Food stamps should not be used for sugary drinks or snacks, Texas senator says

Food stamps are a vital benefit to those who are on a low income. In most U.S. states if you qualify it can be an extra $120 a month toward your grocery bill.

It’s new name SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assitance Program, is designed to encourage people to buy healthy food.

But this isn’t the case in Texas, according to a state representative, who now wants to ban SNAP households from buying unhealthy food.


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State Representative Briscoe Cain, filed the bill, HB4364, on March 8 in the House Committee for Human Services.

If approved it would mean people couldn’t use their food stamps for energy drinks and any beverages containing at least 54 milligrams of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces. This does not include coffee.

It would also ban people using food stamps to buy candy, some chips and cookies, according to local news broadcaster

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The Daily Meal

There are more than 28 million people living in Texas and three million of those have diabetes, a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high.

In SNAP households, “sugar-sweetened beverages” was the number two category of food purchased, after meat, poultry, and seafood, according to a Huffpost report.

“At-risk Texans and families who utilize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are often the most susceptible to diabetes and the serious complications associated with it,” said Representative Cain.

Health complications

“HB 4364 seeks to curb the spread of diabetes and other health complications among Texans in at-risk populations by eliminating sugary drinks and snacks from the state’s nutrition assistance program,” he said, according to

Diabetes and pre-diabetes can cause serious complications like heart disease, stroke, amputation, end-stage kidney disease, blindness and death.

Find out more about this important bill in the video below.

Do you think people should be told what they buy each week or do you think more should be done to stop people consuming these types of food and drink?

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