food stamps

PolitiFact
6:05 am
Wed July 17, 2013

PolitiFact: How Well Do Food Stamps Work?

KUT's Emily Donahue sat down with PolitiFact Texas' Gardner Selby to see if U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego's claim that 97 percent of stamps are properly distributed.
KUT News

U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, recently said 97 percent of all food stamp benefits reach those in need – meaning the benefit program, which caters to those at or below the federal poverty level, has an error rate of only three percent.

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Texas
1:08 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Farm Bill Could Kick 170,000 Texans Off Food Stamps

A Fiesta grocery store in Austin. In Travis County over $34 million could be lost to the bill.
flickr.com/rutlo

The U.S. House is considering a version of a farm bill that could heavily impact benefits for Texans receiving food stamps.  

The change to state policy standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) could take away 482 million meals for the hungry, and could cut 171,000 people from food assistance statewide, according to the Texas Food Bank Network.

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Politics
8:26 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Food Stamp Benefits a Mixed Bag for Texas Farmers Markets

Tiger Whitehead and his children Logic and Domnick, who use SNAP and the the Sustainable Food Center Farmer's Market double dollars coupons, shopping at the Tuesday afternoon Farmer's Market at 2835 East MLK Blvd., Austin, Texas, on March 19, 2013.
Specner Selvidge for the Texas Tribune

Using wooden tokens, Ellen Ray pays for carrots, parsnips and broccoli at the Austin Sustainable Food Center’s farmers market in Sunset Valley. Ray, a participant in the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is grateful that the market allows customers to buy its fresh produce with SNAP benefits.

“I was overwhelmingly enthusiastic when I found out they took SNAP,” Ray said, eyeing jam at one stand. “It’s an enabler to do something I already love.”

SNAP, which is operated in Texas by the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, has provided grants and other support to states including Texas to make it easier for farmers markets to accept benefits as currency. Another federally funded program that helps low-income Texans buy groceries, the Texas Women, Infants and Children program, launched a two-year pilot program in December 2011 to allow farmers markets to accept WIC customers.

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Politics
6:18 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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Economy
1:00 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Canned Goods are Great - But Food Banks Really Need Money

Food banks are able to get food at better prices than consumers.
KUT News

Canned food drives are common around the holiday season. But food banks across Texas have placed a few other things a little higher on their wish lists this year.

The Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) is made up of the state’s 20 food banks. The network says if you’re looking to help this holiday season, a financial gift will go further than an in-kind gift. That’s because food banks can work with corporations and farmers to get more for the money.

"We work with farmers to get them to donate their surplus product. And we can do that by giving them as little as ten cents per pound to help them offset the costs of getting that surplus produce out of the ground and to food banks. We have lots of corporate partnerships with big food retailers. And so we can really turn that dollar or ten dollar contribution into so much more because of the relationships that we have," Celia Cole, TFBN CEO, says.

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Health
1:28 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

First Person: At Risk of Hunger

Southeast Austin resident Maria Del Rasario Ramirez has lived and worked in the United States for twenty years, and she is one of 162,440 people in Travis County at risk of hunger, according to an estimate by Feeding America. As an undocumented immigrant, she is ineligible to receive food stamps, but she does receive benefits for her granddaughter, whom she is raising.

The food stamps program – officially called the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) – makes up the largest portion of the trillion dollar Farm Bill, which expires at the end of the month. The Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House have been debating how much to cut the program. The Senate wants $4.5 billion in SNAP cuts. The House is calling for $16.5 billion.

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Texas
11:57 am
Wed September 5, 2012

USDA: One in Five Texas Households At Risk of Hunger

Food benefits are at stake as the U.S. Congress debates the nation's farm bill.
KUT News

Almost one out of five Texas households is at risk of hunger, according to a new report by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says 18.5 percent of Texans households experienced “low or very low food security” from 2009 to 2011. The Texas rate exceeds the national average by almost four percent and is the third highest rate of “food insecurity” in the country.

The USDA considers a family “food secure” if it has enough nutritious food to eat without having to rely on emergency food supplies, scavenging or stealing food. The USDA has used food insecurity as a measure since 2006 because it says “hunger is an individual-level physiological condition” which is more difficult to track.

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Texas
11:36 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Advocates Worry Food Aid Cuts Could Hurt Texas Families

Todd Wiseman / Julie Jordan Scott, Texas Tribune

As Congress debates proposed cuts to programs that help feed needy families and school children, some school officials and advocates for low-income families are concerned about how the changes could affect Texans who rely on food stamps and reduced price school lunches.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, provides food for 3.6 million Texans each year. But some lawmakers argue that the program has grown too large and become too expensive, and they are looking for ways to cut SNAP in the 2012 Farm Bill.

"A lot of Texas families rely on SNAP, especially now," said Jonathan Lewis, food policy specialist for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based liberal think tank. "Families that already are having trouble paying for their electrical bill, rent and the gas in their car could struggle even more." 

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Economy
12:43 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Food Stamps Helped Many Families Weather The Recession

Food stamps kept the carts rolling during the recession.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 10:26 am

Food stamps have long been a favorite whipping boy of politicians looking to beat up on government spending. But the massive food-assistance program does help keep people out of poverty, according to new research.

Food stamp benefits led to a decline of 4.4 percent in poverty from 2000 to 2009, according to a new report from the USDA's Economic Research Service.

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