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David Paterson

Should Food Stamps be Used to Buy Soda?

As the House of Representatives considers cutting the federal food stamps program by $2 billion annually as part of the Senate-passed farm bill, mayors across 18 U.S. cities are pushing to restrict what recipients can buy under the program.Mayors including New York City's Michael Bloomberg, who attempted to ban sugary drink sales in the city in 2010 and again in 2012, wrote to Congressional leaders Tuesday asking them to ban the purchase of soda and sugary drinks with food stamps. The mayors wrote that it is "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of these subsidies under the program, which they claim costs taxpayers $80 billion annually.The proposed cuts would reduce the food stamp program by 3%, and would also make it more difficult for some people to qualify for aid. Experts say the fate of the five-year farm bill could hinge on cuts to the $80 billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).The mayors want SNAP funds to only be used to purchase foods with n...

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