Federal food stamp program lacks transparency

The lack of transparency regarding the federal food stamp program, known as known as "SNAP,"  short for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, was the subject of this strong column by writers Felice Freyer and Irene Wielawski published in today's Los Angeles Times. NFOIC executive director Kenneth Bunting  was one of the signers of the letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that is referenced in the column. 

So far, there has been no answer or response to that April 3 letter.

From the Los Angeles Times, this piece:

The debate in Congress about cutting the food stamp program has sparked predictable clashes between those who want to help the poor and those who want to cut government spending. But strangely missing from the arguments is a shocking fact: The public, including Congress, knows almost nothing about how the program's $80 billion is spent.

What foods are being purchased by the 47 million Americans who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (the official name for food stamps)? And how much money do specific retailers make from the program?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, isn't telling.

It's hard to understand why. The secrecy surrounding food stamps far exceeds that of any federal safety-net program …