The Assault on Food Stamps is Misguided

Article/Op-Ed in Washington Monthly
Feb. 7, 2017

Justin King and Aleta Sprague wrote for Washington Monthly about the recent assault on SNAP programs:

Last week in Arkansas, the state House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban the use of federal food stamps to purchase food with "insufficient nutritional value." The sponsor of the bill, State Rep. Mary Bentley, argued that "I want the kids in our state to have sippy cups that are full of good, fresh milk from Arkansas dairies and fruit juice and not Mountain Dew and Pepsi."
This justification echoed the narrative of a recent front-page story in the New York Times, provocatively titled: "In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Lots of Soda." The claim? That families receiving benefits under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spend more money on soft drinks than anything else. Illustrating the article was a photograph of a shopping cart filled with nothing but cases of soda.