Merced County is losing out on millions of federal dollars each year because thousands of people eligible for food stamps aren't applying for them.
That puzzling conclusion comes from a study released Wednesday by California Food Policy Advocates, an Oakland-based antipoverty advocacy group.
The study found that despite rapid increases in food stamp use because of the recession, Merced County is losing an estimated $29.6 million in federal benefits every year because thousands of people who could get food stamps aren't using them.
Leaving these federal funds untapped doesn't just hurt struggling households, it hurts our economy as well," said Tia Shimada, nutrition policy advocate at CFPA and author of the report. "Every dollar in CalFresh (the state-administered food stamp program) benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity. Merced County forgoes as much as $52.0 million in annual economic activity because of low participation in CalFresh."
Read the complete story at mercedsunstar.com