Headlines

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?”

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

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.

INQUIRER EDITORIAL: Don't need test for food stamps

Summary: 

Instead of helping people who have fallen on hard times, Pennsylvania made it harder for them to get food stamps, and hundreds of families may be going hungry at times as a result.

May 7, 2013

Instead of helping people who have fallen on hard times, Pennsylvania made it harder for them to get food stamps, and hundreds of families may be going hungry at times as a result.

The state imposed an assets test to determine food-stamp eligibility a year ago. Since then, nearly 4,000 households have lost or been denied benefits after being deemed too wealthy. Another 111,000 households were rejected for failing to provide proper documentation for the test.

THE MORNING CALL: Corbett's asset test finds little abuse in $2.6 billion food stamp program

Summary: 

"So far the test has not uncovered a lot of fraud. But it has caused a lot of confusion and heartache."

April 27, 2013

Reinstituted test examines applicants' personal wealth and income to determine eligibility.

By Steve Esack and Daniel Patrick Sheehan, Of The Morning Call

It's the question Kathryn Hoffman hates to ask, especially of the elderly people who come into her office looking for help.

Do you have a burial plot? How much is it worth?

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Anti-hunger coalition finds benefits underused in Pennsylvania

Summary: 

At a time when people are criticized for accruing government benefits, the federal programs designed to feed the hungry are in fact underused, according to a Coalition report.

March 29, 2013

By Alfred Lubrano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

At a time when people are criticized for accruing government benefits, the federal programs designed to feed the hungry are in fact underused.

That's one of the findings of the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger's new report, "State of Hunger: Pennsylvania 2013."

Though participation in the food-stamp program (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is soaring, there are still nearly a half-million Pennsylvanians eligible for SNAP who do not use the program, the report said.

PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE: Thousands take part in Walk+Run Against Hunger

Summary: 

Over a hundred teams registered for the Walk+Run event this year, many of them churches and local organizations who provide food relief and other community services for those in need.

April 13, 2013

By Nathaniel Lee