Food-Stamp Funding Boost Gives Economy Quick Lift

Money gets spent fast; $5 in stamps yields $9.20 in activity
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2009 11:07 AM CDT
Store owner Don Kitchens rings up items at his store, April 2, 2009 in Gibson, Ga.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The boost in food-stamp funding included in President Obama’s stimulus bill is pumping cash into the economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. In April, families of four on food stamps started getting about an extra $80 a month. Every $5 spent in food-stamp money means a quick $9.20 of total economic activity, the Department of Agriculture figures.

Some 80% of food-stamp funds are redeemed within two weeks of receipt, whereas money given to banks, automakers, and government branches often trickles down slowly. And while the program has been criticized for inefficiency in the past, applying has become easier and fresh food more available. Food-stamp spending will likely increase by $10 billion to $12 billion this year, a report found.