July 22, 2013 |
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. The antipoverty community in Philadelphia and throughout the nation is convulsed with anger.
December 20, 1994 |
The Department of Agriculture is looking into allegations that employees at Benjamin Franklin High School accepted food stamps as payment for temporary school ID when students arrived without their required photo ID cards. Meanwhile, the School District's Office for School Safety has launched its own investigation. As of yesterday, John J. McLees, the district's executive director for school safety, said his office had concluded that food stamps had not been used in place of a $1 fee for temporary ID at Franklin High.
February 22, 1986 |
Bucks County restaurateur Bruno Mannello didn't like his sister's sweetheart, and he'll have up to 10 years in prison to think about all the trouble this caused. The prospective brother-in-law, Frank Hutchinson, worked in Mannello's restaurant but "was totally useless," Mannello's defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Sr., told a judge yesterday. So when Hutchinson approached Mannello with a scheme to steal food stamps, Mannello figured it would end the dependency, added Peruto.
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.
January 29, 2012 |
Regardless of where you stand on taxpayer-funded entitlements, few Americans argue against the maintenance of temporary safety nets or modifications aimed at ending welfare fraud, waste, and abuse. In hopes of protecting both interests, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare recently re-implemented an asset test for food stamps. An asset test looks at the total wealth of an individual before granting taxpayer assistance. Until 2008, Pennsylvania was using such a test. Asset tests represent an important first step toward preserving limited taxpayer resources for the truly needy.
July 24, 1986 |
Corliss Faison, 39, fell in love with Louis Butcher, 56, and was "conned" into using her position as a social worker with the Department of Public Welfare to set up two phony accounts to see to it that he received cash and food stamps illegally in 1982, according to Assistant District Attorney Thomas Gilson. Yesterday, Faison, of Lambert Street near Chew Avenue, pleaded guilty to forgery, welfare fraud, conspiracy and theft by deception. Common Pleas Judge Michael R. Stiles placed her on five years' probation and ordered her to repay $4,410.
January 1, 1990 |
Standing by the register in an Acme the other day, Sonya watched the groceries glide by and listened intently to the cash register. With each jingle, she swallowed a little. "Stop when it gets to $80, OK?" said the mother of one. The clerk forgot, though, and two minutes later, Sonya, a compact woman in a parka who receives federal aid for food, was digging through her six bags of groceries to find $10 worth of crackers and snacks that she could give back. It could have been any mother shopping who was short on food stamps - except that for Sonya and 5,000 others in Reading, food stamps no longer exist.
December 19, 1998 |
A federal grand jury has accused a North Philadelphia store owner of illegally trafficking in $4.3 million worth of federal food stamps over the last four years. Wade Friday, 48, of the 7900 block of Ronaele Drive in Elkins Park, was charged in a sealed indictment Thursday with conspiracy, 10 counts of food-stamp fraud, and 197 counts of money laundering involving the operation of his Syreeta's Lounge in the 2400 block of Allegheny Avenue and two other stores. Friday was being held in federal custody yesterday pending posting of four properties worth more than $100,000 to back a bail bond.
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.
September 20, 2013 |
The poverty rate in Philadelphia fell last year while the need for food stamps grew, a seeming paradox teased out by the widely respected American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census. What it means, experts say, is that the economy may be yielding low-wage jobs that lift some people out of poverty, but ultimately the jobs don't pay enough to feed their families. A similar pattern was repeated in Camden, where the poverty rate dipped from a startling 43 percent to 39 percent, while food-stamp need rose 12.6 percentage points between 2011 and 2012.