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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 5, 2018 10:07 AM
From: Representative Brad Roae
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution urging Congress and Trump Administration to reform types of food purchased with SNAP benefits
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution urging Congress and the Trump Administration to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by adopting the healthy food standards of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.

Over the last several years, I continue to hear from constituents frustrated with the types of food that can be purchased with SNAP benefits such as soda, candy and other non-nutritious food items. The federal Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 defines “eligible food” as any food or food product for home consumption; soft drinks, candy and cookies are part of this. Since the current definition of food is a specific part of the federal law, any change to the definition would require action by Congress.

Due to the greater purchasing flexibility of SNAP benefits, sometimes recipients are purchasing a disproportionate amount of unhealthy foods with limited nutritional value instead of foods consistent with better nutritional benefits such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, healthy dairy products and lean cuts of meat. A diet high in “junk food” contributes to expensive health care costs for conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other.

Therefore, I am urging the federal government to make changes to the SNAP program and more closely align the program with the WIC program where recipients receive benefits that are for specific, healthy foods.

Please join me in supporting this effort and sign on to this important resolution. Thank you.