SNAP Benefits Help the Local Economy

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously food stamps) is an important program that helps families afford food to access and maintain a basic diet, generates business for retailers, and boosts local economies. SNAP accounts for about 8 percent of the food U.S. families buy for their homes. 

There are about 248,000 retailers — from superstores to farmers markets — across the country… and about 300 in Larimer County. SNAP benefits increase low-income households’ purchasing power so they can buy the food they need directly from stores; adding dignity and ease to users’ lives.

SNAP generates business for retailers of all types and sizes.

SNAP retailers include almost any place that sells food: big, box superstores, major national grocery chains, local small specialty grocers, convenience stores, and farmers markets.

Since Americans live in such differently populated areas, including cities to very rural communities, the ability to use SNAP benefits from large number and wide variety of authorized retailers help ensure low-income families across the country can regularly access food. Though SNAP participants in some areas of the country, particularly rural areas, still have inadequate access to food stores, most can easily redeem their benefits. In Larimer County, there are about 300 retailers at which SNAP benefits can be used (see table below).

SNAP provides important support for small business.

While over 80 percent of SNAP benefits are used at larger stores, including superstores (eg. Walmart, Target, and Costco) and supermarkets (eg. King Soopers and Safeway), about 80 percent of stores that accept SNAP benefits are smaller stores. These include many locally owned businesses such as private groceries, convenience stores, dairies, butchers, bakeries, and farm stands. For these small businesses, SNAP is an important revenue source for these stores; particularly in high-poverty areas, where SNAP purchases can account for a significant share of a retailer’s total sales.

Because most households redeem their monthly SNAP benefits quickly and is often the only or primary way these households can purchase adequate food, SNAP is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus during a downturn. Every dollar in new SNAP benefits spent when the economy is weak and unemployment elevated increases the gross domestic product by $1.54. In 2009, the peak year of the Great Recession, $50 billion in SNAP benefits were spent in local stores, generating about $85 billion in local economic activity, even as the overall economy was struggling.

In Larimer County alone, SNAP benefits bring almost $6 million of economic benefit to the local economy each year.

Colorado SNAP Retailers by Store Type (2019)

Super-store Super-market Grocery Store Convenience Store Other Retailer Farmers Market Total
390 220 752 1256 138 55 2811

SNAP Retailers by Store Type in 2nd Colorado Congressional District

Super-store Super-market Grocery Store Convenience Store Other Retailer Farmers Market Total
63 31 67 118 15 10 304

SNAP Stimulates Economic Activity During an Economic Downturn

SNAP is actually one of the Nation’s primary counter-cyclical government assistance programs. That means the simple existence ad use of SNAP benefits counteract other effects of an economic downturn, such as unemployment rates.  SNAP provides assistance to more low-income households during an economic downturn or recession and to fewer households during an economic expansion, serving as an automatic stabilizer to the economy.

The rise in SNAP participation during an economic downturn results in greater SNAP expenditures which, in turn, stimulates the economy. During a recession, households that lose part or all of their incomes (usually from employment) become eligible and participate in SNAP. Moreover, for households that were already participating before the recession, SNAP benefits usually increase if their income falls.

Not only do SNAP benefits support a household’s food purchasing needs, benefits also augment the incomes and spending of others (such as farmers, retailers, food processors, and food distributors, as well as their employees); this, in turn, has ripple effects throughout the community.


Food Bank for Larimer County Web Search

We are different together. At FBLC we are not all the same. And that is our greatest strength. We draw from our differences of who we are, what we have experienced, and how we think. We cultivate a dynamic and diverse work environment, one that plays a critical role in our ambitious work to end hunger, so we believe in including everyone.

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We embrace a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity. Our goal is to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.

FBLC endeavors to make our careers site accessible to any and all users. If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact our Human Resources team at This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Thinking about applying and feel you may not meet all of our qualifications? If you believe that you can shine in one of our roles, we encourage you to apply!

Be aware of altered Food Share hours during the week of

Monday, November 20 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 21 | OPEN | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesday, November 22 | OPEN | noon – 3:00 pm
Thursday, November 23 | CLOSED
Friday, November 24 | CLOSED
Saturday, November 25 | CLOSED
Sunday, November 26 | CLOSED
Monday, November 27 | CLOSED – Regular schedule resumes

If there is a government shutdown...

The most important thing for you to know, is the Food Bank for Larimer County IS NOT A GOVERNMENT AGENCY. No matter what happens, we will remain open and available to support you. 

There will be other changes you’ll need to know about.  Click here to learn more. 

Si hay un cierre del gobierno...

Lo más importante que debe saber es que el Banco de Comida del Condado de Larimer NO ES UNA AGENCIA GOBERNAMENTAL. Pase lo que pase, permaneceremos abiertos y disponibles para apoyarlos.

Habrá otros cambios que necesitarás conocer. Clic aquí para saber más.

The Food Bank for Larimer County Fresh Food Share Pantries will be closed Saturday, September 2. 

Our Administrative Offices will be closed Monday, September 4.


El Banco de Comida estará cerrado sábado, 2 de septiembre y lunes, 4 de septiembre.

Food Bank for Larimer County is closed Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Banco de comida ester estará cerrado el miércoles, 23 de agosto de 2023.