Posts Tagged ‘SNAP’

Too Soon to Celebrate New SNAP Incentive Program in the Farm Bill

By Michele Simon and Daniel Bowman Simon

Some local food advocates are applauding the new Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program in the finally-passed farm bill. The idea is to provide cash incentives to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka food stamps) for healthy eating. But a closer look reveals the celebration may be premature at best.

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Save the Food Stamp Program by Reforming It

With each attempt to pass the 2012 farm bill (yes, it has been that long), congressional Republicans keep ratcheting up their cruelty to poor Americans. While last year’s bill would have cut $16 billion to food stamps, the House of Representatives has now proposed an astonishing $39 billion reduction in benefits over 10 years. While many media pundits are outraged, and rightly so, missing from the national conversation are important questions about the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the federal food assistance plan formerly known as food stamps. Read rest at Al Jazeera America …

My talks at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting

APHA American Public Health Association

This year’s American Public Health Association Annual Meeting is in San Francisco, from October 27-31. (I live in that other city by the bay, Oakland.) The event draws about 13,000 public health professionals each year. I am honored to have been asked to participate in three stellar panels, so if you’re attending or can drop in for the day, please come say hello. (Check the printed program for room locations.)

Panel 1: Monday, October 29, 2012: 10:30 - 12:00

3167.0: Snack Food and Beverage Industry and Global Noncommunicable Chronic Disease

My talk: Case study of industry lobbying on junk food marketing to children

(Additional panelists include Marion Nestle and Jennifer Pomeranz from the Rudd Center.)

Panel 2: Monday, October 29, 2012: 12:30 -2:00

3205.0: Public Health Harms from Legal Products: Challenges of Countering Industry Influence in Alcohol, Tobacco, Prescription Drugs, and Food in the US

My talk: Food stamps, follow the money: Are corporations profiting from hungry Americans

Panel 3: Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 12:30 -2:00

5181.0: Food, Fairness and Health II: Occupy Agriculture – Corporate Power, Equity and the Food System

My talk: Understanding food industry lobbying and countering corporate tactics

3 Steps to Protecting Food Stamps from a Cruel Congress

As expected, the House version of the 2012 farm bill contains deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). With its $16 billion proposed cut in this critical safety net, the House leadership is about three times as cruel as the Senate, which already approved a $4.5 billion reduction over 10 years. If the House gets its way, two-three million Americans could go hungry. In addition, 280,000 kids could get kicked off the school meal program because their families’ eligibility is tied to SNAP. And speaking of kids, almost half of all SNAP participants are children.

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Media Coverage for Food Stamps, Follow the Money

Last Tuesday, I released a report, Food Stamps, Follow the Money: Are Corporations Profiting From Hungry Americans? I am grateful to each of these media outlets for their coverage.

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Infographic: Food Stamps, Follow the Money

On Tuesday, I published a report about how food companies and banks benefit from the $72 billion food stamp program. For those intimidated by 20 pages (it’s a good read), here is the visual short cut.


Farm Bill Jackpot – How Much do Corporations Benefit from SNAP?

As Congress proposes cuts to hungry families, my new report raises questions about how much food makers, retailers, and big banks profit from food stamps.

With the debate over the 2012 Farm Bill currently underway in the Senate, most of the media’s attention has been focused on how direct payments—subsidies doled out regardless of actual farming—are being replaced with crop insurance, in a classic shell game that Big Ag’s powerful lobby is likely to pull off.

Meanwhile, the Senate may hurt the less powerful by cutting $4.5 billion from the largest piece of the farm bill pie: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). Reducing this lifeline for 46 million struggling Americans (more than 1 in 7—nearly half of them children) has become a sideshow in the farm bill circus, even though SNAP spending grew to $78 billion in 2011, and is projected to go higher if the economy does not improve.

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Press Release: Food Stamp Subsidies for Junk Food Makers, Big Box Retailers, and Banks?

Contact: Haven Bourque       415.505.3473


As 2012 Farm Bill debate rages in Congress, a new report demands SNAP program transparency

Oakland, CA, June 12, 2012 — Are food stamps lining the pockets of the nation’s wealthiest corporations instead of closing the hunger gap in the United States? Why does Walmart benefit from more than $200 million in annual food stamp purchases in Oklahoma alone? Why does one bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, hold exclusive contracts in 24 states to administer public benefits?

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New Fact Sheets on Food Safety, Nutrition, and Food Stamps

In my work as a consultant for various organizations, I’ve had the pleasure to write the following fact sheets. Please share far and wide. You can learn more about my consulting services at

Center for Food Safety:
Foodborne Illness
Nutrition, Obesity, and Processed Food

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Part of What’s at Stake series on the 2012 Farm Bill
Enough to Eat: Food Assistance and the Farm Bill


SNAP: the Other Corporate Subsidy in the Farm Bill?

As Enrollment Increases, USDA Should Require Purchase Data from
Food Stamp Retailers to Better Evaluate Nutrition Intake

This week Congress begins hearings on the 2012 farm bill, the massive piece of legislation that gets updated about every five years and undergirds America’s entire food supply, but that few mortals can even understand. As nutrition professor Marion Nestle recently lamented, “no one has any idea what the farm bill is about. It’s too complicated for any mind to grasp.”

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