October 24, 2014

Stimulus food aid supplied county with over $300k in benefits

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ARENAC COUNTY — A section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to supply additional food aid to struggling individuals has provided $371,753 to Arenac County residents enrolled in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program.

According to the Michigan League for Human Services (MiLHS), 1,522 households (3,187 individuals, 1,222 children) in the county have been infused with an extra $20-$24 per person per month in SNAP funds, or food stamps.

Judy Putnam, Communications Director for the League of Human Services, said food assistance is shown to help stimulate the economy because it is usually quickly spent on qualified items at participating stores.

“There have been a lot of studies of the ‘bang for your buck’ in economic stimulus money. … Food stamps and unemployment by far outweigh the other economic stimulants,” Putnam said.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the $371,753, which has been provided from April to October of this year, has mostly been spent locally. It stated 80-percent of food benefits are spent within two weeks, 97-percent within one month.

Statewide, 728,879 households have received the additional stimulus food aid, equaling $178,077,601.

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