The Secret Life of a Food Stamp

Source: Krissy Clark, Marketplace, April 2014

This is Part I in the Marketplace series “The Secret Life of a Food Stamp.” You can listen to the series here.

…In politics and in the news, a lot of focus is put on the many Yolanda Ballards of America. Whether they deserve the food stamp money they get. What they spend it on. Whether they abuse the system. Those were the kinds of questions clinging to recent debates in Congress over funding for food stamps. But throughout those debates, which resulted in more than $8 billion in cuts to the program over the next decade, one subject got relatively little attention: what happens to those food stamp dollars after people like Yolanda Ballard swipe their EBT cards and the money becomes store revenue…..

The USDA has prohibited the release of information on how much individual companies make from food stamp revenue….

Food Stamps Don’t Keep Walmart’s Prices Low, They Keep Its Profits High
Source: Amy Traub, Dēmos, Policy Shop blog, April 3, 2014

…Marketplace has done a great service by shining light on a key public misperception, illuminating the low-wage employers who benefit most from programs like food stamps. Yet an important part of the story still gets missed. It’s probably intended to be a rhetorical question when part II of the food stamp series asks: “Are Walmart’s prices so low because its employees are on food stamps?” But the answer is no.

In reality, it’s not Walmart’s low prices that taxpayers are subsidizing—it’s the company’s mammoth profits….