• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

The Wal-Mart at Midnight Indicator, Ctd.

A few weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal picked up on an extraordinary illustration of the far-reaching impact of the recession and the growth of poverty in America. A Wal-Mart executive noted a surge of customers paying for basics — milk, bread and baby formula — at midnight on the first of the month. Just before midnight, on the 30th or 31st, families would appear in the stores’ parking lots to start shopping. Why? State governments generally direct-deposit monthly Women, Infants and Children (WIC, or welfare) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) benefits into debit card accounts then. The paper fleshes it out into a full story today:

Many customers in the Houston Wal-Mart during the wee hours Friday were young mothers whose WIC money had just kicked in on their Texas Lone Star benefits cards.

“The real troubling part to us is why [they are] out shopping at that hour,” Dave Dillon, chief executive of Kroger, said in an interview, adding that the supermarket giant adjusted its shelf-stocking patterns after witnessing the same phenomenon as Wal-Mart. “We clearly see an increase,” he said.

Wal-Mart declined to disclose details, but it has also responded to the early-morning spike on the first of the month. It increases staffing and ensures that its shelves are stocked with the necessities customers are seeking, a spokesman said, though he stressed that the number of shoppers involved at midnight is relatively minor compared with peak periods such as weekends.

“We know our customers are living paycheck to paycheck as they continue to struggle as a result of the economy,” said Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez.

The phenomenon underscores the extraordinary hardship the recession has imposed. But it also does speak to WIC and SNAP’s efficiency as government programs. They are nothing but voucher systems. The government gives families the equivalent of cash, and lets them spend it in local stores as they see best fit. The arrangement benefits the businesses — Wal-Mart and Kroger’s clearly feel for the young moms stocking up, but profit from the transactions. And it benefits the families too. They get what they need, as soon as they need it, as efficiently as possible.

That was a point Joel Berg of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger made to me last week, discussing passed and pending cuts to SNAP.

We come at this from a moral position, a nutritional position, and an economic recovery position. This cut is so insane from an economic position as well — we know food stamps are the most effect form of stimulus. The jury is still out on parts of the stimulus — but the jury isn’t out on food stamps. It was a 1,000 percent, beyond home run grand slam success, if you’ll excuse me mixing metaphors.

The money went to people who needed it, rapidly, and without a lot of bureaucracy. Actually, SNAP used to have something like a 15 percent administrative overhead drag. Since the stimulus bill increased benefits and boosted the number of people getting them, administrative costs are down to 7 percent. For all the conservative ranting — vouchers, vouchers, vouchers — food stamps are a voucher program! You’re not being sent to a government-run food center. You’re getting a voucher to use in the private market. It is good for businesses too.

The child nutrition bill that might have cut SNAP again, though, has stalled in the House.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.