SNAP

The federal food stamp program that provides a lifeline to needy people throughout Florida will continue running through February. Funding for the program was set to expire at the end of the month due to the government shutdown.

A continuing resolution bill frees up money left over from last year’s budget to keep the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program-or SNAP- running through February.

But if the shutdown continues after that, more than 3 million Floridians who rely on the program could be forced to go without.

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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.

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

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.

There is still a chance for some people to sign up for D-SNAP disaster food assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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.

As Floridians continue lining up for food assistance due to hardships caused by Hurricane Irma, state officials announced they intend to re-open enrollment in two South Florida counties to meet demand.

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.

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.

Florida ranks 24th in the United States for being the healthiest states for aging adults, according to the 2016 America’s Health Ranking Senior Report.

It's an improvement of three spots from last year, when Florida came in at number 27.

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.

An estimated 7.9 million kids in the U.S. live in "food-insecure" households. This means there's not always enough to eat at home.

But when these kids go to the doctor for a checkup, or a well-child visit, the signs of malnutrition are not always apparent. So pediatricians say it's time to start asking about it.

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.