Purchasing soda with the use of ‘food stamps’ could soon be prohibited in Florida

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: Two-liter bottles of regular and diet soda are seen for sale at a Manhattan store on May 31, 2012 in New York City. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on sodas and sugary drinks that are more than 16 ounces in an effort to combat obesity. Diet sodas would not be covered by the ban and many grocery stores would be exempt.

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WFTS) — A bill was filed on Friday that would no longer allow individuals in Florida who use food-assistance benefits to buy soda.

On Friday, Rep. Ralph Massullo filed bill HB 47 for January’s session.

Under the new bill, the Department of Children and Families would be required to receive federal approval before allowing the state to ban the purchase of soft drinks by using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The bill would prohibit anyone using SNAP benefits to purchase soft drinks. The bill defines a soft drink as a flavored carbonated beverage that is sweetened with natural or artificial sweeteners.

It states that if the waiver is denied, the department will submit a new request annually until a waiver is granted.

The program is similar to food stamps.

If the bill passes, it will go into effect July 1, 2018.