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Friday, March 27, 2009

Almost 700,000 Washingtonians – mostly families with children – will get an increase in their food stamp benefits starting April 1. The increase, a key component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Obama, will give most families an extra $20-$24 per person per month to help meet basic needs.

The increase will also help Washington’s struggling economy. Food stamps are considered to be one of the most effective means for economic stimulus because lower-income people are much more likely to spend their available resources right away. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that every $1 in food stamps expands the economy by $1.84.

In Washington, roughly $90 million in additional food stamps will flow into the state between April and September of this year. This will generate an estimated $170 million in total economic stimulus during that time.*

*Source: Analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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