Food stamps help millions of Americans feed themselves and their families, but they also help major companies boost their bottom lines.

Kraft’s incoming CEO Tony Vernon said as much when he told the Financial Times on Sunday that he opposes cuts to the food stamp program or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP for short). Vernon said food stamp buys make up one-sixth of Kraft's revenue and a bigger share of the company’s total sales.

But Kraft isn’t the only company that’s a fan of food stamps, Walmart, Coca-Cola and other big brands have lobbied surrounding the issue, according to a June 2012 report from advocacy group Eat Drink Politics called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money."

And there’s lots of money to be made off food stamps, with use of the benefits at an all-time high thanks to the weak economy, according to the Department of Agriculture. Food stamp use has surged 51 percent since October 2008.

Here are 9 big companies that <3 food stamps:

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  • PepsiCo

    PepsiCo lobbied the House of Representatives in 2011 on <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">restrictions on SNAP</a>, according to a June 2012 report, called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The company spent $750,000 lobbying Congress overall during the third quarter of 2011. At the same time, Pepsi donated money to anti-hunger groups working to fight health restrictions on SNAP.

  • Kraft

    Food stamp users "are a big part of our audience," Kraft's incoming CEO <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7ed1db42-f932-11e1-945b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz261zpCuUt" target="_hplink">recently told the <em>Financial Times</em>.</a> He said he opposes cuts to funding for the food stamp program.

  • Walmart

    Walmart stores in Oklahoma brought in more than <a href="http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20110424_11_A1_Retail460109&r=6977" target="_hplink">$500 million in food stamp money</a> between June 2009 and March 2011, the <em>Tulsa World</em> reports. During that period retailers in the state took home $1.2 billion in food stamp purchases overall.

  • Coca-Cola

    Coca-Cola <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress on SNAP in 2011</a>, according to a June 2012 report, "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The soda-maker also lobbied against an early 2012 bill in Florida that would have enhanced the list of items food stamp users could buy with their benefits.

  • Yum Brands

    Yum Brands tried to convince lawmakers last year to <a href="http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7ed1db42-f932-11e1-945b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz261zpCuUt" target="_hplink">allow the company to accept food stamps</a> in its restaurants, which include Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, according to the <em>Financial Times</em>.

  • JPMorgan Chase

    <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">JPMorgan Chase holds the contracts</a> for Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT -- which distributes food stamps electronically -- in half of states, according to the June 2012 report, "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." In Florida, JPMorgan's contract is worth $83 million over five years, and in New York, it's worth more than $112 million over 7 years. The bank also lobbied the USDA on EBT issues in 2011, according to the report.

  • Big Lots

    Big Lots is testing accepting food stamps in large part because so many of the company's target customers use the program. CEO Steve Fishman told analysts in an August conference call, "There is no debating that a growing percentage of our consumer base is economically stressed and becoming more dependant on government assistance," <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2012/08/big-lots-initiatives-include-food.html?page=2" target="_hplink">according to Columbus Business First</a>.

  • Cargill

    The food and agriculture producer <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress and the USDA</a> in 2011 over SNAP, according to a June 2012 report called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." The company also donated money to anti-hunger groups that oppose health-oriented changes to SNAP.

  • Kroger

    The grocery store chain <a href="http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf" target="_hplink">lobbied Congress on SNAP and WIC funding</a> in 2011, according to a June 2012 report, called "Food Stamps: Follow the Money." Kroger is one of the many leading food retailers that benefits from food stamp expansions, according to the report.

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