I saw the piece of information I’m about to share with you for the first time when I was reading about the LINK Center (a community resource and referral desk at the NCRC) last winter.
Here it is:
“The supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP-formerly known as Food Stamps) brings Federal dollars into communities in the form of benefits that are redeemed by SNAP participants at local stores. These benefits ripple throughout the economies of the community, state, and nation.”
We often don’t see a connection between government programs that help our most vulnerable neighbors get back on their feet and economic stimulation, but the connection is there.
“Every $5 in new food support benefits generates $9.20 in total community spending.
Which really adds up, but here’s the thing that really got me:
“Nationwide, it is estimated that 30% of eligible people do not participate in the SNAP (according to the USDA website). This translates to between 550 and 600 individuals in Rice County. If we were able to connect 1/3 of those eligible individuals to SNAP benefits, it would result in over half a million dollars of increased community spending.”
That’s a lot of money.
Regardless of what you think about government aid, I think most of us can agree that stimulating the local economy is a really good thing—for everyone.