The Secretary Comes to Market
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited the Reading Terminal Market today to announce a $20 billion increase in food stamp funding thanks to the economic stimulus program. It means an extra $80 a month for a family of four participating inn the program in Philadelphia. Congressman Chakah Fattah joined Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, for a lunch at the Market's kitchen, a tour of the market, and the announcement.
Iovine Brothers produce set up the display in center court (which did not include any imported produce, unless you consider California a foreign country). Standing behind the secretary in the photo is Jimmy Iovine.
Although commonly referred to as the food stamp program, it's now formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
According to USDA, the RTM is the largest redeemer of the benefit program in Pennsylvania. The 15 participating merchants accepted $1.1 million through SNAP last year.