Eastphalia, US

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Doubling Food-Stamps in MI

Michigan has extended their foodstamps program to benefit citizens and farmers by doubling the value of food-stamps value at farmer's markets.  This is more than just stretching a dollar; areas with high food stamp utilization tend to be poorer areas, or areas less likely to attract an upscale supermarket.  These 'food deserts' are a problem for social and health reasons, but the more-mobile and middleman-free farmer's markets are the perfect mechanism to fill the void.   The poor get better food, small farmers reap direct benefit of new customers, and the economy in depressed areas is improved.  How much money did this cost?   According to the article, only $662,000 of SNAP funds went to farmers' markets, versus $360 million in total benefits paid.  Just a drop in the funding bucket, but it resulted in three quarters of a fucking million dollars going directly to the small-time growers at the farmers' markets.  That's up from $200,000 in previous years, with nearly $100,000 in extra new sales over that time, not including the double-stamp program.    For all the recent talk about reducing farm subsidies, few people realize that foodstamps are the most useful farm subsidy for actually getting food and money into people's hands.

 

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