February 25, 1995 |
Under pressure from farm-state Republicans, House leaders yesterday abandoned a campaign promise to disband the food-stamp program that helps 27 million Americans buy groceries. The decision to preserve food stamps as a federal program comes a day after a House committee voted to repeal several other federal nutrition programs, including school lunches, and return the money to the states in block grants. Farm-state Republicans fought hard to keep food stamps, a $27 billion program that serves 11 million households, at the federal level.
February 24, 1995 |
Key House Republicans are cracking the GOP's solid front and resisting plans to transfer the food-stamp program to the states, saying the federal government can run it most efficiently. The uprising within the Agriculture Committee is not sitting well with House Republican leaders, who so far have refused to back off from their Contract With America pledge to create block grants for federal food programs. At $26 billion a year, food stamps are the largest federal nutrition program, aiding 27 million low-income Americans, most of them children.
May 3, 2013 |
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. Advocates for the poor now say that by weeding out a relatively small number of people with too many assets, the Department of Public Welfare made getting food stamps so complicated that deserving low-income people became inundated by paperwork and lost their benefits.
June 3, 1994 |
Federal authorities are investigating what is said to be the widespread illegal sale of food stamps in Philadelphia by recipients to brokers for dozens of mom-and-pop groceries. Sources said agents from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which pays for the food stamp program, are looking at the operations of the stores because they ultimately redeem the stamps for cash from the government. The major supermarket chains do not figure in the probe, the sources said, adding that the investigation is focused on smaller stores serving poorer neighborhoods.
May 18, 2004
SUPPORTING new supermarkets in Philadelphia's underserved neighborhoods is a worthy endeavor. The governor is making a wise investment in directing our tax dollars to these ventures, but their success will be dependent largely on sales. Start-up incentives won't keep black ink from turning to red. So how does a supermarket owner boost sales? Might an extra $200 in the pocket of every low-income shopper do the trick? And how might that happen when such shoppers work as nursing assistants, dishwashers and child-care providers?
May 22, 2013
CAMDEN A Camden grocery store manager arrested last week on allegations he stole more than $1 million from taxpayers in a food-stamp scheme appeared in U.S. District Court in Camden Tuesday and was ordered held without bail. Alexander D. Vargas, 34, allegedly bought food stamps for 50 cents on the dollar and kept the other 50 cents by redeeming food stamps without selling any food. He managed the former Eddie's Grocery on the 1500 block of Mount Ephraim Avenue in the city's Whitman Park section, and allegedly carried out the scheme last year, officials said.
May 8, 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. Advocates for the poor say the assets-appraisal formula being used by the state Department of Public Welfare does more harm than good.
December 7, 1999
Hunger amid America's plenty seems especially sad in the holiday season. While most folks shop, party and feast from now till New Year's, an estimated 10 million Americans are hungry. Some of this suffering comes from excessive restrictions on food stamps. Some changes in the program are overdue: restoring eligibility for hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants and raising benefits in cities where rents are high. The Hunger Relief Act of 1999, sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.
September 22, 2011 |
Hard times are compelling 46 million Americans to use food stamps, a number up an astonishing 70 percent from four years ago. Now totaling about $65 billion a year, the recession-swelled food stamp program is drawing attention from some conservatives in Congress who wonder whether such spending should be corralled. Part of the renewed conversation involves questions over the list of items that food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can and cannot be used to buy. Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, and tobacco are forbidden.
January 10, 2012 |
Pennsylvania plans to make the amount of food stamps that people receive contingent on the assets they possess - an unexpected move that bucks national trends and places the commonwealth among a minority of states. Specifically, the Department of Public Welfare said that as of May 1, people under 60 with more than $2,000 in savings and other assets would no longer be eligible for food stamps. For people over 60, the limit would be $3,250. Houses and retirement benefits would be exempt from being counted as assets.