WASHINGTON, DC – $70 million. That is approximately how much additional economic benefit the metropolitan Washington region would experience if participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased by 15 percent.
Jeffrey Greenfield of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service spoke today to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors about the economic stimulus effects that additional SNAP participation could generate. When people receive and spend their SNAP benefits, the economic impact is multiplied as those funds move from grocery stores to delivery companies and throughout the economy. Every $5.00 in new SNAP benefits generates over $9.00 in total community spending.
Greenfield also commented on the positive impact SNAP funding has on reducing hunger, particularly among children, a goal of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “We live in a prosperous area, that’s no question, but there are still pockets of poverty and they need help,” Greenfield said. “If we can be the first region in the nation to end childhood hunger, we would be a model for the nation.”