Farmers' Market Boom Not Reaching Many Food Stamp Users

Getting food stamps into farmers' markets can boost the poor, but it can also be a costly undertaking.

FE_120712_foodstamps.jpg

A sign announces the acceptance of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards at a farmers' market in Roseville, Calif.

By SHARE

Determining how those costs and benefits are distributed could be key to attracting a growing population in the coming years. Spending on and usage of the SNAP program are both at record levels: The Congressional Budget Office reported in April that the federal government spent $78 billion on SNAP in 2011, and that nearly 45 million people, or roughly 1 in 7 Americans, received benefits. That total is expected to rise through 2014.

Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at dkurtzleben@usnews.com.