Did You Know Most Energy Drinks Can Now be Purchased with Food S - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Did You Know Most Energy Drinks Can Now be Purchased with Food Stamps

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For all of you energy drink consumers out there we're bringing you a story that might perk you up, or the story might be a total buzz kill. Advertisements across the valley are popping up, pushing folks who use food stamps or e-b-t cards to buy energy drinks like Red Bull and Rockstar. But aren't food stamps intended for those critical nutritious items that you'd have a hard time affording without the help? Valley News team's Eric Crest finds out how the drinks made the cut in the first place, and how some folks are using tax dollars to buy them.


Advertising the sales of energy drinks isn't unusual, but the fact that you can buy them on e-b-t cards or food stamps, that's a shocker for many.


"It's an energy drink so I don't believe that people should be using food stamps to get a can of red bull," says Matt Budziclek of Fargo.


Two local convenience store chains, Loaf and Jug and Stop and Go, now advertise the purchase of energy drinks with e-b-t.


In the past you couldn't buy them with food stamps. But now the F-D-A will allow the sales of these products to that demographic that uses government assisted food stamps. The manufacturers just had to play by the rules. They have gotten rid of their old supplement facts labels, for nutrition labels. All of a sudden presto, people can buy energy drinks with uncle Sam's money.


But many feel like that's not what the government intended those dollars to be used for.


"Bear essentials. Basically you need your food your cereal and all of that. Not just energy drinks," adds Budziclek.


But others who have been in a similar situation involving assistance, question why it's a big deal.


"As a kid in the 50's for a few years, after my parents separated, my mom couldn't get work so we were on welfare," says Dan Cornejo of St. Paul.


Even though the belt tightened for Cornejo's mother and his family. His Mom made sure that some money was set to the side so that he could feel like a kid.


"We wanted to feel normal. And even though we were on food stamps my Mom still bought us potato chips and we still had coke a cola," says Cornejo.


And if having a Red Bull makes you feel like things aren't so bad, like just one of the kids. Cornejo questions, what the harm in that is.


"All of us need a little sweets. We need maybe Red Bull and we're all hopefully on our way to improving our lives. So back off is what I say," says Cornejo.


There are plenty of other non-nutritious items that can be purchased with food stamps. Like soda, candy, cookies, even ice cream. But the USDA does not allow the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, or hot food. Weigh in on the energetic discussion at Valley News Live's Facebook page.


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