Read the full article here: How Does the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Affect the United States Economy? By Jeffrey J. Reimer. OreCal Issues Brief No. 011. November 2013.

The food stamp program, renamed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the 2008 farm bill, has grown rapidly in the aftermath of the popping of the house price bubble starting in 2007. Expenditures reached $78 billion in 2012, with the number of SNAP recipients at 47 million, up from 27 million in 2007.

The program helps low-income households pay for food so they can avoid hunger. The SNAP therefore has an effect on the food sector of the economy. Yet the SNAP affects the rest of the economy, as well, in at least two other ways. One way operates through the households who provide funds for SNAP through taxes, but are ineligible for SNAP themselves. Another operates through spending by SNAP-receiving households on goods and services other than food.