Headlines

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Anger in the area over cuts to food stamps

Summary: 

For the first time in 40 years, Congress has decided to give subsidies to farmers while offering nothing to fund the food-stamp program.

July 21, 2013

By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer

For the first time in 40 years, Congress has decided to give subsidies to farmers - many of them rich - while offering nothing to fund the food-stamp program that experts believe keeps poor Americans from starving.

The decision last week comes after conservative Republicans in the House blocked a bill that would have slashed $20 billion from the food-stamp budget, saying the cut was too small.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Filling the gap when there are no free school lunches

Summary: 

An unpaid neighborhood do-gooder, Cooper-Chamberlain distributes free lunch every day at noon during the summer, when school lunches are unavailable.

July 21, 2013

By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer

An unpaid neighborhood do-gooder, Cooper-Chamberlain distributes free lunch every day at noon during the summer, when school lunches are unavailable.

"I can't serve till 12, sweetheart," she told the oldest boy, who displayed the unmistakable demeanor of a hungry child: expectant, quiet, attentive. He wordlessly turned and led the others away.

KYW NEWSRADIO: City, Community Groups Fill School Meals Gap During Summer

Summary: 

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has teamed up with the City of Philadelphia to provide free meals for thousands of kids this summer.

June 28, 2013

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger has teamed up with the City of Philadelphia to provide free meals for thousands of kids this summer.

“During the summer, kids that normally rely on free school meals don’t have that support,” says Julie Zaebst, interim executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Editorial: It shouldn't take so long to get food stamps

Summary: 

Pennsylvania and New Jersey should be ashamed to be among the worst states in the nation in meeting federal rules by getting food stamps to the needy within 30 days.

July 8, 2013

Pennsylvania and New Jersey should be ashamed to be among the worst states in the nation in meeting federal rules by getting food stamps to the needy within 30 days.

Their bureaucratic delays create more hardships for families struggling to put food on the table.

An Inquirer analysis found that New Jersey processes food-stamp applications within 30 days only about 74 percent of the time. Only Guam, Tennessee, Vermont, Hawaii, and Connecticut are worse. Pennsylvania ranked 39th on a list of 53, meeting the federal timeliness requirement only 81 percent of the time.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: A new kind of food pantry opens in Kensington

Summary: 

A new kind of food pantry for the poor (featuring exclusively healthful foods) debuted in Philadelphia.

June 20, 2013

By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer

On Tuesday, a new kind of food pantry for the poor - featuring exclusively healthful foods - opened in Kensington.

The Green Light Pantry, the first of its kind in the city, promotes healthy eating while batting back hunger.

"I don't eat healthy much," said pantry client Ebony Culbreath, 20, a formerly homeless woman who filled a shopping basket with her daughter, Kaliyah, 2, on Tuesday. "This stuff is outside my comfort zone. But my daughter eats all of it."

NY TIMES: House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive

Summary: 

Members vote 234-195 to defeat a bill that would have dropped 2 million Americans from SNAP and removed more than 200,000 children from free school meals.

June 20, 2013

House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive

By RON NIXON

WASHINGTON — The surprise defeat of the farm bill in the House on Thursday underscored the ideological divide between the more conservative, antispending Republican lawmakers and their leadership, who failed to garner sufficient votes from their caucus as well as from Democrats.

PHILLY WEEKLY: Pennsylvania’s ‘Heat and Eat’ initiative could be cut in the Farm Bill

Summary: 

"We estimate tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians will be negatively affected if Heat and Eat goes away,” said Coalition Interim Director Julie Zaebst.

May 29, 2013

Hidden among the cuts to the farm bill, which we reported on last week, will be Pennsylvania’s “Heat and Eat” initiative, which allows states to coordinate food and energy assistance programs so the poor don’t have to choose between heating their homes in the winter or eating food.

“Based on information we have about the Heat and Eat program, and how it’s been working so far, we estimate tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians [will be negatively affected if H&E goes away],” notes Julie Zaebst, interim executive director at the Hunger Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

DAILY NEWS: Editorial: Congress pays farmers to grow, but cuts funds for the poor to eat

Summary: 

In the Farm Bill, "we're paying billions to make sure that food is produced and big agriculture stays profitable, while cutting billions from programs that assure that poor and hungry citizens get food to their own tables."

May 17, 2013

THE CAUSES of poverty are complex and many. One cause, though, is emerging as a dominant factor in the record numbers of people living in poverty: Congress.

This week, both the Senate and the House moved on a new farm bill, which determines the budget and policies for agriculture every five years or so. In addition to agriculture, it also funds the food-stamp program.

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: A year later, Pa. food-stamp test called too complex

Summary: 

The asset test "made getting food stamps so complicated that deserving low-income people became inundated by paperwork and lost their benefits."

May 2, 2013

By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer

One year ago this week, Pennsylvania tied eligibility for food stamps to the assets people possess.
Since then, nearly 4,000 households have lost or were denied benefits because they had too many financial resources, according to the Department of Public Welfare.

In that same time, many more people - around 111,000 households - were denied benefits because they failed to provide proper documentation for the asset test.

PATRIOT-NEWS EDITORIAL: This sure is a strange way to help those in need

Summary: 

With Pennsylvania's asset test for SNAP, "the state is spending its own time and money to bounce people with low-income off the food stamp rolls, while the savings go to the feds."

May 3, 2013

By Patriot-News Editorial Board

What would you think about a charity that had the following system for giving out food to the needy?

The charity is willing to serve those who are broke or have fallen on hard times. As long as they don’t have much income, they get help.

But the security guard who asks people about their income thinks there are some freeloaders lurking in the midst. He tells the charity, “Hey, I bet some of these people actually have good money in the bank. How ‘bout I start checking that for you?”