December 2, 2013 |
It's been a month since food-stamp benefits were cut throughout America for the first time in history. And though it's too soon for official numbers and analyses, the effect of the loss of nearly $300 million in benefits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is evident across the region. "It's mind boggling how the area has so many people this hungry," said Joanne Castagna, director of the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Prospect Park, Delaware County. "We've seen an increase in people - maybe 20 percent - coming here because their food stamps have been cut and they didn't know where else to turn.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
September 15, 2011
People who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP, formerly known as food stamps - have two ways to make the most of their purchasing power. One is Philly Food Bucks, a program of the Food Trust. Shoppers who spend $5 on produce at one of the more than 25 farmer's markets operated by the Food Trust get a $2 Philly Food Buck in return, on the spot. A list of those markets is at www.thefoodtrust.org . Or call the Food Trust at 215-575-0444. The other program, Double Dollars, is available only at the Fair Food Farmstand in the Reading Terminal Market.
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.