October 25, 2014 |
If elected governor, Tom Wolf plans to end the asset test, a measure that ties federal food stamp benefits to people's bank accounts and car ownership. The Democrat would also work to reestablish General Assistance (GA), which used to pay $205 a month to people who were both poor and disabled. Both moves would reverse initiatives by Gov. Corbett, who saw the asset test as a way to cut down on fraud and waste, and GA as an unnecessary institution from the 1930s whose elimination has saved the state $150 million a year.
October 17, 2014 |
Cookbook author and New York Times columnist Mark Bittman was in town last week to promote his latest cookbook, How to Cook Everything Fast, (Houghton Mifflin). I interviewed him before a sold-out audience at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Here is a condensed version of our conversation. Question: You've evolved from writing recipes to writing about how food touches politics, the environment, and public health. Why? Answer: I became a recipe writer sort of by accident.
October 14, 2014 |
FIVE chef-on-wheels wannabes stood in a Community College of Philadelphia driveway on 18th Street near Spring Garden, listening to Josh Kim, owner of SPOT Gourmet Burgers, Steaks & Pork, preach his food-cart gospel. "I'm taking money from you and you're going to put something that I make in your mouth," Kim told them. "This is the most intricate transaction you can do, other than . . . " he said, waiting for the laugh and getting it. Kim was a recent guest lecturer in chef John Olsen's "Introduction to Food Truck Entrepreneurship" course at CCP, the first college program of its kind in Pennsylvania.
October 14, 2014 |
A little-noticed change in federal law may hurt small neighborhood grocery stores and their low-income customers who use food stamps. In 2004, food stamps went digital, switching from paper coupons to electronic cards. In large supermarkets, such Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards are swiped at checkout terminals along with credit and debit cards. But in around 118,000 bodegas, corner stores, and mom-and-pop markets nationwide, EBT cards have been used in specific EBT machines provided to stores free in a federal-state partnership, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the food-stamp program, known as SNAP.
October 13, 2014 |
When Yael Lehmann joined the Food Trust in 2001, she spent much of her time explaining that, though the nonprofit works on food access, it is not, in fact, a food bank. Since then, food access has become a hot issue. And the organization, whose staff has increased from five to 107, has helped bring fresh produce to 600 corner stores in the city, nutrition educators to 100 schools, and 27 farmers' markets to underserved neighborhoods. We asked Lehmann, Food Trust executive director, about that work, the popularity of the food-truck Night Market events, and being a full-time mother and part-time rocker for the band Happy Accident, with her husband, Blake, and the Food Trust's Brian Lang.
October 1, 2014 |
After being out of work for 10 years, Patti Trout has learned how to live on a frugal budget. Sometimes it means choosing between buying food and paying her bills. Too often, Trout, 57, of Blackwood, puts groceries at the bottom of the list. She regularly visits a local food pantry to fill the void. "It's not easy," Trout said as she waited Thursday at the food pantry operated by Cultivate Church in Voorhees. "You basically do what you have to do to get by. " She is among a growing number of hungry Americans, including working people, military members, children, and the elderly.
September 24, 2014 |
At 2:30 one recent afternoon, Neil Calore entered a small, white-frame house in Frankford, carrying a heavy bag in each hand. "Brought you some dinner, Anthony," he said, unloading pastries onto the kitchen table, then stuffing the fridge with the makings of seven meals: pork sausage, breaded chicken cutlets, fish with potatoes. Anthony Strazzeri, 96, sat upright and inspected the pastry. He had been waiting eagerly for Calore, who visits every week, delivering food and conversation - stories about family, politics, and how the world has changed.
September 19, 2014
LABORATORY safety regulations typically dictate that no food should be found within close reach of the experimental action - no one needs nitric acid in their nachos, after all. Drexel's Center for Hospitality and Sport Management, however, is a different kind of lab, one that's earned an exception to this rule since fussing with food is all they do there. The sixth floor of the Paul Peck Problem-Solving and Research Center, at 33rd and Arch streets, is home to the Drexel Food Lab, a collective that lends its brain to corporate and nonprofit clients.
September 18, 2014 |
MOUNT AIRY IS eagerly expecting 11,000 of its closest friends to jam three blocks of Germantown Avenue tomorrow night for a street festival featuring 50 gourmet food trucks, drinks, live music on two stages and a kids' fun zone. "Folks get really packed in, which is part of the energy here," said Anuj Gupta, executive director of Mt. Airy USA, which is presenting "Street Fare: Sip, Savor, Stroll" from 6 to 10:30 p.m. on Germantown Avenue between Sedgwick Street and West Mount Airy Avenue.
September 17, 2014 |
The chicken for Rosh Hashanah dinner won't be kosher. Kosher meat is expensive, and Doreen Shelow can't afford it. "People think Jews aren't poor," said Shelow, 56, a disabled and divorced Jewish woman raising her grandson well below the poverty line in a tiny apartment in Somerton, in Northeast Philadelphia. "It's an aspect of poverty that's overlooked. Even other Jews don't accept that there are poor Jews. " Often unseen and rarely discussed, Jewish poverty in the Philadelphia area hobbles lives in the same way it does among other ethnic and cultural groups.