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Mother Jones, October 25, 2013: CHARTS: The Hidden Benefits of Food Stamp
As the Senate and House start negotiating a budget for 2014, Food Stamps are a favorite target for the Republicans. This is not a new story. It goes back as far as Reagan's fictitious "welfare queen" that was a factor in turning out the votes for Reagan and against the poor.
Here are a few facts from Mother Jones to keep in mind as we follow the negotiations:
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) not only helps families below the poverty line, it also is a stimulus effect on the economy.
Eighty-three percent of food stamps go to households with children, seniors, and nonelderly people with disabilities.
In 2012, the average recipient got $133.41 in food stamps per month—that works out to $1.48 per meal.
SNAP lifted a record 4 million people out of poverty in 2012.
Every $5 of food stamps spent generates up to $9 in economic activity. Food stamp spending generates local economic activity, jobs in the farm and retail sectors and beyond.
Each $1 billion spent on retail food by SNAP recipients generates 3,300 farm jobs.
In 2012 more than 65 million Americans received food stamps for at least one month.
In September, just two days after a Census Bureau report showed that food stamps helped keep 4 million Americans out of poverty last year, the US House of Representatives approved a $39 billion cut to the program. [These cuts are reminiscent of the Reagan cutbacks to the Food Stamp program in the early 1980s.]
However, if these huge cuts were to ever pass the Senate, President Obama has vowed to veto them.
Nevertheless, the food stamp program will be slashed by $5 billion on November 1st as the temporary additional funding from the 2009 Stimulus package runs out.