US spent $100 bln to manage food assistance

The United States government spent $100 billion to manage food assistance last year.

Negligence of the federal government generated inefficient use of the funds.

As the Government Accountability Office figured out, the lion's share of spending comes from the food stamp program, which gave benefits to an average 46 million Americans in 2014, at a cost of $74.6 billion.

The national school lunch program was second, costing $11.3 billion, followed by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at $7.1 billion.

Other spending included $1.9 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, and $10.7 million for the "Special Milk Program."

The GAO Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Kay E. Brown claimed that there is potential for overlap due to the government's "complex network of 18 food assistance programs, administered by three federal agencies," which are unsure how effective the programs are.

"In 2010 research GAO suggested that participation in seven of these programs was associated with positive outcomes, such as improving nutrition among low-income households," Brown said. "Little was known about the effectiveness of the remaining 11."

The GAO provided a list of the 18 federal programs, which together served a total 109.9 million Americans in 2014. The list only provides the total number of participants for each program, and does not take into account the potential for individuals to participate in more than one program.

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