food stamps

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing stricter requirements for people receiving food stamps.It’s part of the farm bill passed by Congress, and if these new measures are adopted, it could mean more people in Florida will go hungry.

The Trump administration has proposed expanding a policy that would deny green cards to immigrants who access certain public benefits, like food stamps and Medicaid.

That would expand the list of services that some people seeking green cards get penalized for using.

Democrats in Congress spoke out against the proposed regulation in Sunrise Monday morning.

“This proposed rule change has sewn confusion and prompted immigrant families to start avoiding programs they need to raise healthy and productive children,” Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

When families don’t know where their next meal will come from, it can be especially hard on young children. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that 5-year-olds who experience food insecurity are more likely than other kids to have behavior problems.

The delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it'll allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

Senior citizens and people with disabilities who have pre-registered online will be able to conduct the qualifying interviews to receive Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (D-SNAP)   aid over the phone starting this weekend, according to an announcement of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), which administers the program in the state.

Lines were moving much more quickly at Hard Rock Stadium at mid-day Thursday, the final day to register for disaster food assistance (D-SNAP) in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

After reaching capacity early Wednesday amid accounts of people passing out in the heat, the registration sites seemed to have finally gotten into the swing of things Thursday.

Sweaty and eager to be done waiting in line, most were just happy to get the assistance they walked away with, ranging between $192 and $1,153.

The effort to put emergency money for food into the pockets and bank accounts of South Florida meant waiting in  lines and in court this week.

D-SNAP is the government program for disaster food assistance. The federal government program returned to the region for three days this week after overwhelming demand last month led to long lines and police shutting down some distribution sites over public safety concerns. 

DCF Faces Costs In Food Program For Irma Victims

Nov 9, 2017

Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll told a Senate budget panel on Wednesday that administering a food-stamp program in 48 counties that were damaged by Hurricane Irma cost the state about $33 million as of October.

On the first day of make-up registration for disaster food assistance, lines were long, while lawyers who were suing over how the program has been rolled out hashed things out in court.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is urging the Department of Agriculture to extend the deadline for Floridians to apply for emergency food benefits in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson is launching his Let’s Feed America campaign, which aims to reduce hunger by expanding eligibility and making it easier for those in need to receive access to food. Lawson says 1 out of 4 people in the fifth congressional district have been on the SNAP Program or food stamps this year.

Bill Would Block Use Of Food Stamps For Soda

Aug 21, 2017
John Frisch / Flickr

A House Republican filed a proposal Friday that seeks to prevent people from using food-assistance benefits to buy soft drinks.

When President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration's budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

"If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you're on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be — if you're not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work," Mulvaney said Tuesday.

Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

President Donald Trump's budget would drive millions of people off of food stamps, part of a new wave of spending cut proposals that already are getting panned by lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill.

Most people in Florida who get food stamps are required to work in order to keep them.

A bill (HB 23) that’s slated to be heard by the full state House of Representatives would increase the penalties if people fail to meet those requirements. A now-competing bill in the state Senate would strike these penalties.

Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is pushing House Republicans to drop an idea that could take away food stamps for about 229,000 Floridians.

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.

Arrests Target Food-Stamp Trafficing In Miami-Dade

May 13, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

State and federal authorities said this week that 22 people have been arrested in South Florida and charged with fraudulently receiving more than $13 million through food-stamp trafficking.

The people arrested were small retail vendors, with fraudulent transactions alleged to have occurred at the Opa-Locka Hialeah Flea Market.

The case focuses on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is better known as food stamps.

Food Stamp Recipients Face Work Requirement

Apr 7, 2016

About 300,000 Floridians who qualified for food stamps now face a work requirement that went into effect Jan. 1 -- and the possibility of at least temporarily losing benefits if they don't meet the guidelines.

Back when Laura Rollins first used food stamps for her family—more than two decades ago—she was sometimes embarrassed to use her  stamps at the grocery store.

“When we used to have those books of food stamps that you know that to me was embarrassing because that was telling everybody that was around me and letting them know that, ‘oh, she’s poor,’” Rollins recalls.

Associated Press

More than 1 million low-income residents in 21 states could soon lose their government food stamps if they fail to meet work requirements that began kicking in this month.

GEOGOZZ- Wikimedia Commons

As part of Michelle Obama's healthy eating initiative, a group of major food retailers promised in 2011 to open or expand 1,500 grocery or convenience stores in and around neighborhoods with no supermarkets by 2016. By their own count, they're far short.

More With SNAP Buying From FL Farmers

Jun 29, 2015
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. / WMFE

Food stamp recipients in Florida are buying a lot more from farmers and farmers markets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says expanding access to fresh produce for SNAP recipients has been a top priority.

Redemptions under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp program, have ballooned since 2008 by more than a thousand percent.

Amy Rupert-Secol is chief vegetable officer at Homegrown, a Central Florida food co-op. She says even more could be done to get low-income families to shop local.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board argues that Congress would be making a mistake if it inflicts deep cuts in the SNAP program, formerly known as food stamps, at a time when there still aren't enough jobs to go around. The cuts under discussion would remove 400,000 Floridians from the rolls.

This Friday, Floridians who rely on food stamps will have to tighten their belts even further. That’s because SNAP -- the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- is set to shrink when money from a stimulus bill expires. Some say charities will fill the gap, but a group of Southern religious leaders say they’re not sure they can help.

Religious leaders across the South say the reduction of SNAP benefits corresponds with an increase in demand. Russell Meyer is the Executive Director of the Florida Council of Churches.

About 3.6 million Floridians who use food stamps to purchase their monthly groceries will see a cut in their benefits come Nov. 1, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  This round of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will leave a family of four with approximately $36 less per month. The cuts are coming because federal stimulus spending ordered during the Great Recession is coming to an end.

More than half of Florida’s 115,000 fast-food workers receive some form of public assistance because their incomes are so low and they have few benefits, according to a study by the University of California-Berkeley. The Palm Beach Post reports the assistance, including Medicaid and food stamps, costs Florida taxpayers $348 million a year. 

Obesity is hurting the nation's health, but the pain is not evenly spread. Those who have low incomes are the most dependent on processed foods sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, a product kept cheap through taxpayer subsidies to the corn industry.

Meanwhile, writes public-health specialist and consumer advocate Gary J. Stein, the cost of healthier and leaner foods -- vegetables, fruits and dairy products -- keeps going up. They become less and less affordable to families who need them most.

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