Bill proposes banning use of food stamps to buy soda in Florida

FILE - This Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, file photo, shows soft drinks for sale at K & D Market in San Francisco. San Francisco officials are deciding whether to impose a warning on ads for soda pop. Supporters and opponents say San Francisco would be the first place in the country to require warnings on ads for soda, which is linked to rotting teeth and obesity. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A new bill introduced by the Florida Senate proposes prohibiting the use of public assistance benefits to buy soda.

The bill (House Bill 47) would require the Department of Children and Families to request a waiver banning people from using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to buy soft drinks.

If the waiver is denied, the DCF would then be required the renew its request annually until a waiver is granted.

The bill defines a soft drink as a flavored carbonated beverage sweetened with natural or artificial sweeteners.

If passed, the act would go into effect July 1, 2018.

Current federal regulation state SNAP benefits cannot be used to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
  • Pet foods
  • Soaps and paper products
  • Household supplies
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Food that will be eaten in the store
  • Hot foods

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