The Arkansas House of Representatives voted 37-29 in opposition of legislation which would have banned junk food for SNAP recipients.
The measure was filed by Rep. Mary Bentley (R-Perryville). House Bill 1743 aimed to promote healthy dietary purchases among with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
SNAP is more commonly known as the food stamp program and assists eligible low-income individuals with the purchase of foods. There are over 360,000 Arkansans enrolled in SNAP.
A recent study conducted with the approval of the USDA found that soft drinks were among the top purchases with SNAP benefits. Another study found that 35% of adults in Arkansas are obese, which is above the highest percent among all fifty states.
The legislation aimed to improve the health and welfare of Arkansans. Soft drinks and candy would have become prohibited with purchase of SNAP recipients, if the bill had passed.