Don’t Let Corporations Profit from Social Welfare Programs

Fruits and Vegetables

Target: United States Senate and House of Representatives

Goal: Restore social welfare programs’ original purpose of benefiting the hungry, instead of benefiting corporations.

The recent report ‘Food Stamps, Follow the Money: Are Corporations Profiting from Hungry Americans?’ raises some alarming questions about how our nation’s social welfare programs are administered. This news comes amidst proposed cuts by the House and Senate to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, which would affect the 46 million Americans who rely on this benefit to feed themselves and their families. However, there is another side to the story of who is really benefiting from SNAP. The report suggests that corporations play a large role in the SNAP program, and in fact reap large monetary benefits from the program.

The report found that lobbying groups such as the Snack Food Association, among others, opposed health-oriented improvements to SNAP. Many states have tried to make health improvements to SNAP but have been unsuccessful due to food industry opposition. Walmart is one of the top profiteers from SNAP. J.P. Morgan Chase holds what is essentially a monopoly on EBT services, which enable retailers to accept SNAP cards. Billions of dollars are going to Walmart, Chase, Coca Cola, and many other corporations, instead of going to independent retailers or farmer’s markets with healthier food options, or cash strapped states. In addition, more hungry Americans could be assisted with the profits that corporations are making.

Details of where SNAP dollars go are largely hidden. Congress needs to require transparency in the details of who is benefiting from SNAP. Furthermore, there are no requirements for data collection on specific SNAP purchases. Knowing what is being bought (candy versus fruit, for example) would allow the program to be evaluated more effectively. People should have the right to purchase what they want; however, they should also have the right to know who there purchases are benefiting.

The original purpose of the SNAP program was to assist those in need and help farmers in the process. Now, those in need are facing cuts to their assistance and large corporations are reaping the benefits. By signing this petition, you are demanding that the House and Senate eliminate cuts to SNAP and make SNAP more transparent. This will ensure accurate tracking of SNAP expenditures resulting in a more efficient and healthful program.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senators and Congressmen and Women,

The report ‘Food Stamps, Follow the Money: Are Corporations Profiting from Hungry Americans?’ raises questions about how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is administered. SNAP benefits 46 million struggling Americans. The issues raised in the report come amidst proposed cuts to the program, which would be detrimental to individuals and families that rely on SNAP. The report suggests that corporations play a large role in the SNAP program, and in fact reap large monetary benefits from the program. The original goal of snap, to put healthy food within reach, needs to be restored.

The report found that lobbying groups such as the Snack Food Association, among others, opposed health oriented improvements to SNAP. Many states have tried to make health improvements to SNAP but have been unsuccessful due to food industry opposition. Walmart is one of the top profiteers from SNAP. J.P. Morgan Chase holds what is essentially a monopoly on EBT services which enables retailers to accept SNAP cards. Billions of dollars are going to Walmart, Chase, Coca Cola, and many other corporations instead of going to independent retailers or farmer’s markets which have healthier food options, or cash strapped states. In addition, more hungry Americans could be assisted with the profits that corporations are making.

There needs to be transparency in the details of who is benefiting from SNAP. Furthermore, there are no requirements for data collection on specific SNAP purchases. Knowing what is being bought (candy versus fruit, for example) would allow the program to be evaluated more effectively.

The original purpose of the SNAP program was to assist those in need and help farmers in the process. Now, those in need are facing cuts to their assistance and large corporations are reaping the benefits. Please eliminate cuts to SNAP and make SNAP more transparent. This will ensure accurate tracking of SNAP expenditures resulting in a more efficient and healthful program.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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2 Comments

  1. dinda evans says:

    On the other hand..please remember that some of those people are homeless and have no way to cook so snacks and pizza hut or kfc are their options. Unless we house our poor and provide ways for them to cook and store food we can’t complaint about choices made because they are hungry and have limited options with their ebt cards and their lifestyle.

    We also can’t force people to eat a particular way, especially when we are not living under the same conditions they are.

    • Danika Garcia says:

      The theme of this petition was in no way meant to suggest that people should have their choices taken away, instead, the larger idea is that there is little transparency in what happens to the money spent with SNAP dollars as well as the fact that powerful lobbying groups with junk food manufacturers interests in mind are controlling how SNAP is administered. This money could go to people who need it and states, not already wealthy corporations. And, SNAP benefits are not good at restaurants.

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