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Rubio Introduces Healthy SNAP Act

May 9, 2023 | Press Releases

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) should be for helping eligible Americans afford food and remedy nutrient deficiencies, just like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has done successfully for many years. However, more than 20 percent of program funds are used to purchase empty calories rather than nutritious food.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Healthy SNAP Act to make diet quality a primary objective of the SNAP program, just like WIC. This would exclude junk foods, like soda and prepared desserts, from being purchased with SNAP funds and instead reorient the program toward healthy, nutritious food.

Senator Rubio recently authored an op-ed on the matter, stating:

  • “By the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) own admission, unhealthy foods and beverages account for more than 20 percent of all SNAP spending. This is obviously bad for taxpayers, who are projected to spend $240 billion on junk food, with more than $60 billion going exclusively to soda, over the next decade. But equally important are the health consequences for those relying on a program that is meant to supplement their nutrition. After all, there is nothing “nutritious” about a two-liter bottle of soda, a bag of chips, or an ice cream cake.

  • “Such a commonsense reform would promote healthier diets at no additional cost to the American people and, in the long run, reduce medical expenses. It would also begin to address the problem of food deserts in low-income neighborhoods. If soft drinks and sweets are no longer SNAP-eligible, corner stores and supermarkets will have more of an incentive to stock healthier foods.”

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