Mayors Urge Ban on Soda Purchases with SNAP Benefits

A letter from Bloomberg and other mayors to Congress makes soda ban a nationwide subject

Some might have to think twice about reaching for soda and sugary drinks.

Yet another action has come about relating to the soda ban.

Mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and 15 other cities are reviving an act that would forbid food stamps to be used to by soda and other sugary drinks.

Tuesday, the mayors sent a joint letter addressed to Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi that has been released by Bloomberg’s office. “As mayors of major cities across the United States, we see the impact that poverty and poor health have on our most vulnerable residents,” it says. “We urge you to maintain funding for [food stamps, or technically the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)] and also to consider our suggestions for its improvement.”

The American Beverage Association has previously combated similar claims about residents inflicted with poverty and poor health, saying that obesity affects Americans at all income levels and should not be singled out.

The letter goes on to ask for Congressional support both at state and local levels to “ensure public confidence that food stamp dollars are getting to those in need.” Last year, more than 47 million Americans used food stamps. The SNAP website lists beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, and tobacco as items that cannot be purchased with the benefits.


No comment has been made yet by either Congressional official.