UPDATE, November 14, 2013: As Congress debates the proposed cuts in SNAP benefits (see below) -- cuts that, if enacted, will mean 21 fewer meals a month in a California family of four -- WalMart tells financial analysts the cuts are good for business:
According to retailer data, 10% of transactions at Walmart involved the use of food stamps prior to the cuts, compared to 7% at supermarkets and 15 and 18% at Dollar General and Family Dollar. With the drop in monthly allotments, the figures for the value chains will increase. "When the benefits expanded, our market share actually went down," [WalMart CEO Bill] Simon, at left, [on a call to Wall Street analysts last month]. Less money for food means more federal SNAP dollars flowing to Walmart.
October 31, 2013: Hallowe'en is a good time to be reminded that the real vampires are in Congress: tonight's trick or treat ends with a trick tomorrow morning for all Californians who receive CalFresh benefits (the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program --SNAP -- food stamps) -- benefits will be cut by an average of 7% ($36/month for family of four).