STUDY: Top Purchase With Food Stamps Is Soda


Michelle Obama’s Pro-Water (Soda Silent) Message Didn’t Reach Food Stamp Recipients.

The Federal Food and Nutrition Service, the agency who oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has released a new study that shows the Number 1 purchase at one grocery store chain was $357.7 million in soft drinks.

The report does not identify the retailer by name, only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”   CNS News reported:

“The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded a contract to IMPAQ International, LLC, to determine what foods are typically purchased by households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP) benefits,” the study explained. “This study examined point-of-sale (POS) food purchase data to determine for what foods SNAP households have the largest expenditures, including both SNAP benefits and other resources, and how their expenditures compare to those made by non-SNAP households.”

“POS transaction data from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 from a leading grocery retailer were examined for this study,” the report said.

The amount spent on sodas, ($357,700,000), was more than spent on all food categories, including Milk ($253,700,000) and ground beef ($201,000,000).   The report finds that non-SNAP purchases was comparable to SNAP recipients; however the amounts were reversed with milk being the number 1 commodity and soft drinks second.  The actual stats are listed in graph below:



The study also indicated that food stamp recipients spent $64,400,000 on the “subcategory” called “potato chips” at this “leading U.S. grocery retailer” and another $47,400,000 on the subcategory called “toritlla/nacho chips.”

The study said it may not have captured all of the food purchases made by food stamp recipients in the grocery retailer from which the data was collected because a person was identified and monitored as a food stamp recipient only after for the majority of a purchase with an EBT card.

“In fiscal 2011 (October 2010 through September 2011), there were 44,708,726 people participating in the food stamp program. These people lived in 21,072,113 households and received $71,810,924,022 in benefits.

In the first eleven months of fiscal 2016 (October through August), the average monthly participation in food stamps was 44,283,586 people and 21,815,990 households. In those months, the government paid out $61,110,832,720 in benefits.

Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign which she launched in February 2010 to help combat childhood obesity and ensure all families have access to healthy affordable food in their community appears to be unsuccessful based on the data provided in the study.

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