Food Stamp Spending Surges at City Greenmarkets
More and more food stamps are getting spent at the city's farmers' markets -- and on healthy items such as fresh produce -- according to an exclusive report by NY1.
The City Council says that Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card transactions at Greenmarkets shot up 23 percent in 2011, Rebecca Spitz reports.
The overwhelming majority -- 75 percent -- of the $600,000 in federal food-stamp money spent at these markets purchased fruits and veggies.
Twenty percent was used for dairy and eggs, NY1 notes, and only 5 percent was spent on baked goods.
Forty-three of the city's 53 farmers' markets accept EBT cards.
In recent months, food stamps -- formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- have come under intense scrutiny.
As the 2012 election nears, some candidates have even used SNAP as a talking point, wrongly accusing recipients of traveling to Hawaii with the benefits rather than buying food.
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