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Monday, 17 March 2014 02:47

Food bank demand growing in Missouri

   While unemployment rates are decreasing, the economic recovery still isn't trickling down to the dinner table for too many hungry Missourians.  That's according to Monica Palmer with the Missouri Food Bank Association.  She says 2013 was a record-breaking year, with more than 100 million pounds of food distributed across the state - a 23 percent jump from the year before.
   Palmer says more Missouri families are finding they simply can't stretch their budgets any further.  "Their income is not keeping up, because groceries are going up, childcare is going up, everything is going up, but wages are not competing - they're actually going down," Palmer said.
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks Missouri number two in the nation for "very low food security," which means many of the state's residents have a hard time consistently providing food for themselves and their families. More information on accessing or donating to local food banks is at FeedingMissouri.org
   Palmer says not only are more people visiting the state's food banks for the first time, they're relying on them for longer periods of time.  She says that has led to a shift in the food bank mission. "Historically, food banks are the organizations that help with emergency needs," Palmer said.  "But over the last several years we've seen food banks supplying more maintenance food because people aren't finding the jobs, they're not getting back on their feet quite as much."
   Palmer says cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program last year equated to three and a half million lost meals for Missouri families. While the recently-passed federal Farm Bill does allocate an additional 200-million dollars to food banks nationwide, Palmer says it's too soon to know how much of an impact it will have.
 
Published in Local News

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in households that rely on food stamps.

That's a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.

Some of the change is due to demographics, like the trend toward people having fewer children. But the slow economic recovery is also playing a role, with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs.

Government data shows that food stamp participation has grown fastest among workers with some college training. It's a sign the safety net has stretched to cover what used to be the middle class.

The program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.

Published in National News

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is pushing back against Governor Jay Nixon's plan to change eligibility for food stamps.

State Senator Jamilah Nasheed spoke out at Mount Airy Missionary Baptist Church in North St. Louis. She says 58,000 Missouri adults could lose access to food stamp. Nixon has proposed removing Missouri from a waiver that allows childless adults to receive food stamps without meeting certain work requirements.

Nasheed spoke to Fox 2 News, "This is not the right thing to do. Have compassion for the poor, have a heart for the poor, and we`re going to do everything that we can to reverse this decision."

Nixon defends the decision, saying federal food stamp benefits could decrease. 

 

Published in Local News
Sunday, 13 October 2013 09:11

Food stamp cards back online in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Shoppers in Illinois and other states were unable to use their food stamp debit cards because of an outage at the vendor that processes the payments on Saturday.

Xerox Corporation said Saturday night that access to food stamp systems has been restored in 17 states that were affected by a temporary outage.

People in Ohio, Michigan and Texas were unable to use food stamp debit-style cards for hours on Saturday. Xerox said a routine test of backup systems resulted in a temporary system failure.

Xerox Spokeswoman Jennifer Wasmer said in an email that it took time to restore the system and make sure it was fully functional.

Published in Local News

One man is in the hospital after being stabbed by a robber who was trying to take his food stamps.

The victim was approached by the suspect in North County late last night. Police say the robber told the man to give him his food stamps. When the victim resisted, the two started fighting. The robber stabbed the man three times and ran away.

Police are looking for a black male who is about 165lbs, 5’9″ tall and 25-30 years old. The victim is in stable condition.

Published in Local News

NEW YORK (AP) - The mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities are reviving a push against letting government food vouchers be used to buy soda and other sugary drinks.

 

   In a letter to congressional leaders Tuesday, the mayors say it's "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of the subsidies for sugar-laden beverages.

   New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office released the letter. Bloomberg is known for trying to bar eateries from selling sugary drinks in big sizes. He also has tried before to stop food stamps from going to buy soda.

   The U.S. Department of Agriculture turned down a 2010 request to let New York City do that.

   The USDA declined to comment on Tuesday's letter. The American Beverage Association didn't immediately respond.

Published in National News

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