The $ 13 billion stamp in the new coronovirus aid bill promotes food benefits, which is not any kind of cheap for the poor – the best incentive the government can afford to buy some of the money.
Economists say the new increase for the food stamp, known as the “SNAP” or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, will not help those who starve during the epidemic until June 2021. It promotes the economy more than other types of incentive expenses.
Each dollar spent on SNAP turns into $ 1.73 in economic activity, while $ 1.36 for every dollar spent on federal aid to state governments and $ 1.29 for payroll tax holiday, according to Moody’s analytics researchers.
Meanwhile, the corporate tax rate increased, but to $ 0.30 per dollar.
“Every dollar in SNAP benefits boosts the economy,” said Luis Guardia, president of the nonprofit Food Research and Action Center. “It helps strengthen the existing food supply and the mechanisms that support it.”
Because people spend food stamps early and in their communities, which are also likely to be financially distressed, the program has a multiplier effect promoting local businesses and economies.
The USDA found that SNAP spending is ten times the job-creation effect than other transfer payments or federal spending, especially in rural areas.
Mark Jones, CEO of Homeland Stores, a chain of 80 grocery stores located in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Georgia, said his “food stamp business has grown significantly” since the epidemic began.
On average, Jones said food ticket sales comprise about 10 percent, but stores in the poorest communities and the hardest hit by the epidemic rely on SNAP funds for about 30 percent of sales.
“We work with our regional and local food banks. We hear from them that they are seeing unprecedented need, ”Jones said.
According to the latest government data, in April, the program helped provide a nutritionally adequate diet to approximately 43 million Americans per month.
SNAP’s benefits are based on the USDA’s “Thripty Food Plan,” which calculates a weekly meal cost of about $ 40 a week for single adults, or $ 134.50 for a family of four.
This budget assumes that buyers can shop in bulk to get a lower price. This is not always possible for those families who get paid by salary.
Van Buuren’s Brandi Wright, a mother of two, Missouri, said she faced eviction and feared being “carried out on the street” before she was involved with charitable aid and SNAP benefits.
“It’s very scary when you have children,” she said.
He said that $ 374 per month in SNAP benefits now allows him to buy things like meat in large packages, then take it out and freeze it.
“If you have the money to spend it, you can buy in bulk,” Wright said. “Without food stamps … I can’t buy wholesale because I didn’t have a hundred dollars.”
As a result of the epidemic, the number of Americans at risk of hunger has increased from 35 million to nearly 50 million, according to estimates by the nonprofit Feeding America.
Out of that new need, there are many people who have never reached for food tickets before.
When Baltimore resident Henassena Hess suddenly had to shut down her daycare business in the spring, the 73-year-old quickly realized that her monthly Social Security check of just over $ 1,000 was not enough to cover all her bills and buy food Will be.
Hayes said he received some food cans from local churches, but said he was concerned with his nutrient intake, especially because his age puts him in a high-risk category for Kovid-19.
“I try to stay healthy,” she said, but it became difficult to get fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy products primarily from channels that distribute non-harmful groceries.
After enrollment in SNAP, Hayes said that now being able to buy fresh food helped him overcome his initial qualifications.
“I felt guilty because I worked most of my life. I have a habit of working and paying my bills,” Hayes said.
“I saw it as a handout, but it exists,” she said.