Here is What Food Stamp Recipients Buy

Food stamp recipients spend significant portions of their allotments on junk food.

Top Items Purchased with Food Stamps
RankItem PurchasedRankItem Purchased
1Soft Drinks11Candy
2Fluid Milk12Infant Formula
3Ground Beef13Frozen Pizza
4Bag Snacks14Refrigerated Juices/Drinks
5Cheese15Ice Cream
6Baked Breads16Coffee and Creamers
7Cold Cereal17Cookies
8Fresh Chicken18Water
9Frozen Handhelds and Snacks19Shelf Stable Juice
10Lunchmeat20Eggs/Muffins/Potatoes
Source: USDA.

As explained by Angela Rachidi and Thomas O’Rourke at the American Enterprise Institute, the food stamp program “has no nutritional standards, allowing participants to purchase any food or beverage product intended for consumption, except alcohol. As a result, data show that sizable portions of SNAP dollars purchase nonnutritious foods, such as sugary beverages and ultra-processed foods, which can lead to poor health.”


Read the EPIC Report: Food Stamps: A Culture of Dependency.

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