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The Spiraling Food Stamp Program

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Title: The Spiraling Food Stamp Program
Author: Frey, Martin A.
Abstract: During the past decade we have witnessed spiraling welfare costs. Within the federal welfare system, few programs have a growth rate exceeding that of the food stamp program. Few programs have gained as much attention. Having begun as a permanent program at $75 million a year in 1964, the food stamp program is now operating at a cost in excess of $100 million a month. Why has this program spiraled to such a dramatic degree? The answer appears two-fold. The first chronologically was a shift in objective. As the program changed from agricultural to welfare, costs increased. Once the shift to welfare had occurred, the pressure to expand both the number of participants and the benefits for each participant took hold. As the coverage of the program increased, costs again increased. This article will first follow the evolutionary stages of the program as the objective shifted from agriculture to welfare. Then the closing of the participation and food income gaps will be studied. Finally the increase in participation and benefits will be discussed in terms of costs.
Related Resources: Click to follow Hein Online link
Date: 1972

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