Majority favor candy and soda ban for SNAP benefits – 620 citizens

Dec 02, 2015

Officials from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced they would seek a federal waiver to ban the purchase of candy and soda with benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps. Read more about this issue. On December 2, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH prohibit the use of food stamps to purchase candy and soda?”

“Should NH prohibit the use of food stamps to purchase candy and soda?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

SNAP Candy and Soda Ban New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 620 participants gave 1,907 responses

A total of 77% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 23% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 620 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 1,907 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

What Participants Said:

Yes: A majority, at 57% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of prohibiting the use of food stamps to purchase candy and soda. 

  • “If you want junk food work for it. Food stamps are to nourish you and your family when you cannot make ends meet.”
  • “My tax payer dollars should only be spent on necessities.”
  • "There should be a long list of restricted foods and beverages."

No:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 43%, were opposed to prohibiting the use of food stamps to purchase candy and soda.  

  • “Everybody deserves a little chocolate now and then.”
  • “Just because someone is getting help to get by you should not dictate what they can eat.”
  • "Grocery stores should not have to pay to sort, categorize, and code items as soda and candy."

Other: As noted above, 23% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • SNAP in general: "There should be no food stamps."
  • Increasing benefits: "With the amount of money they give you, you’re lucky to afford milk and eggs."
  • Alternatives: "Prohibit seems harsh and impractical but limits could make good sense."

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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