August 16, 2012 |
WHEN UNDERCOVER federal agents visited Aunty Florence's West African Market in Darby in 2010, they found the owner willing to illegally exchange food-stamp benefits for cash. Florence Kingsley, 59, of Darby, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to food-stamp fraud. A Liberian national, Kingsley fled her home country in 1992 amid a civil war and was given asylum here. In 2007, she opened a small food store and sold spices, fruits, vegetables and meats. The feds became suspicious of Kingsley after she sought monthly payment for authorized food-stamp sales greater than the annual $80,000 estimate she gave in a 2008 application to participate in the program.
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.
August 16, 2012 |
When undercover federal agents visited Aunty Florence's West African Market in Darby in 2010, they found the owner willing to illegally exchange food-stamp benefits for cash. Florence Kingsley, 59, of Darby, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal district court to food-stamp fraud. A Liberian national, Kingsley fled that country in 1992 amid a civil war and was given asylum here. In 2007, she opened a small food store and sold spices, fruits, vegetables and meats. The feds became suspicious of Kingsley after she sought monthly payment for authorized food-stamp sales greater than the annual $80,000 estimate she gave in a 2008 application to participate in the program.
January 19, 2011 |
Hunger does not receive enough attention in the United States, where Americans "overuse the denial mechanism," believing the problem doesn't exist, a top U.S. Department of Agriculture official said Tuesday at Drexel University's School of Public Health. At the same time, increasing numbers of Americans are enrolling for food stamps, according to Kevin Concannon, USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. "The nutritional safety net . . . has never been as urgently needed as it is now," Concannon concluded.
January 12, 2012
Instead of encouraging the working poor to save, Pennsylvania welfare officials want to punish families for having a few dollars in a bank account. Beginning May 1, the state plans to make any food stamps the needy receive contingent on their assets. Anyone under 60 with more than $2,000 in savings and other assets will no longer be eligible. For people over 60, the limit would be $3,250. Houses, retirement benefits, and a single vehicle won't be counted as assets. The new formula means recipients must be virtually destitute to qualify for food assistance.
March 27, 2013
YOUR RECENT editorial criticizing the asset test for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) left out many of the facts and wrongly implied that Gov. Corbett has a vision of "lazy BMW-driving scamsters" using food stamps. Although there are undoubtedly many misperceptions about those who rely on human services, the SNAP program asset test throws them out the window. Instead, it uses hard data to assure taxpayers that their money is being used only by those most in need.
June 20, 2013
Whom does Congress listen to? The farm bill is a clue. It is chock full of subsidies benefiting special interests, but cuts funding to provide food stamps for poor people. The House this week began debating the bill, which over the next decade would cut $20 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Nearly two million people who rely on SNAP assistance to put food on the table would lose their benefits. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it would make "unacceptable deep cuts" in the $80 billion-a-year program.
November 15, 2011
With more poor families struggling to put food on the table, this isn't the time for the government to falter in combating poverty. So it's good to see that federal agencies are employing a new method of calculating who is poor. Until now, a 1964 formula was used to determine elgibility for federal assistance, which was based on how much a family was expected to spend for food. The new formula also considers a family's other expenses, including housing and medical care. Using the new formula, the Census Bureau calculates that 49.1 million, or about 16 percent of Americans, are poor, compared with 15 percent using the older calculation method.
August 1, 2012 |
TRENTON - Nearly one in five New Jersey households that received emergency food stamps after Tropical Storm Irene last year was ineligible for the benefits, a review found - a result of mistakes, confusion, and fraud. The emergency Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) has been around for nearly 40 years as one of the federal government's ways to provide food in disasters. While other states have used it before, New Jersey activated D-SNAP for the first time after Irene, which caused power outages affecting two million homes and massive flooding when it hit at just below hurricane level last August.
November 18, 2009
U.S. AGRICULTURE Secretary Tom Vilsack called his department's annual report on American "food insecurity" this week a "wake-up call" to take the issue of hunger seriously. A "wake-up call. " Vilsack repeated it several times during a Monday news conference. But that phone's been ringing- unanswered - for years. The USDA report showed a steep increase in "food insecurity" - what it used to call "hunger" - in 2008, up 3.5 percent from 2007. More than 49.1 million Americans, 14.6 percent of the nation, are "food insecure.