Listen: Where the money from food stamps is actually going
"We begin today with news that is squarely squarely at the intersection of government spending social policy. Redel Reality and work. The trump administration announced this morning. It's going ahead Ed. With what's called a final rule that will tighten work requirements for the supplemental nutrition. Assistance Program. Snap as it's known food stamps as it sometimes referred to with unemployment so low the administration's thinking goes it should be easy for people to find work and the White House says this rule will save the government five and a half billion dollars over five five years. It's a decision not without controversy. Obviously on a lot of levels but it's also decision with real world economic impact because until now at five and a half billion dollars has gone to retailers. Marketplace's Merrill Sagarra gets most snap dollars go to a particular kind of retailer Craig. Gunderson teaches consumer economics at the University of Illinois NAP participants because they're on limited budgets will go to places that have less expensive food so so roughly eighty percent of staff benefits are spent at you know supercenters in large-scale supermarkets. You Know Walmart Kroger Safeway. The rule change will require more people to work at least twenty hours a week to get benefits which means fewer people will qualify. That's the point Ed. Bolan at the center on budget aged in policy priorities says according to the USDA about seven hundred thousand individuals will lose their benefits Those benefits on average about one hundred sixty five of dollars a month for this population so certainly the places they go. We'll see a drop in their business. Food retailers often pay their workers so little little that they qualify for snap and need it to survive. Also those workers schedules tend to be erotic and part-time James ILIAC directs the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty. Dirty research he says the new rules could make things harder for those workers in one week they might be satisfying work requirement. But then the next week the firm says well you know we don't need you or we only need you for ten hours then. Suddenly they're in violation of the work requirement for that week Zilly says retailers might feel some pressure to consistently instantly give workers at least twenty hours a week so they stay eligible for the snap benefits. They may even be spending at their own stores. I'm MARYELLE SAGARRA FOR MARKETPLACE I."