Top secret: $80B a year for food stamps, but feds won’t reveal what’s purchased

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In two years, Wal-Mart received about half of the $1 billion in SNAP expenditures in Oklahoma, the state revealed to the Tulsa World, as Eat Drink Politics noted.

In the District and other urban areas, much more is likely spent at corner stores where junk food is more abundant and fraud is more common. If a small corner store reported high levels of food stamp sales, that could be an obvious indicator that it was accepting customers’ food stamps and giving back cash, a common scheme.

Eat Drink Politics called on the House to mandate that the USDA begin tracking food types and release store totals, calling them “critical to effective evaluation.”

The Senate passed a version of the farm bill Thursday that lowers food stamp spending by $4.5 billion. But no one in either chamber has proposed an amendment to require the USDA to reveal where the remaining money is going.

Zoom in to explore all vendors, from seafood restaurants to corner junk-food markets, that accept food stamps in Maryland, the District and Virginia.

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