Monday, May 09, 2011


The sticky subject of sugary drinks and SNAP benefits has erupted in New York City again. Mike Bloomberg, joining the call to help in the fight against childhood obesity, insists on restricting sugary drinks from the federally funded SNAP program. aka: Food Stamps. 

No surprize, the large soda companies are mobilizing against the measure. Selling large quantities of crap soft drinks to our most vulnerable is a significant source of profit.  
The American Beverage Association is the heavy hitter for the opposition, but not the only one. They are determined to kill this profit killing plan of his. They have a good reason too. The folks who are on SNAP are more likely to buy these products compared to other economic groups, providing yet another example of class warfare in the marketplace.

You may ask; why would those who represent us in Washington, hesitate to act on our behalf when it comes to citizen's health and the better use of taxpayer dollars. Think about it... These are dollars coming from federally funded programs to help those of us struggling. I understand that. But Pepsi & Coke dont rank up quite as far on the nutrition scale as milk and juice do. 
Truth is, the major beverage companies dropped allot of money on the congressional members in the New York City area, so they're putting pressure on the Mayor, City Council and even President Obama to block this measure.

These members are actually claiming such a restriction places an additional stigma to the clients who are already on the SNAP program. Im guessing people on the check out line may witness a client being called out on her Ginger Ale bottle when paying the cashier. There are already restrictions to prevent the sale of alcohol and other non-foods throughout the store, where would A&W Root Beer be any different?

One last thing; Bloomberg's proposal doesn't prohibit SNAP clients from buying soda with their own cash, just not with ours.


Anonymous said...

How about addressing measures which we, on a county level, can control (i.e. the EBT scam in Kingston).

I agree with sugar drinks NOT being funded by food stamp benefits, but what about the million dollars of LOCAL taxpayer money being used to buy drugs and alcohol instead of food for the needy?

DSS has been one huge and embarrassing failure after another. Yet, it is still business as usual in Ulster County with rampant corruption, increasing crime, drugs, and taxes with a depressing decrease in quality of life and services for all.

Instead of addressing silly issues like greenhouse gases in Ulster County, sugar drinks, turbidity of water, why not tackle the tough issues which are forcing long-term residents from their homes and the increasing loss of taxpayers/homeowners from the county.

I'm just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

I am a willing supporter of Federal funds going to help those in nutritional needs. Food security is essential to better our country. But my tax dollars should not be going to drinks, foods and non-food items that don't directly benefit nutritional needs. I think that's where those of us who are irritated by these programs find fault. Fix what you find abused and carry on with the mission. Our most vulnerable do need the help, but not to the extent that we are wasting hard earned funds on empty calories.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mike; You do pepper your posts with County issues which is great. What I find intriguing is that you dive into informative and sometimes divisive issues on the national level.
The Blog is your own, I respect that. I do love that we have an inside view of the workings of the Legislature that we've never had before. It might be your slant, but it's inside none the less.

Anonymous said...

It is a NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. I see no real nutritional value in soda. With the limited dollars that are available, they can drink water. The federal government should be spending our tax dollars on food with substantial nutritional value. They should have to stick to the four 4 groups for SNAP - vegetables, meat, dairy, and grains. Nothing else, no prepared foods, no sweets, no drinks.


Anonymous said...

Prepared foods are the worst. Just read the label and you'll get sick. The sugar, salt and preservatives packed in each serving should kill lab animals. If the consumer wants to purchase and eat such foods they should do so on their own dime, not ours.
This is the beginning of a long unhealthy feeding habit that only puts more of a burden on the taxpayer when these same clients eventually seek medical help. Also on our dime.
Stop the cycle. Lets not stop at sugary drinks; end tax dollar subsidies for toxic foods all-together.

Anonymous said...

Let us do a bunch of FACT CHECKING here, soda does have nutritional value sugar, the problem is excess calories, the author wrongfully portrays the issue as big soda vs. democrats when conservatives support it, bloomberg will not ban apple sauce, grape juice, chocolate milk, greek yogurt with fruit, granola, and many other unhealthy foods, at its core concentrated fruit juices are basically as unhealthy as soda, however just because coka and pepsi did not donate to certain politicians does not mean their food should be labeled as junk or for that matter many natural soda companies including trader joe's and makers of ice tea, should be forbidden while others get a pass.

The author also fails to realize that adults not children make their own decisions, should a blue collar miner/plumber/courier be denied a high calorie meal, while a computer programmer gets his or her calories for the day, not all 40 million americans on SNAP are extremely obese/not work.

Defining junk food is difficult, does dole's peaches and mango in syrup or baked beans with sugar qualify, how about granola bars, even egg yolks, whole milk, and cheese are bad in excess is it junk food, after all fried chicken, pizza, nachos, are staple foods, why ban doritos or nachos not a taco with cheese?

I challenge debate