Food stamp cuts

Per capita annual spending on food in the US was $4,575 in 2014, the latest year for which figures are readily available. (1)

If you’re one of the unfortunate 10% of Americans with an income of less than $10,000 per year, food becomes a huge part of your budget. The Food Stamp program makes a difference for these people. With an average monthly amount per person of $126, it can offset perhaps 25% of what a careful shopper spends on food, and for the very poor, make a difference between eating and not eating.

The amount allotted to food stamps by the Federal Government has been cut each year starting with 2013. The Trump administration is now proposing a further 31% reduction in this benefit. Meanwhile, food prices are rising by between 1 and 2 percent per year.

The benefit cut is going to hurt the poor. However, it’s also going to bite some Trump supporters. The four largest grocery chains (Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger and Aldi) can all expect to see revenue reductions of over $1 billion from these cuts.

Wal-Mart itself receives 18% of the money allocated to food stamps, and so will be the biggest loser from these cuts.(2)

These cuts will impact profits, stock prices and shareholders.

If you still have Wal-Mart stock after all the negative news in retail, it’s time to reconsider.


  1. USDA, “FoodExpenditures_table1.xls”
  2. Courtney Reagan, “Retail stands to lose $70 billion over 10 years if food stamp benefits are slashed, and here’s who gets hit the most,” CNBC, 29 June 2017.
  3. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “A Quick Guide to SNAP Eligibility and Benefits,” 30 September 2016.
  4. Trading Economics, “United States Food Inflation, 1914 to 2017,” undated.

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