Fight Over Food Stamps

Another provision of the bill would trim assistance for home heating and cooling, cutting benefits for about 850,000 people by roughly $90 a month, according to the budget office. Those changes would increase whats expected to be a decline in food stamp participation over the next 10 years. The CBO forecasts a roughly 30 percent decline in food-stamp participation over the next 10 years, to 34 million people in fiscal year 2023 from 48 million in fiscal 2014, if current policies dont change. Lottery Winners The Republican measure would also block lottery winners from receiving food stamps. It also doesnt extend a stimulus program that increased benefits, set to expire later this year. The bill will bring more integrity to the program, Representative Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican, said in an interview. When you look at the fact that this program was initiated and started to help those in need for a short period of time, this program will certainly do that after the reforms we put in place today. When food aid is discussed on Capitol Hill , the issue is entwined with farm subsidies because since the 1970s the two types of programs have been combined in a single piece of legislation, marrying the interests of rural and urban lawmakers. The Senate wants to continue that marriage. Cantor and other House Republicans prefer to deal with food aid for the poor separately from subsidies for agriculture. The House bill sets food and farm subsidies on different authorization timelines, a move that would permanently divorce them. Senate Bill The Senate passed a bill that seeks to make changes to federal crop-support and nutrition programs, including the food stamp cuts. That compares with fourfold bigger food-aid reductions in the House bill and $135 billion proposed in a budget the chamber passed that was written by 2012 vice presidential nominee Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin . These cuts would affect a broad array of Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, including working families with children, senior citizens, veterans, and adults who are still looking for work, the White House said in a statement against the bill that threatened a veto should it get to President Barack Obama s desk.

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It was started six years ago to create new markets for family farmers. Vendors, which include local food-service outlets, as well as national brands such as Chipotle and Amy’s Organic, must meet Farm Aid’s criteria for sourcing the ingredients in their food, from organic flour in the panini to free-ranging, antibiotic-free hogs on the barbecue grill. Even the cotton candy has a family farm origin, made from maple syrup produced in the Catskills. “Farm Aid’s mission is about family farmers, and economic opportunity for family farmers is a really big priority of ours,” said Glenda Yoder, associate director of Farm Aid. “We also support good farming practices and rewarding farmers for those practices. So our Homegrown criteria call for food that is sourced from family farms that meet an ecological standard, and that returns a fair price to the farmer.” Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp lead the star-studded lineup this year, along with Jack Johnson, Carlene Carter, Toad the Wet Sprocket and about 10 other artists. The annual concert is the chief moneymaker for the Farm Aid organization Nelson co-founded in 1985 and leads as president. The beneficiaries of the organization’s year-round efforts are always featured prominently at the shows, with a Homegrown Village providing concert-goers a chance to meet local farmers, learn agrarian skills, and eat food from vendors who meet strict criteria set by Farm Aid. “We talk about saving the family farmer, but the fact is, it’s the family farmer who will save us all,” Nelson said at a media event before the gates opened at noon Saturday. Matthews gave a shout-out to activists wearing anti-fracking T-shirts at the media event, which was also open to many farmers, vendors and volunteers. “Don’t frack our farmlands,” Matthew said, to loud applause. Several anti-fracking groups from New York and Pennsylvania had a booth at the event, calling for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to continue the state’s moratorium on shale gas development that began in 2008.

At Food-Filled Farm Aid, Music Isn’t Only Focus

— Paul Thornton, letters editor Altadena resident J.H. Benson questions the GOP ‘s morality: “House Republicans are badly in need of a moral compass. Their hypocrisy is only surpassed by their cruelty. “The GOP says that the 4 million Americans who will be kicked off SNAP are capable of helping themselves. I hope that our very capable farmers aren’t being subsidized while this assistance to the poor is deemed too expensive.” Long Beach resident Matthew Black points out more pressing spending concerns: “The GOP has truly hit a new low. After increasing annual defense spending by more than $300 billion since 2001, spending $2 trillion on unnecessary wars and passing $1.7 trillion in tax cuts between 2001 and 2003 that primarily went to the wealthiest Americans, Republicans need to save $40 billion on food stamps. “Way to go. Why do I feel I’m reading a Charles Dickens novel? “And for those who might reply that Democrats should put their money where their mouths are, this week I donated another $250 to a local food bank. I contribute 5% of my disposable income to food banks.” Frances Terrell Lippman of Sherman Oaks picks up on the Dickens reference: “I guess those Scrooge-like, coldhearted House Republicans thought of an early holiday surprise. How generous of them to think it would be appropriate just to remind people who are hungry and struggling that it would get a little more impossible for them to feed their families. Their apathy is only exceeded by their cruelty. “Being hungry and homeless in America is this country’s greatest shame, and yet our so-called leaders in Washington couldn’t care less and only serve to exacerbate this terrible and fixable situation. Watch out for that karma.” Oxnard resident Steve Binder says The Times should give this issue more attention: “Friday morning, I couldn’t wait to read The Times’ article about the Republican-led House voting to cut off food stamps for children, senior citizens, the disabled and especially our veterans. Too bad it was buried inside the paper.

House Republicans vote to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program was ‘heartless’

Related Stories Be Our Guest: Congress must not stamp out Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program The timing was awful and the human consequences devastating, but House Republicans, being who they are, went ahead and passed $40 billion in cuts to food stamps (now called SNAP) anyway. The bill will leave nearly 4 million Americans hungry, and 210,000 children without school lunches. Apparently, the GOP leaders believe thats not their problem. Were looking at a hunger crisis unlike any weve seen in Food Banks 30-year history, said Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. The sheer meanness of the Republicans action becomes clear once you know that, nationally, nearly 48 million people 1.8 million in New York rely on SNAP. Over 92% of them are children, the elderly, disabled or working families below the poverty line. Coming at a time when one in five children (16 million) suffer hunger, a record-high, the bill would deprive millions of Americans from a proven lifeline to keeping food on the table. I find that idea repugnant and repulsive, said an irate Rep. Jose Serrano (D-Bronx), who added that the cuts represented one of the cruelest visions of government that we have seen in generations. Repugnant, repulsive and needlessly cruel, these cuts would be disastrous for New York City. A study released Wednesday by the Food Research and Action Center revealed that nearly one in four households with children in New York cant afford enough food. In surveys conducted from 2008-2012, more than 23% of households with children in New York said there were times in the prior year when they did not have enough money to buy food. Some 14% of households without children experienced the same problem. For these people, economic recovery is one more meaningless slogan.