Which Corporations Profit from Food Stamps?
Friday, June 15, 2012
In these tough economic times, millions of Americans have leaned heavily on food stamps. This government assistance program also has done well by some of the country’s biggest banks and corporations.
An investigation by the advocacy group Eat Drink Politics found banks and businesses have reaped multi-million-dollar contracts from the government to administer food stamp programs at the state level. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), doesn’t make public how much profit the banks and other businesses earn by acting as government agents for the program.
One significant beneficiary of this contracting system is JPMorgan Chase, which has deals in 24 states to dispense SNAP benefits.
JPMorgan Chase’s seven-year contract to operate the aid program in New York garnered it more than $126 million, while its five-year deal with Florida brought in $83 million.
Walmart also has benefited from accepting SNAP benefits. In Oklahoma alone, the retailer received approximately $500 million in food stamp payments over a period of two years.
Other businesses with SNAP contracts include Xerox subsidiary Affiliated Computer Services ($69 million in California) and defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which operates food stamp programs in Illinois and Montana (totaling more than $38 million for the two states).
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Vicki Baker
Food Stamps: Follow the Money—Are Corporations Profiting from Hungry Americans? (by Michele Simon, Eat Drink Politics) (pdf)
Are Corporations and Big Banks Making a Windfall From Food Stamps? (by Christopher D. Cook and Michele Simon, AlterNet)
JPMorgan Profits When Food Stamp Use Increases (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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