Dr. Robert Fischer, co-director of the Poverty Center, expressed his concerns to Newsnet 5 for their report “Food stamp families buying a lot of soft drinks” on February 2, 2017. According to a recent USDA report, while the spending habits of  families receiving SNAP benefits are similar to the general public, soft drinks tended to be the number one commodity purchased by  food stamp recipient households.

Dr. Fischer sees this as a point of concern, commenting on how poor communities need improved access to farmers markets and full service grocery stores. For many, the prevalent convenience stores are their primary access to food which offer less variety.

In response to proposals to put limits on SNAP for buying junk food, Fischer said it would be difficult to enforce. “It sounds easy enough. I think the thing we need to remember is the burden falls on the stores.”

Also read about SNAP trends in Cuyahoga County and view our interactive graph.

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