Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed on to a letter with 17 other city mayors calling for Congress to consider putting restrictions on soda purchases for those on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The letter, sent to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, argues that SNAP “can do more to address the pressing challenge of obesity and diet-related disease.”
“It is time to test and evaluate approaches limiting SNAP’s subsidization of products, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, that are contributing to obesity,” reads the letter sent on June 18.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also signed on to the letter. Emanuel has not gone as far as to ban soda from vending machines in city buildings or put restrictions on the pop sold in stores in Chicago as has been seen in Boston and New York. But, as the Chicago Tribune points out, Emanuel has also announced a number of major multi-million dollar deals with soda companies, like the recent agreement in April with Coca Cola. The company agreed to pay almost $2.6 million for 50,000 blue recycling carts for Chicago homes. In exchange for the purchase, Coke will be able to put pictures of their products on the bins.