The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: 2002–2005
Trafficking – selling food stamp benefits to food retailers for cash – impedes the mission and compromises the integrity of the Food Stamp Program. While not a cost to the Federal Government, trafficking diverts benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) uses a set of EBT-based administrative tools and undercover investigations to identify and sanction trafficking retailers, and to estimate the extent of trafficking. The estimates of the amount of trafficking, the trafficking rate, and the store violation rate reported here are based on information from almost 33,000 stores subject to administrative or undercover investigation from late 2002 through 2005.