare costs when the soda-drinking teens receiving assistance become soda drinking adults using more healthcare services than their water-drinking contemporaries.  At a time when over 50% of our populations is overweight, we need to make soda as inaccessible to all as possible. 

  • Kathleen_clark

    It is our DUTY to ensure the poorest of the poor (so to speak) receive good nutrition and maximixe their nutrition dollar.  Soda pop has absolutely no healthy nutritional value.  Why are tax dollars being spent on something that will lead to higher healthcare costs when the soda-drinking teens receiving assistance become soda drinking adults using more healthcare services than their water-drinking contemporaries.  At a time when over 50% of our populations is overweight, we need to make soda as inaccessible to all as possible. 

  • Kathleen_clark

    It is our DUTY to ensure the poorest of the poor (so to speak) receive good nutrition and maximixe their nutrition dollar.  Soda pop has absolutely no healthy nutritional value.  Why are tax dollars being spent on something that will lead to higher healthcare costs when the soda-drinking teens receiving assistance become soda drinking adults using more healthcare services than their water-drinking contemporaries.  At a time when over 50% of our populations is overweight, we need to make soda as inaccessible to all as possible. 

  • Kathleen_clark

    It is our DUTY to ensure the poorest of the poor (so to speak) receive good nutrition and maximixe their nutrition dollar.  Soda pop has absolutely no healthy nutritional value.  Why are tax dollars being spent on something that will lead to higher healthcare costs when the soda-drinking teens receiving assistance become soda drinking adults using more healthcare services than their water-drinking contemporaries.  At a time when over 50% of our populations is overweight, we need to make soda as inaccessible to all as possible. 

  • Grk_tigris

    It used to be that food stamps were used for the essentials; milk, eggs, baby supplies, etc to help people survive (ie not starve) until they could get back on their feet. I’m not sure when the program grew into what it is today which is a system that most people manipulate and use to purchase things that are non essential. If you want to be able to by crab, steak, alcohol, soda, etc. budget better and supplement your food stamps from your budget.

  • Sunshine343

    If we’re not allowed to judge others for their poor choices then we certainly should be obligated to pay for them via taxes.
    Those of us not relying on the system have to make tough choices and forgo the little luxuries in order to make ends meet. It’s unfair and un-American for those who don’t/won’t work to have better food, alcohol, cigarettes, cable tv, smartphones, etc. at the expense of those doing their fair share and contributing to society.

    It’s not just the bankers being greedy and selfish.

  • abbie@nc.rr.com

    The purpose of food stamps has been lost as evidenced in the opinions contained in this article which lack true meditation on the subject. Food stamps were designed to provide access to essential food items to prevent suffering and death among those struggling to make ends meet. It was designed initially as a temporary relief provided by the government on behalf of the people. Any products purchased outside of the realm of essential is a gross abuse of the hospitality of those in our nation providing the funds for said food stamps. There is little wisdom in giving something for nothing for an extended period of time as doing so erodes hope and eliminates motivation for a better standard of living. If there is a need for “food”, then food should be provided. The government possesses a vast workforce in these recipients of food stamps, severely underutilized. Food stamps are not the answer and are very costly not only for taxpayers but for our nation’s hope of a brighter future where all are considered worthy of more than a crippling hand out.

  • Leggo1734

    People should remember that this program was designed for HEALTHY foods, not convenience or perswonal likes.  As a youngster in the 1950′s my family sometimes had to get the old “Commodity Foods” from our county’s government.  We had no choicer in what we would recieve, yet my mother raised 8 healthy children on those foods.  We accepted the fact that when we recieved help we would not be able to pick and choose.  Frankly I wish that the old fashioned “Commodity Foods” program would be reinstituted as it did not encourage abuses and fraud to the degree that Food Stamps and the EBT programs do.