House Budget Would Slash SNAP by $125 Billion Over Ten Years

Food Stamp shopperBy Dorothy Rosenbaum and Brynne Keith-Jennings
March 20, 2015
RELATED AREAS OF RESEARCH
Food Assistance
SNAP Federal Legislation and Policy
The House Budget Committee’s budget plan would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) into a block grant beginning in 2021 and cut funding steeply — by $125 billion (34 percent) between 2021 and 2025.[1] Cuts of this magnitude would end food assistance for millions of low-income families, cut benefits for millions of households, or some combination of the two. The prior Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, proposed similarly deep SNAP cuts in each of the last four House budgets. Read more athttp://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=5287

Do America’s Hungry Children Matter?

Child lunchJanuary 21, 2015 by Mariana Chilton

In President Obama’s State of the Union address last night he asserted that American children really do matter to our nation’s top politicians. “I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood — your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.”

2015 was supposed to be the year when America ended its child hunger crisis. That was the promise then-president-elect Barack Obama made during his first campaign in 2008.

At that time some 12.4 million children lived in homes that self-reported as food insecure — in other words, they couldn’t afford enough food for an active and healthy life. Today there are 15.8 million such children.

More at: http://billmoyers.com/2015/01/21/children-hungry-america-matter/#.VMehQabWY88.facebook

USDA Says Most Likely Reason to Apply for SNAP is Recent Loss of Income

Food Stamp shopper

A food stamps success story

Food Bank DockBY MILES CORAK December 10, 2014

It is an understatement to say that the welfare reforms of the 1990s were intended to give a little spring to the social safety net.

The intention was much more radical. The reforms involved a major make-over of income support, and turning what was imagined as a net ensnarling many Americans behind a welfare wall, into a springboard that would incentivize work and allow them to ride a wave of prosperity to higher incomes that would lift their children out of poverty.

But this kind of reform is hardly what is needed when times turn bad.

The only virtue of a trampoline when employment falls by more than 8 million, when the unemployment rate more than doubles, and when median incomes drop by over $10,000, is that it catches you on the way down. More at:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/food-stamps-success-story/

Program connects farmers and struggling families

Farmer's marketBy Virginia Bridges, December 16, 2014

RALEIGH — For years, Britt Farms has resisted taking payment from recipients of the modern equivalent of food stamps.

“It was so expensive and hard to do,” said Jennifer Britt, who oversees sales for the Mount Olive farm that sells vegetables and produce from the State Farmers Market in Raleigh.

But earlier this month, farm owners Jennifer and Vernon Britt listened to a 30-minute spiel and then got in line to sign up for free equipment that would allow them to accept credit, debit and Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program funds, commonly referred to as SNAP, through Electronic Benefit Transfers.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/15/4405644/program-connects-farmers-and-struggling.html?sp=/99/104//#storylink=cpy

Employment in NC still below 2007 levels

The Progressive Pulse

by Alexandra Sirota  November 26, 2014

Employment-Levels-in-US-300x225

In December 2007, just as the Great Recession started, 62 percent of North Carolina’s working-age population was employed. As of October 2014, employment had fallen to 56.5 percent as measured by the employment to population ratio.

Despite the important milestone Employment Levels in USof replacing all the jobs lost during the Great Recession, North Carolina still has not reached pre-recession employment levels.

– See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/11/26/employment-in-nc-still-below-2007-levels/#sthash.SjlibQGF.dpuf

SNAP & the Farm Bill

Congress passed the new Farm Bill on February 4, 2014. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law on Friday, February 7th. The Farm Bill includes $8.55 Billion in cuts to SNAP over the next 10 years. The cuts will come from changes to “Heat and Eat” programs operated in 15 states and Washington, DC. North Carolina does not have a “Heat and Eat” program, so the SNAP benefit cuts included in the Farm Bill will not affect NC households that receive SNAP.*

The states affected by the cuts include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. As many as 850,000 low-income households in these states and Washington, DC will lose an average of $90 in monthly benefits.

Read Feeding America’s response to the Farm Bill here, and the response by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) here.

Read a summary of the Farm Bill compiled by the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities here.

*In North Carolina, SNAP is known as Food & Nutrition Services (FNS).

FNS (SNAP) reductions go into effect

FNS (SNAP) reductions went into effect on November 1 , 2013. The reductions occurred because of an end to the temporary boost in benefits that were part of the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. North Carolina is expected to lose $166 million in benefits during the first year of reductions.

The new maximum monthly benefit amounts can be viewed here.

FNS households can call 1-866-719-0141 to learn more about the reductions. 

More information can be found in the Fall 2013 FNS4NC newsletter.

New income limits for Food & Nutrition Services

On October 1, 2013, new income limits went into effect for Food & Nutrition Services (FNS).  If you or someone you know applied for FNS in the past and did not qualify, check the new income limits to see if you qualify now.  View the new income limits here.

NC DSS releases public notice about November cuts to FNS

The North Carolina Division of Social Services (NC DSS) recently released a public notice regarding the cuts to Food & Nutrition Services (FNS) that are scheduled to go into effect on November 1st, 2013.

Read the notice in English here.

Read the notice in Spanish here.