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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 7, 2014 |
In a move that surprised even his most cynical critics, Gov. Corbett on Wednesday night forestalled an estimated $3 billion in cuts to food stamps in the state over the next 10 years. By doing so, Corbett became the first Republican governor in the country to prevent the cuts ordered by Congress, which is looking to slash $8.6 billion over the next decade to the food-stamp program, now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The governor's decision will preserve benefits for 400,000 Pennsylvania households slated to lose a monthly average of $60 to $65 each in benefits, amounting to $300 million a year, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare.
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.
April 13, 2012
JOHN MANTON offers me a bowl of potato soup as I take a seat in his tight Roxborough home. He's made a pot that will last for a week. It must. Manton's learned to stretch his food, a frugality demanded by the $37.25 worth of food stamps he receives weekly. He supplements that small amount with $20 from his meager savings. Through no fault of his own, Manton's been unemployed for a year, and Gov. Corbett wants to snoop into his bank account before approving the food stamps that keep Manton from starving.
October 25, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Gov. Corbett said Wednesday he would take into consideration the state public welfare secretary's announcement that she was "rethinking" the food-stamp asset test, a measure that links federal benefits people receive to their bank accounts and car ownership. He made the comments when asked about the issue at a news conference promoting his "Healthy Pennsylvania" initiative. On Tuesday, Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth told members of The Inquirer Editorial Board she was rethinking the asset test, adding: "My focus is not on waste.