CALFRESH USERS COULD SOON BE BANNED FROM BUYING SODA
CalFresh users may soon be put on a diet by the state.
“If it is labeled with nutrition information rather than supplemental information then they can purchase it with CalFresh,” Food For People Educator Heidi McHugh said.
But that will change if Senate Bill 134 authored by Michael Rubio makes it through and sugary drinks are banned.
Heidi McHugh helps people apply for CalFresh.
“It’s mostly an income eligibility program so it's set at 130 percent under the federal poverty level,” McHugh said.
Calfresh is a state program handled bycounties. For the most part, users have the freedom to choose the items they buy with a few exceptions.
“Of course alcoholic beverages are not allowed to be purchased through the program, and people cannot purchase hot prepared foods,” McHugh said.
The hope for SB 134 and banning sugary drinks, is to reduce obesity and diabetes.
“They’re empty calories,” Registered Dietitian Heather Ross said. “So more and more people are drinking calories with no nutrient benefit.”
Ross said sugary drinks are becoming a problem.
"Diabetes— it's not so much your sugar intake,” Ross said. “It's more the obesity. So as you get heavier your risk of diabetes is higher.”
The list of food offered would exclude sweetened beverages containing more than 10 calories per cup. The exception to this is drinks that are naturally sweet.
SB 134 was introduced on Jan. 28, The next step is for it to go to committee.