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Fri November 27, 2009
Federal food assistance helps Michigan economy
By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Lansing, MI – A new report says federal stimulus funds that help low-income families buy food are also putting more money into Michigan's economy.
The report says stimulus money used to boost food assistance helped one and a half million people in low-income families, including $655,000 children. The report by the Michigan League for Human Services is based on data provided by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The league advocates for public assistance programs.
Judy Putnam is with the league. She says the money from the federal government infused an additional $178 million into Michigan's economy between April and September.
"Enhanced benefits or extra support for people with a lot of needs is one of the best economic stimulants that you can have," Putnam says. "In other words, it gives the most bang for the buck."
Putnam says that's because the money gets spent right away on groceries instead of banked or used to pay off debts.