Minnesota wants to ban use of food stamps to purchase soda/ soft drinks

United States
January 29, 2007 1:43pm CST
As a part of a broad state effort to imporve eating habits, Minnesota is asking to ban use of food stamps to purchase candy, soft drinks and other junk foods. You can see the article at the link below. What are your thoughts? http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/12/health/main605593.shtml
12 people like this
40 responses
@loved1 (5338)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think they should have put this into place long ago. I have literally been in line behind people who use food stamps to buy T-bone steaks for their dog! It is great for people who really need the help but many people abuse the system. Soda and soft drinks have no nutritional value and should not be purchased with our tax dollars.
5 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
That is how I feel too 'loved.' I see a soda as nutritionally empty, colored water. The money spent for soda should be spent for juice or milk or some drink with nutritional value.
1 person likes this
@shywolf (4523)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I would have to agree with everyone here who is saying that it sounds like a great idea. I mean, someone who is on food stamps should hopefully be using them to buy necessities, not extras like junk food. I can understand, fully understand, craving such things. But the food stamps would be better used for healthier foods that probably cost less, anyway. I actually am slightly surprised to hear that there wasn't already a rule like this in place. Maybe there is in other states. I'd never had a thought to research it. ^_^
@villageanne (8579)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think it is a great idea and I would back it 100%. I think food stamps should only be used on nutritous foods. I hope this law is passed in all the states.
4 people like this
@sylviekitty (2084)
• United States
29 Jan 07
It could be just me, but I thought the whole point of food stamps was to help people who couldn't afford to buy food otherwise. Candy, soft drinks and other junk food are not necessities, last I checked. Nor are they of any nutritional value. So maybe it's not such a horrid idea.
4 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
It sounds like a great idea on the surface, but it will make the food stamp program much more cumbersome. Someone will have to come up with standards for judging what is junk food and what is not. Then decsions will have to be made, lists made and computer databases updated to relay the information to store managers and clerks. Then you will nedd to train and depend on people who may be on food stamps themselves, to enforce the rules. It sounds like a great idea, but may be to costly and impractical in the end to implement and enforce.
2 people like this
@tentwo67 (3384)
• United States
31 Jan 07
That's an interesting perspective. I didn't think about that. I still think it's a good idea, though.
• United States
31 Jan 07
Very valid points shoals. It would require a lot of bookkeeping type services. Likely impractical too .
1 person likes this
@emeraldisle (13158)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I have to wonder on this what they consider junk food. That can be a very fine line. Some might think a box of mac and cheese is junk food. That term has a lot of leeway and for those who have to watch every penny on food knows that it is far more expensive to buy all healthy food. I saw some post well buy milk and juice instead, well what if your child can't drink those? Yes some kids can't due to health reasons so should they then not be able to get sugar free kool-aid? That would be junk food wouldn't it? Junk food is a big term and could also include cake mixes, ice cream, popsicles, chips, pretzels etc. Don't kids who are on food stamps get to have a dessert or snacks now and then? I think it might be nice in theory but anytime you have someone limiting food in such a way it comes down to who says it is junk food and who says it's not.
• United States
31 Jan 07
Very valid points emerald. Especially with the kool aid issue for those who cannot drink juice.
@carmat (2850)
• Canada
30 Jan 07
I think it is a good idea that could get out of control. Food stamps are meant to provide food for those in need and should be the basic needs of healthy meals. The hard part is where do you draw the line to ensure it allows people some freedom of choice.
• United States
30 Jan 07
Yes, it is a huge step and could possibly lead to more and more control. How do we ensure that is not the case?
1 person likes this
@tentwo67 (3384)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think it's not a bad idea. I walked into a Circle K last night to get coffee when my husband and I were on our way home from a concert. The girl in front of me in line was trying to buy coca cola and nachos with a food stamp card and it was declined because she didn't have a balance left on the card. She then went back to her car and came back with enough cash to pay for her purchase. I never want to be judgemental, but I couldn't help wondering if she would have run out of money on the card if she had made better choices on how to spend her food stamps. Also, with the obesity epidemic, maybe we should try to control what kind of food the government money purchases. Then if the food stamp recipients want junk food, they can, oh I don't know, WORK for the money with which to buy it!!!!
@MakDomMom (1475)
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think this is a great idea. Food stamps were created to help families provide the basic neccessities. Soft drinks are not a neccessity. Bread, fruits, vegetables, milk, etc... are.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
It totally agree. People are not allowed to buy essentials like toilet paper or toothpaste with food stamps, so why should they be allowed to buy junk food and soda? So we taxpayers can aid in them getting obese? I think the rest of the states should follow suit with Minnesota.
@jmcafam (2891)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I think that is a great idea. I mean junk food is not healthy for you. I know it can be good but come on. It is not nutricious for you. That should be put into effect everywhere.
2 people like this
@sylvrrain (662)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Everyone here is correct in thinking it should have been done a long time ago. Many times I had to deny my children cookies or ice cream because I did not have the money, barely having the cash for real meals, and seeing someone ahead of me in line buying all sorts of premade junkfoods, candy and soda and using food stamps. I think it should be a policy in every state. If people who use food stamps want candy and treats for their familys, they should do what the rest of us do, go into the kitchen and make a cake, or fudge or anything that will make the kids happy. There should not be a restriction on buying flour, sugar, butter, eggs, cocoa. A little bit of effort can go a long way, and I believe the family likes it even better when you make it homemade.
@jhrcsr (349)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I can't say that I agree or disagree. I do feel that a parent should be allowed to buy some treats for their children no matter where that money comes from. Some states have huge allotments provided to each family, some states do not. Maybe that parent uses coupons to purchase all of their groceries so as to save a few food stamps along the way to be able to treat their children to treats. I do not know that as I am not that person. I use coupons so as to have more money to spend on groceries and be able to purchase what I choose for my family.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
i think that would be a good idea. it would keep them from buying these things that make their kids unhealthy. on the other hand there will be some pretty mad people because the world nearly revolves around soft drinks and candy. they will argue that they use such candy as treats for their children when they are good or do something good or have gotten good grades in school. i dont think it will hold well in court but you never know what the government can get away with.
2 people like this
@pennycan2 (251)
• United States
30 Jan 07
CANDY AND SODAS DO NOT HAVE ANY NUTRITIONAL VALUE IT'S TRUE. BUT TO THOSE FAMILIES WHO CAN TRULY NOT AFFORD TO BUY THESE LUXURIES, WHY DENY THE CHILDREN A TREAT? DON'T GET ME WRONG ON THIS, I WANT TO SEE ALL THE LAZY FOOD STAMP COLLECTORS GET OUT AND WORK BUT SOME ACTUALLY DO WORK HARD AND STILL NEED THE EXTRA. I THINK GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS LIKE FOOD STAMPS AND WIC SHOULD BE MONITORED AND THE RECIPIENTS AUDITED IN EVERY STATE. BUT NEXT TIME YOU ARE IN LINE BEHIND A FAMILY WITH A FOOD CARD, THINK OF THEIR KIDS THAT HAVE NO SAY SO IN THE FAMILY THAT THEY GROW UP IN. I KNOW MY DAUGHTER LOVES CHOCOLATE AND LOLIPOPS AND THANK GOD I CAN AFFORD THEM FOR HER BUT FOR THE OTHER KIDS IN THE WORLD THAT FOOD STAMPS HELPS GIVE THEM MEALS PLUS TREATS I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH IT. THE PEOPLE WHO BUY MEAT FOR THEIR DOGS SHOULD BE SHOT. THE REASON THEY DO THIS THOUGH, IS BECAUSE FOOD STAMPS DO NOT COVER A 13.00 BAG OF DOG FOOD. SAD THAT PEOPLE INSTEAD OF FORKING OUT THE CASH, SPEND IT ON RED MEAT. WELL THAT AND PIT BULLS REACT BETTER TO RAW MEAT I GUESS. AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT MY FOOD STAMP WEILDING NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR (FORMER) TOLD ME. ISN'T THERE A WAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN MONITOR THE WELFARE PROGRAM A BIT MORE WITHOUT TAKING AWAY CERTAIN CONSUMABLES? LIKE TELL THE RECIPIENTS THAT THEY HAVE 6 MONTHS TO FIND A JOB OR LOOSE THEIR BENEFITS? I WISH STATES WOULD PASS SOMETHING TO SUPPORT THAT!
2 people like this
• United States
30 Jan 07
I think it is a great idea. If they are getting free money, it should only be used for nutrious foods. Dairy, veggis, fruits, and meats.
2 people like this
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
30 Jan 07
Food stamps and vouchers always end up a catch 22 situation. Those that abuse ruin it for those that are truly in need. I know that if I was a mom that used my food stamps wisely. I would still like to get my kids a treat so once in awhile.
• United States
30 Jan 07
I think it is agreat idea. I hope it gets passed and I hope other states follow suit. Like I said in your other discussion, I have hard times I have to cut out candy, soda and other junk food because I don't have food stamps to fall back on. It is the first thing off of my list if we have a bad week. I think it should be the same for others. Food stamps aren't provided to buy all your groceries but to supplement it and help with the necessities.
2 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think Minnesota's got an idea that other states should adopt. I see far too many grocery carts loaded up with junk food and is being paid for with food stamps. I don't mind people getting public assistance when they need it, but I think spending it on poor nutritional value foods is not what the program was designed for. If they're that needy that they need food stamps, then they should only use it for foods that are in the food pyramid to make and keep them healthy. Food stamps are meant to be given as a hand up, not a hand out to be used on junk.
@MissGia (955)
• United States
30 Jan 07
Go Minn! i can understand needing food stamps but using them to buy junk food and soda i see as a no no. It is to help buy food with nutritional value so you can feed your family...buy juice, milk, tea..not soda..i dont see anythign wrong though with people who use food stamps maybe buying a bag of chips. Maybe cap the amount they can spend on pop/junk food?
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
That would be a great idea, allow some, but not much! Of course how on earth would be monitor all of that?! Lots of bookkeeping somewhere. Oh NO! More taxes to pay bookkeepers to monitor the foodstamp purchases.