Cuomo Expanding the Food Stamp Program

March 20, 2012
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Big Government Cuomo has a new expansion of government that bloats the food stamp program, injects more government control over fresh food, and furthers the green sustainability agenda.

Cuomo is expanding the FreshConnect program which provides “underserved New Yorkers with affordable and healthy food, support our state’s growing agricultural industry, and help create jobs in communities throughout New York.” If it stopped there, I would like it.

On the surface, the program looks like an expansion of a beneficial service to the poor, one that provides fresh food to underprivileged areas. Who wouldn’t want to do this?

Below the surface, it looks like Cuomo is expanding another sustainability program. It requires increased spending because I don’t know how else Andrew is going to provide the incentives the program calls for. The program pays the poor to buy fresh food. Furthermore, Cuomo is giving out grants to farmers. Grant recipients have to provide 25% of the cost of the project. There are bonus awards. Read here: NY Department of Agriculture.

The program creates new farmer’s markets and supports existing ones.

When I went undercover to a MoveOn meeting, one of the wealthy attendees, who was planning OWS rallies, was the owner of a farmer’s market. He was obviously not in need of grants but I have no doubt he will be applying for the grants that Cuomo is offering up with our tax dollars. Read more: Governor Cuomo’s grant offerings. 

Fresh Connect is one of many massive sustainability projects. Read here: Sustainable Long Island

The program pays people to buy healthier food and, according to Andrew’s press release, offers “FreshConnect Checks” which is a rebate incentive (our tax dollars) that encourages Food Stamp recipients to use their benefits at farmers’ markets. FreshConnect Checks will provide $2 rebate checks for every $5 in food stamps spent at participating markets. There are other incentives (our tax dollars).

That is quite an increase in food stamps.

I haven’t investigated this program but it needs investigating. FreshConnect programs are popping up all over the country which may or may not be connected to New York’s program. There is a mysterious Freshconnect.us whose vision is to redistribute food and some of their partners are McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. They might be unconnected but it is interesting that they use the same name. FreshConnect sounds like a greenie buzzword.

Cuomo said it is a very successful program but I would like to see the evidence.

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