The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that provides temporary food assistance to families who have fallen on hard times, is the source of much debate and at times even seems like a political football. We hear the bumper-sticker declarations all the time:  "No junk food in SNAP!"  But the truth is, making changes to SNAP is more complicated than it seems, and restricting certain foods will not save money. Consider the following:

There are more than 650,000 SKUs in the grocery store with 12,000-15,000 more introduced every year due to innovation and consumer demand. These items would have to be analyzed and categorized to determine what's in and what's out of the SNAP program, putting government in charge of determining "good foods" and "bad foods."  Furthermore, this kind of control over what Americans buy won't save the SNAP program any money; in fact it will just bring more bureaucracy to the very program many seek to reform.   

Over 70 percent of SNAP benefits go to families with children, and 1.7 million beneficiaries are veterans. SNAP is intended to supplement income for food purchases for those on the lower end of the income scale. And unlike Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, which is intended for expectant moms and babies, SNAP provides food security for entire families with all their varying dietary needs. After all, a grandmother living with family doesn't eat the way her 13 year old grandson eats or her 3 year old granddaughter. 

SNAP restrictions on every day grocery items turn grocery clerks into the "food police" at the check-out counter. There is no simple switch one can flip to parse through the nutritional profile of hundreds of thousands of grocery items in order to determine eligibility.

Here at Sip and Savor we believe transparency and education are far better tools to help all Americans lead a balanced lifestyle. That's why we put clear calorie labels on every bottle, can and pack so consumers can choose the beverage that's right for them. And it's why we provide more choices than ever before in a variety of calorie and portion options. After all, life's about balance.