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Where Massachusetts Food Stamp Money is Going
MuckRock ^ | Oct 18, 2010 | Michael Morisy

Posted on 11/14/2010 5:59:53 AM PST by libertarian27

FOI Request: SNAP Food Stamp Reimbursements for FY 2006 - FY 2009

The Federal food stamp program, more formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has seen nearly all-time highs in participation, due largely to the "great recession." For the first time, however, MuckRock is able to provide a deeper look in just the recession has affected spending trends, and also to reveal the surprising retailer that has seen a massive spike in SNAP reimbursements over the past five years.

MuckRock has examined data received in response to a freedom of information request filed with the Massachusetts' Department of Transitional Assistance, which oversees the state-level administration of this federal program. This particular SNAP data set covers financial years 2006 through 2009 (the financial year begins July 1st of the calendar year before); a previous request was fulfilled that responded with a partial data set for the year 2010.

The Department of Transitional Assistance was forthright and helpful in providing the data. An explosion in SNAP spending

Between financial years 2006 and 2009, according to the data, SNAP reimbursements grew from almost $240 million to almost $559 million, a 132 percent increase in just three years. The greatest increase occurred in the last year for which MuckRock had full data, financial year 2009, which saw a 39 percent spike in just one year.

(Excerpt) Read more at muckrock.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: foodstamps; snap; stimulus; welfare
I bumped into this blog because there was an article in a local paper yesterday about MA dropping charges after telling this blogger he could face jail time for publishing information about where people spend federal food stamps.

The Department of Transitional Assistance released the information to Michael Morisy after he made a records request.

Very interesting blog with interactive map of the state and every store that reimbursed with backup docs.

1 posted on 11/14/2010 5:59:55 AM PST by libertarian27
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To: libertarian27

You know the grocery stores have to be just loving this! I wonder what effect all of these ‘free shoppers’ has on prices. It certainly can’t cause prices to be LOWER.


2 posted on 11/14/2010 6:09:24 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: libertarian27

3 posted on 11/14/2010 6:09:50 AM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: KoRn

Not only grocery stores - I’m amazed at how many convenience and drug stores are on the list.


4 posted on 11/14/2010 6:12:50 AM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: libertarian27

Not only grocery stores - I’m amazed at how many convenience and drug stores are on the list.


Hey these folks are busy people. They do not have time to go to a regular food store when they are on call to make a drug sale/drop.


5 posted on 11/14/2010 6:20:02 AM PST by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: libertarian27
Click here for map of your area to see what stores accept SNAP (Food Stamps) for purchases. I found my local 7-11 and an expensive "Steamed Crabs" joint.
6 posted on 11/14/2010 6:20:42 AM PST by icwhatudo ("laws requiring compulsory abortion could be sustained under the existing Constitution"Obama Adviser)
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To: libertarian27

Extend the numbers and abuse to all 50 states and you begin to get an idea of why the average worker and taxpayer is about to go under. If it were just this program it would be bad enough, but add Medicaid and other programs and it’s a wonder we haven’t capsized and sank long before now.

I guess one reason have been able to sustain this pace, until now, is that we’re not talking about real money in all of this. Just paper with ink on it, and notes that are printed about as fast as the presses can turn them out.

In the end it will be inflation that does us in. The hidden tax.


7 posted on 11/14/2010 6:26:22 AM PST by jwparkerjr (It's the Constitution, Stupid!)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter
Hey these folks are busy people. They do not have time to go to a regular food store when they are on call to make a drug sale/drop.

Most of the grocery chains will not open stores in the neighborhoods where most section 8 and food stamp recipients live due to high losses from shoplifting and the risk of robberies. Can't say I blame them.

8 posted on 11/14/2010 6:36:14 AM PST by ExpatCanuck
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To: Sparky1776

Please ping the MA Pinglist


9 posted on 11/14/2010 6:39:53 AM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: libertarian27

There are people who only shop for food at over priced convenience stores, either for the convenience of walking there or lack of a nearby grocer. I can understand the drug store; the Walgreens near us has cheaper bread and milk than the grocer.


10 posted on 11/14/2010 6:58:29 AM PST by tbw2 (Freeper sci-fi - "Sirat: Through the Fires of Hell" - on amazon.com)
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To: libertarian27

Whole Foods? I can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods!


11 posted on 11/14/2010 6:59:27 AM PST by trimom
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To: ExpatCanuck

Would those the the “food deserts” Michelle wants to fix?


12 posted on 11/14/2010 7:05:45 AM PST by kevslisababy
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To: kevslisababy
Would those the the “food deserts” Michelle wants to fix?

I thought she meant 'food desserts' :-).

13 posted on 11/14/2010 7:11:11 AM PST by ExpatCanuck
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To: libertarian27

Check out the Super Stop and Shop in Edgerton (Martha’a Vinyard). From 2006-2009 almost $1,000,000. I though all those people out there were rich?


14 posted on 11/14/2010 7:12:07 AM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, democrats believe every day is April 15.)
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To: OrioleFan

The illegal aliens who do all the domestic chores for the ruling class in Martha’s Vineyard get free food paid for by taxpayers. The ruling class gets cheap labor which they pay in cash so that said illegals can spend their tax-free cash on beer, cigarettes, drugs and prostitutes. It’s a great system for everyone but the tax drones footing the bill.


15 posted on 11/14/2010 7:33:44 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: KoRn

Oddly enough, because of the utterly surreal nature of American agribusiness, the impact of food giveaways is almost negligible.

To start with, there is typically a ridiculous overabundance of food, which is purchased by the government (the Commodity Credit Corporation) to maintain price levels, then warehoused until it rots. We try to export as much as we can, but it risks destroying markets in other countries, so we are stuck with way too much food. (We even had way too much food during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, even though tens of thousands of farms had been wiped out.)

Warehousing is ridiculously expensive, so every bit that can be given away saves the taxpayers a lot of money.

Then, at the retail level, emphasis on food stamps is placed on unprocessed foods, instead of the processed foods that the buying public want. It drives social workers and nutritionists nuts that with such a broad assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits available, many Americans receiving aid still only eat rice and beans, using perhaps only a quarter of their food aid each month.

And produce is often a loss leader for retailers because of spoilage. They are thrilled to sell it off at most any price or return from food stamps.

It has been proposed that it would save the taxpayers a huge amount of money if the government would just dump all its excess into the laps of private and religious food banks; but the irony is that they have nowhere near the storage or labor available to deal with it.

Reagan made a huge splash by dumping government surplus cheese and butter. It was amazingly popular, yet had no effect on the market price of cheese and butter. W. Bush considered doing it as well, but the dairy industry was going through a cyclic downturn right then. He had his hands full with other things, as well.


16 posted on 11/14/2010 7:35:05 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: icwhatudo

Thanks for posting that informative link. 9 of the top 10 in my zip code were gas station/convenience stores! Most of them were within 2-3 blocks of a grocery store.


17 posted on 11/14/2010 10:58:41 AM PST by OCC
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To: libertarian27

Wonder if there is a break down between US Seniors who for the most part qualify for $10-30 in food stamps and illegals who get hundreds of $$ in food stamps.

I know the community center where I quilt is the staging area for food commodities...and the number of US Seniors going there for commodities has nearly tripled in the past 18 months. It was rising well before the May floods in TN. I could see a temporary rise because of the flood, BUT NOT to continue to climb 6 months later. We are talking very frail 70+, most in wheel chairs, walkers, funky canes etc.


18 posted on 11/14/2010 11:30:40 AM PST by GailA (obamacare paid for by cuts & taxes on most vulnerable Veterans, retired Military, disabled & Seniors)
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To: GailA

http://www.muckrock.com/foi/view/massachusetts/food-stamp-reimbursements-for-january-may-2010/11/

On this link there’s a link to an excel sheet where the numbers came from (Annual_SNAP_query.xls) There are listings for community centers, etc. but they are very slight in comparison to the money going to retail stores in MA - I will assume the break outs are the same in other states.

It should be more cost effective to get food from centers instead of retail stores - it will cut out the profit margins anywhere from 20-60%. It’s not pure food costs it’s also retailer profits.


19 posted on 11/14/2010 12:36:53 PM PST by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Department of Life, Department of Liberty, Department of Happiness)
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To: libertarian27

True. The commodities are things like peanut butter, canned fruit, veggies, dry milk. Cheese use to be a part of it, but I haven’t seen them hand that out in some time. We are not talking about more than 4 cans of each of fruit and veggies and a jar of peanut butter, and a 20 quart box of dry milk per senior. It breaks your heart, because some of them are so frail they can not even carry that out to their cars..and the cars are not caddy’s or other high end cars. Mostly small cars, mostly older models.


20 posted on 11/14/2010 5:50:20 PM PST by GailA (obamacare paid for by cuts & taxes on most vulnerable Veterans, retired Military, disabled & Seniors)
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To: kittymyrib

On another subject, maybe the Feds should cut off all food stamps to sanctuary cities until the illegals are disenrolled from from the recipient list.


21 posted on 11/15/2010 8:24:19 AM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, democrats believe every day is April 15.)
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