by Noel Brinkerhoff & Vicki Baker

In these tough economic times, millions of Americans have leaned heavily on food stamps. This government assistance program also has done well by some of the country’s biggest banks and corporations.

An investigation by the advocacy group Eat Drink Politics found banks and businesses have reaped multi-million-dollar contracts from the government to administer food stamp programs at the state level. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), doesn’t make public how much profit the banks and other businesses earn by acting as government agents for the program.

One significant beneficiary of this contracting system is JPMorgan Chase, which has deals in 24 states to dispense SNAP benefits.

JPMorgan Chase’s seven-year contract to operate the aid program in New York garnered it more than $126 million, while its five-year deal with Florida brought in $83 million.

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