What do you think? Should sugary drinks be placed on SNAP's ineligible list? I'm against it. At least, I haven't been convinced.
This is not the same as banning soft drink vending machines in schools. These are adults - working adults, disabled adults, seniors - people who have paid and are paying thousands of dollars in taxes to protect themselves in times of need. Unemployment Benefits and Social Security Benefits fall into this category.
I wouldn't like my boss telling me what foods I could purchase with my paycheck. How does he know what's best for me? If you're going to ban soda for health reasons, why not ban chips, candy, cookies, and cake? Or meat and cheese ("saturated fat" as the USDA calls them)? Or grains? Or bread products? Or soy products? Or dairy? Each of these foods has a group that advocates against their consumption. And then, as you ban specific foods, how do you manage programs like Meals-On-Wheels or Adult Day Care which allow food stamps?
If you're going to restrict at all, why not ask the recipients of the program what they prefer? They're the ones who have to live with it. "We have $x to allot. Which items would you like to have that cover, and which will you forfeit?"
That's if you're running the SNAP program solely as a nutrition program. I can't help but see government-sponsored food programs as a type of subsidy, in part. They are as much about using tax dollars to boost particular agricultural sectors as they are about attending to citizens' nutritional needs.