How much stimulus money goes to food and agriculture?

September '08 saw a more than 30 percent increase in applications and benefits paid-out compared to '07.

The other $6 billion in the stimulus package goes mostly to rural infrastructure and business development, with a small portion set aside to buy better technology for the Department of Agriculture.

Why did food get short shrift in the plan? Obama's stated goal is to create jobs, and these days agriculture isn't the huge employer it once was. Which may not be a bad thing, all told, since most ag jobs are thanks to giant corporate farms. Could it be that limiting the amount of money doled out to agriculture shows back-door support from the administration for more local-centric farming? Probably not, but it may work out that way.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service shows just how much — or how little — of Obama's new $825 billion economic stimulus package is going towards agriculture and food programs.

$27 billion is slated for food-related issues, with the vast majority — $21 billion — going to bolster the nation's food assistance programs, like food stamps, WIC and some school meals. In 2008, food stamp program (SNAP) costs rose nearly $4.5 billion to $37.655 billion. More than 28 million took advantage of SNAP last year, the largest number of participants since its inception. Considering the state of the economy, that upward trend looks like it'll be getting worse this year.

Here in Florida,

Scroll to read more Food News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.