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Opinions differ on whether to expand food stamp program

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson city, MO – The federal Food Stamp program must be reauthorized by September 30th, and opinions differ in Missouri over whether the program should be expanded.

The Missouri Budget Project calls the federal food stamp program one of the most efficiently-run programs in operation. The group is calling for improvements to be made, which would include expanding the purchasing power of food stamps, expanding the number of eligible people, and simplifying the application process. FoodS2 :16 "The average food stamp benefit level is only about a dollar per person, per meal," noted outreach Coordinator Carrie McBee. "So we would like to be able to provide the ability to expand that purchasing power of food stamps, and include that into some more nutritional foods that are available to them in some of the most neediest places in our state."

But Republican Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri thinks expanding the food stamp program is a bad idea: "We have a number of entitlement programs, which are growing much faster than the budget can sustain, such as Medicare & Medicaid."

Akin says more than half of the money in the federal farm bill is already allocated for food stamps, instead of actual agricultural programs.

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