Corporations Benefit from 47.1 Million on Food Stamps

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says an all-time record 47,102,780 individuals now receive food stamps in America--a finding the USDA delayed reporting until after the election.

Typically, the USDA reports food stamp (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) participation rates on the first or second day of the month.  This month, however, the USDA waited one week until after the election to make the August food stamp figures known. 

Part of the reason the USDA delayed its release may stem from this fact: from July to August, the number of food stamp recipients skyrocketed a staggering 420,947.  

The boom in food stamps means big bucks for those who handle the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards that carry food stamp benefits.  According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) titled "Profits from Poverty: How Food Stamps Benefit Corporations," since 2004, JP Morgan's 24 state EBT contracts have totaled at least $560,492,596.02

The over half a billion dollars JP Morgan bags from running state EBT cards, confesses JP Morgan’s Christopher Paton, has become an important part of the bank's business model:

“We are the largest processor of food stamps in the country…[the EBT program] is a very important business to JP Morgan. It’s an important business in terms of its size and scale…. Right now volumes have gone through the roof in the past couple of years or so. The good news from JP Morgan’s perspective is the infrastructure that we built has been able to cope with that increase in volume.”

In 2008, JP Morgan employees were among then-candidate Barack Obama's largest supporters, donating a combined $808,799, an investment that has resulted in a handsome financial return for the big bank.  Indeed, under President Barack Obama, food stamps have surged from 31,983,716 recipients in January 2009 to the new all-time record 47,102,780 of today, a jump of 15,119,064 Americans on food stamps in just four years.


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