Secretary of Agriculture visits Philly to promote food stamp stimulus

    Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market got a visit from the Secretary of Agriculture on Friday. Tom Vilsack announced an increase in food stamp benefits as part of the federal stimulus package.

    Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market got a visit from the Secretary of Agriculture on Friday. Tom Vilsack announced an increase in food stamp benefits as part of the federal stimulus package.

    Transcript:
    Secretary Vilsack took a tour of Reading Terminal where he got a lesson on how to make cheesesteaks.

    Vilsack: “…start choppin’?”
    Unidentified cheesesteak maker: “Yup. Then you put the cheese on top, just melts in your mouth if its done right.”

    But Vilsack was in town to promote nutrition.

    Vilsack: “When you have the access to fresh fruits and vegetables and quality food, it makes it easier to maintain your weight and it makes a difference in overall health care costs.”

    Vilsack says the food stamp program has a new name – SNAP – which stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  A family of four receiving benefits will now get an additional $80 a month.

    Vilsack says the increase in SNAP benefits will also give a boost to the local economy. He says and additional $200 million additional will flow into the Philadelphia region as new benefits.

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