Food stamps

Travis Isaacs via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Double Dollars is expanding to west Kentucky as two farmers markets in Calloway and Daviess County become eligible for the program.

Kara Dethlefsen lined up early on a recent morning for the food pantry at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base near San Diego. She and her husband, both active-duty Marines, took turns holding their 4-month-old daughter.

"We most like to get the avocados, lemons, some vegetables to cook up," says Dethlefsen, 27, who first heard about the pantry from an on-base nurse after giving birth.

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 A Tennessee State Representative has withdrawn her bill seeking to restrict items that can be purchased with food stamps.

Marek Idowski, 123rf Stock Photo

Food banks in Kentucky are preparing for increased demand after new food stamp rules went into effect this week. The changes require able-bodied adults without children to work, volunteer or be in job training 20 hours a week.

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Approximately 9,000 people living in eight Kentucky counties will lose their food stamps in about a week for not complying with federal work and training requirements according to the state. 

One month down, two to go.

For unemployed adults in 22 states, that's how long they can count on help with the grocery bills: Starting this January, they have three months to find a job or lose their food assistance.

SNAP benefits — formerly known as food stamps — have been tied to employment for two decades. Unless they are caring for children or unable to work, adults need to have a job to receive more than three months of benefits.

Early this month, House Speaker Paul Ryan asked a crowd in Washington, D.C., "What kind of country do we want to be?" As he unfurled his sweeping 2016 agenda, he returned to one of his signature issues: public benefit programs. There are just too many, and they don't work, he said: "We are trapping people in poverty."

The wealth gap in America manifests itself not just in our pocketbooks but also in our bellies: The poor are eating less nutritious food than everyone else.

So concludes a new review of 25 studies published between 2003 and 2014 that looked at the food spending and quality of diets of participants in SNAP, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

A new analysis from a rural non-profit shows western Kentuckians using food stamps has continued to increase, but the region is faring better than the state as a whole.

An analysis of USDA data from the rural non-profit The Daily Yonder shows more than 17 percent of people in our region relied on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or food stamps, in 2011. That number for the state as a whole that year: more than 19 percent.

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The four subcommittee leaders charged with finding a compromise on the federal Farm Bill are scheduled to meet tomorrow, just ten days before a Dec. 13 deadline to reach a compromise.

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