Food Stamp Cuts Force Retail Changes

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Food pantries say demand for emergency food will rise when food stamp cuts take effect. But, some grocers may respond with targeted price cuts.(Photo: Mid Ohio Foodbank)
Food pantries say demand for emergency food will rise when food stamp cuts take effect. But, some grocers may respond with targeted price cuts.(Photo: Mid Ohio Foodbank)

Beginning Friday grocers, discount, and convenience stores face a tougher sell to some low-income customers.

Food stamp benefits are being cut for nearly two million Ohioans. Central Ohio economist Jim Newton, says he expects grocers to respond with some price cuts.

“They are certainly going to be highly selective in where they cut their prices,” says Newton. “Try to find those things where volume is going to kind of offset price cuts.”

The 2009 economic stimulus bill temporarily boosted the food stamp program. The expiration of the stimulus means a family of four will see 36 dollar less per month in food stamps.

Newton predicts consumer spending reductions will likely spread beyond the grocery store.

“If people are going to have to switch some of their disposable income into buying food now that’s not being supported by food stamps, then other types of retailers are going to be impacted too. And, it comes at a particularly bad time of year with Christmas just around the corner,” says Newton.

Newton adds the only good thing is that food inflation remains relatively modest.

Comments
  • 333SAL

    I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to say this: whoever is saying that “food inflation remains relatively modest” does not do the shopping for the family. What part of down-sizing is not inflation? Down-sizing in the grocery venue is rampant. When a consumer is buying a third less of their product, how is that NOT inflation? Anyway, prices continue to soar along with the down-sizing.

    Why don’t more consumers challenge this piece of financial nonsense? It’s a continually increasing burden on this already economically burdened society!

    • Bar ree

      One has to believe that the down-sizing isn’t factored into food inflation. Perhaps manufacturers have found a glitch in the system that allows price increases without any significant movement in the inflation reading. I, for one have marveled at the incredibly shrinking portions being sold today vs just a few years ago.

      Why you ask do people not challenge the drivel passed off as empirical economic data? They are beleaguered by life and desensitized to the machinations of gov’t that seem to take the focus off of more important issues. That and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.