Rachel Tracy and Matthew Sponenberg have never met. They live in separate cities, lead separate lives. But they are linked by a measure that has affected them both in very different ways: Boulder’s tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Because of the tax, passed in 2016 by 53.9 percent of voters, Tracy is able to feed her family fresh fruits and vegetables, purchased from the Boulder Farmers Market with vouchers paid for by the revenues. She often buys in bulk to get lower prices, canning and freezing peaches, raspberries, carrots — all organic — for year-round consumption.
It helps subsidize the $8 Tracy gets a month in Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program benefits specifically for vegetables. She says the infusion of fresh produce helps her manage an autoimmune disorder for which she follows a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, and it helps connect her to local farmers and ranchers, an excellent way to teach her young son about food and nutrition.
“It’s made a huge difference for our family,” Tracy said. Taxing sweet drinks “converts” money spent on less-healthy options “to something that (is) used to nurture our children.”
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