Food Stamps

The House of Representatives passed a compromise farm bill Wednesday, which among other provisions will makes some cuts to food stamps. The deal includes $8.6 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

 In a conversation with WYSO's Emily McCord, Senator Sherrod Brown says the bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than the $40 billion cut Republicans originally wanted and that legislation will grow the agricultural industry.

The number of replacement food stamp cards issued by the state of Ohio is down - meaning fewer were lost, stolen and used fraudulently.

State data show Ohio issued nearly 328 thousand replacement electronic benefit cards in 2013, down 8 percent from 2012. During that period, participation in the program increased.

Food stamp benefits are uploaded monthly on benefit transfer cards, which are similar to debit cards and require a personal identification number.

Press photo

The last week we’ve been revisiting the War on Poverty launched by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In fifty years, the poverty rate in the U.S. has been reduced from about 25 percent to 16 percent, but the discussion merely highlights how statistics are a matter of interpretation: Democrats supportive of federal policies aimed at reducing poverty tend to point to the numbers as a sign of success, while many Republicans point to the same numbers as proof of the policies’ failure.

134K Ohioans Must Meet Work Requirements to Get Food Stamps

Nov 27, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons user Selbe B

As families prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving, state policymakers are urging the governor to change requirements for food assistance. Starting at the beginning of next year, more than 134,000 Ohioans will lose their food stamps unless they meet certain work or training requirements. This affects childless adults ages 18 to 50 who are not disabled.

A cut to food assistance goes into effect across the country today, Nov. 1. The end of federal stimulus funds will affect close to 2 million people in Ohio who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, for food.

After the economy crashed, the 2009 Recovery Act propped up food assistance with  billions in additional funds. That money expired on Halloween, which means reduced benefits for almost all SNAP recipients.

Leslie Bates of Greene County Job and Family Services says the average cut in Greene County is $26 per family.

Ohioans who use the federal food stamp system ran into trouble this weekend. Lisa Hamler Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks says the system went down when upgrades that the states didn’t know about were being made. The outage happened Saturday morning and went on for 12 hours in much of Ohio. Hamler Fugitt says to make matters worse, some retailers seemed to be unaware that they could call a one eight hundred number to get authority to allow recipients to purchase up to $50 worth of groceries on their accounts.

Remember the Farm Bill? The omnibus law that funds food stamps, crop insurance, and a slew of farm subsidies? At midnight Monday, a nine-month extension of the latest version of that bill expired, which means for the moment, the law reverts to its 1949 version.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Legislators have been hashing out the future of food stamps in Washington this week. But here in Ohio, changes to food assistance, also called SNAP, are coming down the pike regardless. Work requirements will go into effect Oct. 1 for 134,000 Ohioans who depend on food stamps.

(WYSO/Lewis Wallace)

  U.S. Senator Rob Portman met with farmers in the Dayton area Wednesday to talk about the farm bill. The bill, which is up for renewal, subsidizes both agribusiness and food stamps.

The farmers want a new bill passed soon to protect crop insurance, a federally-subsidized program that helps farmers cope when nature destroys their crops. But Portman recently voted against the Senate version of the omnibus bill.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman will meet with farmers in the Dayton area today to answer questions about the farm bill.

For most farmers, the first concern about the farm bill is making sure there is a farm bill. The bill expires every five years, and the U.S. House and Senate have until October to agree on a new version or extend the old one.

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