Maine is again trying to restrict SNAP ("food stamp") funds from going to sugary foods like candy and soda, and has asked the federal government to permit the state to ban these foods from the program. Previous efforts to enact this kind of reform have failed.
According to recent FDA data, households using food stamps spend slightly more than non-food stamp households on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
Maine has the highest obesity rate in New England and annually spends $700 million on obesity-related medical costs.
While it may sound cruel to deny a child a candy bar, it's important to remember that SNAP is not designed for, nor is it intended to be, the entirety of a food budget. The "S" stands for "Supplemental," and the "N" stands for "Nutrition." Candy and soda are not nutritionally necessary, and they can be purchased with regular cash. There's no reason for the government to be subsidizing these purchases.