A new study finds that rising food costs are linked to the United States Department of Agriculture’s expansion of food stamp benefits.
The study, conducted by the Foundation for Government Accountability and shared with Fox News Digital, found grocery costs increased by one percent for every 12.5 percent increase in food stamp spending.
Elizabeth Elkind of Fox News reported:
President [Joe] Biden’s Department of Agriculture rolled out revised nutritional standards for federal food benefits in 2021 that expanded the program by roughly 25% from pre-COVID pandemic levels.
Overall spending on the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) more than doubled between 2019 and 2022, according to findings from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) previewed by Fox News Digital. It went from $4.5 billion in 2019 to $11 billion in 2022, the study said.
The group has argued that the increased spending on food stamps has helped fuel the price hikes that everyday Americans have contended with during a time of high inflation. Food stamp spending doubled from 2019 and 2022, for the study argues it has had a direct impact on inflation levels.
The hike in food stamps benefits — bypassing Congressional approval — is tying up $193 billion in taxpayer dollars.
“USDA cooked their books to hike food stamp benefits by 27% — the largest permanent increase in program history. And they bypassed Congress to do it,” said Foundation for Government Accountability Vice President of Policy and Research Jonathan Ingram.
The Department of Agriculture expects food prices to increase by 5.8 percent over 2023.
Food stamp spending is likely to be a hot topic in Congress’s reauthorization of the Farm Bill, “a wide-ranging legislation that sets funding and directs priorities for a variety of federal food consumption and production programs in the U.S.,” including SNAP. Typically, food stamps get the largest funding share of any program in the Farm Bill.
“SNAP serves a large and diverse caseload, with substantial shares comprising low-income working families with children, elderly and disabled people, and very low-income individuals with substantial barriers to employment,” a November 2022 Congressional Research Service report stated.
Rising food prices aren’t just impacting Americans. Across the pond, Breitbart News reported in April that Great Britain’s food prices hit their highest level in nearly half a century.