Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stimulus Money Reaching Hungry Texans

Starting this month, the nearly three million Texans who rely on SNAP benefits (previously known as Food Stamps) will receive a 13.6% boost in those benefits to help feed their families. 

As a result of federal stimulus dollars now reaching Texas, families are seeing an average boost to their benefits of $38. 

"You have to make every penny count," said Beaumont mother Monique Bendy. "This will help in so many ways." 

Half of the Texans benefiting from SNAP are children.

SNAP is widely seen by economists as one of the most effective means of stimulus, both because of the efficiency of benefit delivery, and the speed at which benefits are spent locally. 

"That money is spent almost immediately. People aren't saving that money," said Don Baylor, policy analyst at Austin's Center on Public Policy Priorities. "People buy bread. That creates jobs at the supermarket, and the chain goes on."

Economists estimate that for every dollar in SNAP benefits spent in Texas, the state will see $1.73 in economic activity, resulting in local job growth. 

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