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Cuts to Food Stamps Hurt Walmart's Bottom Line

20 percent of Walmart’s customers use food stamps--and they're feeling the hurt from massive cuts to food stamp programs.
 
 
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Walmart may be regretting their non-committal position on food stamp cuts.  Now, after the mega-corporate store said it had no position on legislation that would cut billions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP), the name for food stamps, their earnings are taking a hit.

About 20 percent of Walmart’s customers use food stamps.  So it’s little surprise that Walmart’s fourth quarter earnings were down, as the National Memo’s Elissa Gomez points out.  Bad weather also played a role.

“Walmart caters to lower-income consumers which have been hit disproportionately hard,” Ken Perkins, an analyst for Morningstar, an independent investment research firm, told Reuters.

Walmart could be in for even more pain.  The new farm bill passed in Congress cuts food stamps by $1 billion in total.  

Walmart employees will be especially affected by food stamp cuts.  Walmart’s low wages force many of their employees to go on food stamps.  Walmart has been targeted by a national campaign urging the company to allow employees to unionize and to obtain better wages.

 

Alex Kane is AlterNet's New York-based World editor, and an assistant editor for Mondoweiss. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

 
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