Weather Forecast

Charmaine Williams, 42, stocks shelves at the NorthPoint Food Shelf in Minneapolis. Williams is a volunteer at the food shelf. She receives food stamps, and is opposed to restrictions that would prevent recipients from spending their benefits on soda or junk food. Julie Siple|MPR Photo

Food stamp debate divides health, hunger advocates


By Julie Siple

MPR News 91.3 FM

ST. PAUL – Should food stamp recipients be allowed to use their benefits to purchase soda and junk food?

Currently, it’s legal to buy soft drinks, chips, and cookies using food stamps, as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. But increasingly, public health experts concerned about obesity are raising questions about that policy, pitting them against longtime allies in the hunger prevention community.

Are you a newspaper subscriber but you don't have a Digital Access account yet?

You will need your subscription account number and phone number. Not sure if you have an account? Email us at and we can help you.