SNAP

Jeremy Keith, Flickr (Creative Commons)

Some food pantries in Kentucky are preparing to serve more residents following changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, that are now in effect.

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.

The Local Impact of the Food Stamp Debate

Oct 27, 2013
John Paul Henry


 Just as the federal government came to a grinding halt, a bill responsible for feeding millions of Americans quietly expired. It is this Farm Bill, which contains funding for food stamps, known as the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

36 year-old and Paducah resident Aleatha Moore is one of those Americans. 

Nearly 870,000 Kentuckians will see a decrease in their food stamp benefits.   The change comes as federal recovery dollars dry up.

With the possibility of a federal shutdown only hours away, government agencies have produced detailed contingency plans of how the shutdown would affect their operations as well as services in our listening area. 

If Congress cannot pass  a spending bill by midnight, most federal agencies will tell non-essential government employees to stay home on Tuesday. However, a few entities are considered essential programs and will continue to operate under mandatory spending. 

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The Kentucky agency that oversees the federal nutrition program, formally known as food stamps, is critical of a piece of Congressional legislation to cut billions of dollars from the program. In western Kentucky, more than 42,000 households in the 1st congressional district receive financial assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Kentucky Community Health Services Assistant Communication Director Gwenda Bond said any SNAP benefit reduction will hurt those using assistance to help meet their nutrition needs.