The Impact Nobody Saw Comingby Don Winstead on 01/15/11
While much of the reporting on the increase in Food Stamp (now called SNAP) has focused on the caseload increase, an even bigger impact has been the amount of benefits issued. In April 2007, Florida issued $110 million in benefits. In December 2010, over $417 million in benefits were issued - over $4.5 billion in calendar year 2010. 2011 will likely see $5 billion in benefits issued on Florida. The good news is that a lot of low income families are getting much needed help - and these expenditures on basic needs have a positve effect on local economies. The challenge is that nobody predicted this level of increased cost. The benefits are 100% federally funded - it will be interesting to see how Congress responds.