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.
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.
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 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.
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.