(WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
is one of the United States mayors pushing to keep government food vouchers
from being used to purchase soda and other sugary drinks.
Fischer and 17 other mayors said in a letter to
congressional leaders that it is "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting"
food stamps buying sugary beverages.
Mayor Fischer released a statement Wednesday
regarding the letter he signed to Congress addressing Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program
"My concerns — and the reason I signed the letter to
Congress — are the 130,715 families in Louisville who rely on the SNAP program
to help feed their families. I am very concerned that, with the proposed cuts
in the program, it would have a significant negative impact on the mothers and
fathers who need assistance to feed themselves and their children. Our city has
numerous health problems and we've been working diligently to bring fresh
fruits and vegetables to undeserved neighborhoods. We've also worked with
farmers markets so they will accept SNAP cards, which also has a positive
impact on our local and state farmers."
In 2012, more than 47
million Americans used food vouchers.
Currently food stamps
cannot be used to purchase alcohol, cigarettes and hot food among other items.
The American Beverage Association said the effort will not make the nation healthier.