EBT, SNAP, Food Stamps ENDS in NovemberComputer Glitch Blamed For Nationwide EBT System Shutdown
Oct. 13, 2013 THIS WAS NOT ACCIDENTAL!
People in Ohio, Michigan, Maine, and other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp EBT cards on Saturday.
Shoppers had to abandon baskets of groceries because they couldnt access their benefits.
Other states affected included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
SNAP, Food Stamps ENDS in November was on a blog post.
Another post said - greatly reduced. Time will tell. Matthew 24 and 25
Posted <*))))>< by
HARBINGER WARNINGS - Isaiah 9 prophecy
ZionsCRY NEWS with prophetic analysis
WALMART MICHIGAN NOT TAKING EBT CARDS
I live here in Michigan, this morning I received a call from my daughter,
she said Walmart isn't taking the EBT card (food stamps) due to changing
systems? I went for my self and sure enough. I went to Fred Miejiers
grocery store and it also had a sign in front of store stating the same
thing. People were like disappointed and were turning away back to theirs
cars. I went in the store and a lot of the shelves are bare even in
Walmart. Do you know if this is happening in other States? It only tells me
one thing by people turning back into their vehicles, people don't have
money to buy food.
My best friend and I have been discussing this EBT thing all afternoon. I
am not buying the upgrade excuse, because my friend is in charge of a large
pantry here in southern Ohio. The last time they did an upgrade she was
notified and so were the clients. Everything went smoothly then.
She heard nothing about this thing today. She was at our local store and
said there was some commotion, and she left right away. We both have made some calls to family not to go to the stores until this is
* blog postings
EBT was no accident, it was a TEST
Debt Default Could Spark Food Stamp Riots
October 14, 2013 Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet.com
EBT card glitch led to “mini-riots” and looting after just hours on Saturday.
Food stamps, unemployment benefits and social security payments could be delayed for days if the US suffers a debt default, an alarming prospect given that an EBT card outage which lasted for just hours on Saturday caused mini-riots and looting at several Walmart stores.
EBT card food stamp recipients ransack Wal-Mart stores
Stealing carts full of food during federal computer glitch
When the federal EBT food stamp system suffered a critical failure on Saturday, local retailers were disconnected from the federal food stamp database that keeps track of how much credit is left on each individual EBT card. Seizing the opportunity provided by the glitch, EBT card holders in Louisiana ransacked their local Wal-Mart stores, stuffing their shopping carts full of groceries and “paying” for them with near-empty EBT cards that essentially had unlimited account balances because all accounting was offline.
SNAP (Food Stamps) END in November
Oct 17, 2013 The USDA is directing states to NOT issue November food stamps.
DHS Preps for mass chaos over food shortages.
The EBT card glitch was PLANNED.
A rumor is only a rumor - until it happens.
Obama is trying to provoke Revolution
Danger! All Hell Is About to Break Loose!
Oct 17, 2013 Why is the only real group of people we’ve heard of that are doing anything about our national dilemma is the truckers? Where are the factory workers, parents, teachers and especially the preachers?
Why are we willing to just accept a socialistic-communist (try Muslim) nation that was once based on freedom?
If you consider yourself American, and you vow today, THIS DAY, to obey God, who created you, and stand up and do something for God first, and this nation to make a difference–then listen to this song and bow your head and make a promise not to give in to the powers of hell! Give God praise, and in the name of Jesus, say,
As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD! In Jesus name, Amen!”
I am extremely angry by what I see going on! Come on people! Get up and do something! What is wrong with you?
Why have you allowed this Obama with an ungodly spirit of Antichrist, Anti-freedom, Anti-love,
ANTI everything that is good, natural, and free make a mockery of this nation as he does?
Obama is an insult to humanity, and proud of it! He purposely does everything in his power to disrespect our country!
Why are you NOT down on your knees in repentance, asking God for help? Do you not fear God?
God is a God of love.
But IN HIS LOVE He is righteous and judges! He is also a God of war!
Not only will we be judged for what we do, but we will be judged for what we DO NOT do!
Food stamp benefits going down
Oct 22, 2013 Millions of American families could face a sparse holiday table when food stamps benefits get reduced in November, and that could be just the start of deeper cuts to the program to feed poor families.
The modern-day food stamp plan, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is scheduled to scale back benefits for all recipients on Nov. 1 because a recession-era boost in benefits is expiring.
The cut comes as lawmakers also are considering billions of dollars of reductions to the overall SNAP program, which has grown substantially in recent years amid the weak economy and high unemployment.
The program is now serving more than 23 million households, or nearly 48 million people, according to the most recent government data through June. The USDA says the average monthly benefit is about $275 per household.
When Electronic Food Stamps Fail, Who Foots the Bill?
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), said its EBT program was disrupted in several states in October.
Fast-Food Wages $7 Billion of Public Assistance
Low-paying service jobs tend to be more readily available today than alternative occupations.
When fast-food workers staged protests to demand the federal minimum wage be raised from $7.25 to $15 an hour, even sympathetic observers weren’t optimistic about the prospects. There seems to be a ready supply of people who will work for low wages. And higher wages could lead to higher prices.
47 Million Food Stamp Recipients Are Having Their Benefits Cut Back On November 1st
October 24, 2013 47.6 million Americans are about to have their food stamp benefits cut, and most of them have absolutely no idea that it is about to happen. They are going to be very angry when they find out!
NBC News is reporting that ALL food stamp recipients are going to have their food stamp benefits reduced in November.
Today on talk radio a lady called in, worried about the cutbacks. The radio host claimed he knew nothing about it.
October 26, 2013 1:00 AM
The Republican Embrace of the Welfare State
The establishment GOP has accepted progressivism’s central premise.
Charles Krauthammer has come to my rescue. You see, I’ve been on the receiving end of some spirited reaction since asserting in last weekend’s column that what we commonly call the Republican establishment — i.e., not all individual Republicans but GOP leadership — “is more sympathetic to Obama’s case for the welfare state than to the Tea Party’s case for limited government and individual liberty.” The statement may have been provocative in the sense of expressing a truth that people on the political Right prefer not to talk about. But it was not controversial because it is indisputably true.
This week, Dr. Krauthammer, Washington’s most influential expositor of mainstream GOP thought, obligingly spared me the need to prove my point. He gave as clear an account of the modern Republican conception of “conservatism” as you will find. Fittingly, he did it on the program of progressive commentator and comedian Jon Stewart. Today’s smartest Republicans, self-aware enough to know their core views deviate significantly from those of conservatives in the tradition of Buckley, Goldwater, and Reagan, are more likely to say what they think to Jon Stewart. His audience is apt to be receptive, maybe even won over, by a mature progressivism portrayed as what conservatives really think. It is not likely to go over as well with, say, readers of National Review.
Stewart claimed that conservatives are anti-government. Initially, Krauthammer appeared to reject this caricature, replying, “The conservative idea is not that government has no role.” But, alas, when he got around to what the proper role of government is, Krauthammer sounded more like Stewart than Buckley.
To begin with, he largely buys the caricature. It would have been credible, he told Stewart, to have argued that conservatives were anti-government “in the Thirties, when conservatives opposed the New Deal.”
“Riots always begin typically the same way”: Food stamp shutdown looms Friday
The head of the largest food bank says the $5 billion annual cut will take a week of meals off millions' plates
Food stamp recipients face a massive benefit cut set to kick in when stimulus funds expire Friday. The nationwide cut “is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three,” according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis using the USDA’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” CBPP called the roughly $5 billion annual cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “unprecedented” in “depth and breadth.”
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank for New York City, told Salon Monday. Purvis said that the looming cut would mean about 76 million meals “that will no longer be on the plates of the poorest families” in NYC alone – a figure that outstrips the total number of meals distributed each year by the Food Bank for New York City, the largest food bank in the country. “There will be an immediate impact,” she said.
“The fact that they’re going to lose what’s basically an entire week’s worth food” each month, said Purvis, “it’s pretty daunting.” She told Salon that while policymakers “are attempting to punish people for being poor,” and “people are comforted by believing that they know that a person has to have done something wrong in order to be poor,” in reality, “I can tell you that more and more folks have more than one job and are still needing help.” (As I reported last week, audio recorded by a McDonald’s worker-activist showed a counselor on an employee hotline encouraging her to sign up for food stamps because it “takes a lot of the pressure off how much money you spend on groceries.”) Purvis added that cutting food stamps was “not even good business sense,” because each dollar of food stamps infuses over $1.70 of spending into the economy.
“We were all told that these cuts for November 1 would not happen,” said Purvis. When “they decided they were going to take from some of the increases to food stamps” to fund First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, she told Salon, “We were told, you know, by the president…these cuts will not happen, we won’t get rid of the program. Well guess what? November 1 is around the corner, and no one has restored that money.”
Some prominent conservatives have questioned the significance of public assistance cuts for the poor. Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kistol contended during the government shutdown that “it’s not going to be the end of the world, honestly, even if you’re on nutritional assistance from the federal government. The state of Arkansas can help out, localities can help out, churches can help out, I believe no one is going to starve in Arkansas because of the shutdown.” Asked about such claims, Purvis said that citing the efforts of groups like hers as a reason not to worry about public assistance cuts was “one of the most ill-informed arguments on the planet.” She told Salon, “the first line of defense against hunger is a food stamp.” While some “have had this way of romanticizing charity,” she said, “charity is also a system that is based on capacity and resources.” Purvis added that politicians “didn’t make any additional resources available to these magical charities that they expect to step in for this devastation that’s geared at the poorest of Americans.”
Purvis said she and her colleagues are “begging” Congress to pass legislation by December to restore the expired funds. Rather than “trying to raise a dollar” to avert disaster privately, she said, a solution will require Americans to “raise their voices,” because “the avenue has to be activism.” In the meantime, she predicted “a very tough Thanksgiving.”
Food stamp cuts kick in as Congress debates more
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress has begun negotiations on further cuts to the program.
Beginning in November, a temporary benefit from the 2009 economic stimulus that boosts food stamp dollars will no longer be available. According to the Agriculture Department, that means a family of four receiving food stamps will start receiving $36 less a month.
The benefits, which go to 1 in 7 Americans, fluctuate based on factors that include food prices, inflation and income. The rolls have swelled as the economy has struggled in recent years, with the stimulus providing higher benefits and many people signing up for the first time.
As a result, the program has more than doubled in cost since 2008, now costing almost $80 billion a year. That large increase in spending has turned the program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, into a target for House Republicans looking to reduce spending.
Negotiations on a wide-ranging farm bill, including cuts to the SNAP program, began Wednesday. Five-year farm bills passed by both the House and the Senate would cut food stamps, reductions that would come on top of the cut that will go into effect Friday. But the two chambers are far apart on the amounts.
Legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House would cut food stamps by an additional $4 billion annually and tighten eligibility requirements. The House bill would also end government waivers that have allowed able-bodied adults without dependents to receive food stamps indefinitely and allow states to put broad new work requirements in place.
The Senate farm bill would cut a tenth of the House amount, with Democrats and President Barack Obama opposing major cuts.
Farm-state lawmakers have been pushing the farm bill for more than two years, and Wednesday's conference negotiations represented the opening round in final talks. If the bill is not passed by the end of the year and current farm law is not extended, certain dairy supports would expire that could raise the price of milk. Farmers would start to feel more effects next spring.
"It took us years to get here but we are here," House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said. "Let's not take years to get it done."
The biggest obstacle to a final bill is how far apart the two parties are on food stamps. Lucas said at the conference meeting that he was hoping to find common ground on the issue, but House GOP leaders such as Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., have insisted on higher cuts, saying the program should be targeted to the neediest people.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., sent out a statement as the meeting opened that said food stamp recipients "deserve swift action from Congress to pass a bill that provides the much-needed nutritional support for our children, our seniors, our veterans and our communities."
As Congress debates the cuts to the program, charities say they are preparing for the farm bill reductions as well as the scheduled cuts taking place Friday.
"Charities cannot fill the gap for the cuts being proposed to SNAP," said Maura Daly of Feeding America, a network of the nation's food banks. "We are very concerned about the impact on the charitable system."
Daly says food banks may have to as much as double their current levels of distribution if the House cuts were enacted. The Congressional Budget Office says as many as 3.8 million people could lose their benefits in 2014 if the House bill became law.
All by design...
Food stamp cuts' $10B effect doesn't tell the whole story
Margaret Purvis makes her living by ensuring that low-income people have enough to eat, and she sees that job as about to get a lot tougher.
That's because benefit cuts to food stamp recipients kick in Friday, a move that will siphon $5 billion off a program that helps out one in seven Americans put breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table.
As president of the Food Bank for New York City, Purvis expects those cuts will direct even more people to her organization, whose 1,000-plus member groups already provide 400,000 meals a day, she said.
"Our members are panicking," Purvis said as time wound down to the benefit decreases. "We're telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines."
Recipients of food stamps—officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—are expected to lose an average $36 from a $275.13 monthly benefit per household. A near-record 47.6 million Americans representing 23.1 million households are on the program, the cost of which will hit $63.4 billion this year.
The cuts are a result of the expiration of a SNAP budget increase that was part of President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus bill. Over the past few years, a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans have voted in favor of the cuts in exchange for higher education funding and school nutrition programs.
A group of Democrats who initially supported the cuts organized a protest earlier this week to demand that funding be reinstated.
"It was a piece of legislation that said let's change nutrition standards, let's get junk foods out of our schools, and let's make sure that our kids can have those fruits and vegetables," Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro told the Huffington Post about the nutrition bill.
"There was no money for it. The price of it was $2.2 billion. That came from the food stamp program, and all of us here complained," she said. "And we were opposed to that, but we knew that it was a good first step in getting the Hunger-Free Kids Act."
There appears little appetite to reverse the cuts, however, despite the protests and worries from charity leaders such as Purvis at the New York food bank.
The repercussions go far beyond the city and are more than humanitarian.
Programs such as SNAP have what economists call a "multiplier effect"—in other words, a dollar given to an entitlement recipient has amplified economic benefits. In this case, those consist primarily of the grocers who benefit when food stamp users shop in their stores. The estimated multiplier effect for food stamps is as high as 2 to 1.
"This isn't just a New York issue," Purvis said. "In the world of hunger relief, food stamps are supposed to be the first line of defense."
Amira Watson, a working single mother of four in Brooklyn, recently had to sign up for food stamps after her marriage ended and she lost one of the two jobs she was working after taking maternity leave.
Though she applied a few months ago, her approval won't take effect until Nov. 1—coincidentally or not, the day the cuts kick in.
Watson, who works nights as a medical assistant at an assisted-living facility for the disabled, worries that the SNAP benefits won't be enough to feed her kids, ages 15, 13, 4 and 3 months.
"The job is good with medical benefits, but not with the paycheck," she said. "I'm always in the hole with bills. If I pay the rent I'm sacrificing the light. If I pay the light bill I'm sacrificing the gas bill. It's always something."
Having the pantry on hand helps.
"Thank God for the food pantry and the Campaign Against Hunger," she said. "While I'm waiting for all this processing—glitches here and glitches there—thank God I could go there and shop for some food. I got some baby milk for my newborn, got rice, got a nice amount of stuff that will sustain us until something comes up."
People on food stamps have become easy to demonize—many nonrecipients have stood in line behind those who pile their shopping carts high, using their allocation on beer and junk food.
And while there are some abuses, the need for the program says something about the dichotomy of the stock market's soaring to new heights while income disparity widens to Great Depression-era levels.
SNAP participation has doubled over the past 10 years and risen nearly 25 percent over the past four.
"Something has changed about America since the financial crisis, and the still widespread popularity of the SNAP program is emblematic of that shift," Nick Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx, a New York-based brokerage and investment research firm, said in a report. "The American economic record, based on the food stamp data, is still pretty lousy."
Colas said the economic hit from the food stamp cuts will be roughly $10 billion, with the numbers probably not telling the full story.
"It may not matter to the economic data on which Wall Street hangs its fedora, but it is certainly enough to spark a political response," he said. "How this plays out, I honestly have no idea. We are in uncharted waters here, as the historical record clearly shows."
US ends food stamp benefits as Congress debates more cuts
Nov. 1, 2013 US food aid benefits being cut as an extension of the government programme expires, while legislators fight over further cuts.
Benefits to the supplemental nutrition assistance program (Snap) will be lowered by $36 (£22) a month for a family of 4.
Some 47 million low income Americans will be affected by the cuts.
Food aid in the US has grown to $80bn a year due to higher unemployment and rising food costs.
About one in seven Americans relies on Snap, also known as food stamps.
The benefits were originally expanded during the recent economic recession to stimulate the economy and help the poorest Americans.
Republicans in Congress are seeking further reductions to the programme and say it should be better targeted at the most needy.
Retailers and grocers around the US are concerned about the possible negative impact the reduction will have on consumer spending.
All by design. Obamafia WANT riots, civil war, martial law.
NO FOODS STAMPS AT ALL til Dec 1 2013 in Texas.
Oct 26, 2013 blog, Houston, Texas
My daughter got a letter in Texas saying food stamps for Oct then skipped NOV and no issuance of EBT Till Dec 1.
Looks like no one is going to get a check for NOV. She said others got the same letter. Even some elderly people got the letter.
Wal-Mart to Widows Will Feel U.S. Food Stamp Cuts From Today
Annie Crist says she dreads telling her two daughters that cuts in food-stamp benefits taking effect today means less chicken and fewer hamburgers for dinner.
And with deeper cuts looming as part of a possible U.S. budget deal, Crist and other recipients may feel an even greater pinch -- along with retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT:US), Target Corp. (TGT:US) and Kroger Co. (KR:US)
“I don’t bother them or worry them with adult issues or adult problems,” Crist, a 30-year-old self-employed babysitter in Lancaster, Ohio, southeast of Columbus, said in a telephone interview. “But if they ask me, ‘Well, why can’t we get this? We always get this,’ how am I going to explain that?”
Food-stamp spending reached a record $78.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, due in part to a temporary boost in benefits passed as part of the 2009 economic stimulus that expires today. Lawmakers battling over U.S. farm and budget policy are looking to cut deeper by tightening eligibility rules that could drop as many as 3 million people from the program.
With an estimated 8 percent of shoppers using food stamps, the impact will probably be felt most acutely by discount retailers such as Dollar General Corp. (DG:US), Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO:US) and Wal-Mart, said Bryan Gildenberg, chief knowledge officer of Kantar Retail.
“You’ll find the effects will happen quite quickly,” Gildenberg said. “These are shoppers that have probably already allocated their spending down to the dollar.”
Crist said her budget leaves little room for extras. The $547 a month she received in food benefits for herself and her daughters, ages 13 and 8, will become $497 today, as a roughly 5 percent benefit cut takes effect nationwide. With utilities and other expenses, she said she will be spending less on fresh meats, fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
Grocers say they’re watching the situation closely. “We’re a little concerned about the food stamp cut, I can tell you that,” Dennis Eidson, president and CEO of Spartan Stores Inc. (SPTN:US), a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based grocer, said in a conference call Oct. 24. “That could be a meaningful event for us.”
Kroger, the biggest U.S. grocery chain, said it doesn’t expect the food-stamp drop to affect its sales. “Customers may shift to spending more of their cash on food and less cash on other things,” Keith Dailey, a spokesman for the Cincinnati-based company, said in an e-mail.
Monthly enrollment for what’s officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program peaked last December at 47.8 million. It was 47.6 million in July, according to the most-recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s up from 28.2 million five years ago, when the program’s annual cost was $37.6 billion.
“All retailers who sell food are likely to feel the impact of cuts, since people receiving assistance often don’t have excess income to make up the difference,” said Jennifer Bartashus, senior analyst for food retailing for Bloomberg Industries in Skillman, New Jersey.
Nearly half of all food stamp redemptions are in big-box supercenters such as Wal-Mart or Target while most of the rest are in supermarkets, she said. Of the total $72.9 billion in food stamps redeemed, $36.2 billion went to supercenters like Wal-Mart and Target and $25 billion to supermarkets, she said.
Stores with a higher portion of low-income customers will lose some revenue, though it could partially be offset by those trading down to discount-style stores, Bartashus said. The cuts could change shopping patterns for those on assistance toward store-brand items, which are generally cheaper than name-brand, she said.
Target spokeswoman Amy Joiner said in an e-mail that “we are monitoring the situation but aren’t going to discuss or speculate on impact to the business.”
Asked for comment, a Wal-Mart spokesman referred to remarks made by Chief Executive Officer Bill Simon on Oct. 15. Simon told analysts that the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company, which is the biggest U.S. food-seller and retailer, may see some benefits from the reduction.
“Price will become more important” as food-stamp recipients pay more nutrition costs out of pocket. “And when price is more important, we’re more relevant,” Simon said.
rest+page 2: http://www.businessweek.com/news/...ot-food-stamp-cuts-starting-today
Food stamp cuts create high demand for food bank supplies
The holiday season is approaching in November and December, the time of year when most food banks receive more than half of their donations for the year. The flip side: More people turn to food banks for help during that time, too.
Food banks across the country, stretched thin in the aftermath of the recession, are bracing for more people coming through their doors in the wake of cuts to the federal food stamp program.
Food stamp benefits to 47 million Americans were cut starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without new funding from a deadlocked Congress.
Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four that gets $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36.
"It may not sound like a lot but to a person like me, it is," says Annie Crisp, 30, a single mother of two girls in Lancaster, Ohio. "It's not just a number."
She says she received a little less than $550 a month in food stamps and now will receive $497. Crisp, a babysitter who brings home about $830 a month, says the food stamps help her buy her family fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.
Crisp worries now that she may end up trying to supplement her family's groceries by going to a food bank or cutting into her electric or gas money for the month. The cut, she says, also means she will have to buy more canned fruits and vegetables, forgoing her daughters' favorite fruit, kiwi, and buying packaged meat.
Food banks served 37 million Americans in 2010, up from 25 million in 2006, according to the most recent numbers from Feeding America, an umbrella organization for 200 food banks nationwide.
"Our network is already overburdened with a a tremendous increase in need," says Maura Daly, a Feeding America spokeswoman.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, says the cuts will hurt more than 1.8 million Ohioans. "This is taking food off the plate and out of the mouths of our most vulnerable friends and neighbors," she says.
She says seniors, children, people with disabilities and veterans will be among the groups hardest hit by the cuts because they are the groups most reliant on food stamps.
The saving grace, she says, is that the holiday season is approaching in November and December, the time of year when most food banks receive more than half of their donations during the year. The flip side is that more people turn to food banks for help during that time.
Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, says the full impact is still too soon to tell, but he says the cuts are immediate, which means that the 656 agencies that run pantries and soup kitchens in his county may start to see more people in the next few weeks. The problem, he says, is that food banks will not have sufficient food to meet a great demand.
He says agencies will do one of two things when their food supply runs low: They will serve a set number of people and cut off the line when they run out of food baskets or they will put less food in the baskets so they can make more of them.
Diana Stanley, CEO of the Lord's Place, which runs job and housing programs for the homeless in West Palm Beach, Fla., says the clients her agency work with do not have any discretionary income. Even the smallest cuts can cause major upheaval in their lives, she says.
"The food stamps help as our families move into independence," she says. "So these cuts are scary for us." She says more than 80% of the 250 people a day the agency works with receive food stamps.
SNAP, which benefits one in seven Americans, is administered by the Department of Agriculture and is authorized in a five-year omnibus farm bill covering all agricultural programs. Congress is currently debating the bill, which has additional cuts to the program totaling up to $40 billion. A cut that size, say advocates, such as Hamler-Fugitt and Flood, would be devastating.
Georgia Runs out of Food Stamps 29 Oct 2013
Food Stamp Cuts Hit 2M Illinois Residents
Last Friday was the first day a temporary benefit from the 2009 economic stimulus bolstering food stamp money was not available. A family of four could see up to $36 less a month through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The cut also comes as federal lawmakers are negotiating further reductions to the program, which has more than doubled in cost since 2008.
And it's coming at the same time the federal government is cutting just that...
Surprise: ObamaCare will likely increase food stamp enrollment
Once all of the new ObamaCare mandates, regulations, and taxes are fully priced into the healthcare market we may all be lining up for government butter and cheese, but that’s not the story here. No, apparently the multi-million dollar ObamaCare marketing campaign signing up new Medicaid recipients by the millions will come with an unexpected bonus for fans of the entitlement state. Lots and lots of people finding out for the first time that in addition to free healthcare they are also eligible for a shiny new EBT card. Via Politico.
|The Obama administration has ordered a study to determine whether the Affordable Care Act, by increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, will also increase the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program based on how states enroll people.
The outcome of the study could show an increase of 3 percent to 5 percent in food stamp recipients in some states from people who were already eligible for SNAP benefits but had not enrolled in the program — which could translate to millions or even billions more in federal spending, Greg Mills, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who is conducting the study, told POLITICO.
“So in percentage terms, it’s not going to be very large, but we’re talking about a very large program,” said Mills, who is investigating the effects of the health care law on SNAP on behalf of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Nutrition Service, the agency that monitors food stamps.
How large? Well, we spent over $78 billion on the program last year so the expected increase would be something in the range of $1.5 to $4 billion. Which, surprise, would go a long way towards offsetting the cuts the GOP thought they had won in the recent budget deal. But here’s what I want to know: is a study on this really necessary? With the ObamaCare enrollment deadline looming, seems to me the bills for any new SNAP enrollees will start rolling in soon enough. Why doesn’t the White House commission something more useful instead? Like a study forecasting the number of employers likely to drop insurance coverage in the next couple of years, or how many part-time employees will have their hours reduced due to the employer mandate. The White House says there is no data to support these “anecdotal” claims, so let’s hop to it guys – prove us wrong.
Of course it wouldn’t be a food stamp story in a liberal rag without a quote from someone praising the proactive effort to sign-up even more people, and Politico doesn’t disappoint. I’m all for a helping hand-up to those in need but is it too much to expect we at least wait until they’ve made a conscious decision to reach out for help first? If our modern day Jeff Spicoli’s are going to get free check-ups now to go along with their sushi, I say we at least make them get off the couch before we sign ‘em up.
Food stamp cuts hit 9 million elderly and disabled people
Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program hit 48 million Americans this week, including more than 9 million elderly and disabled people.
Nearly one in seven Americans uses the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which has doubled in cost since 2008 when Congress increased the benefits as part of the economic stimulus bill. Both Democrats and Republicans allowed the temporary benefits boost to expire on Nov. 1, and Republicans are pushing for far steeper cuts to the $80 billion program.
The average monthly decrease for a one-person household is $11. That doesn’t sound like much, but the vast majority of food stamp recipients say the assistance runs out in the first three weeks of each month, leaving them to cobble together food from other sources in the final week. The cuts amount to 16 meals a month for the average family of three, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Thrifty Food Plan.
“Even though it might sound little, for some people that’s a couple of meals that they have to choose whether they eat or don’t eat,” said Bobbie Sackman, the director of public policy at the Council of Senior Centers and Services in New York City, which helps elderly people sign up for assistance. “They have to go elsewhere to find food or they’re not going to have food.”
People can turn to food pantries for additional assistance. But it’s harder for older and disabled people to fill in the gaps left by the food stamp program, since going in-person to various soup kitchens and food pantries is not an option for many of them. About 9 percent of all food stamps go to households that include senior citizens. In New York, which has a large elderly population, it’s double that.
Marc Wolfson, a disabled 62 year-old who lives in Brooklyn, spent his Tuesday afternoon calling around to various food pantries to see if any of them would deliver meals to his apartment.
One food pantry, called “God’s Love We Deliver,” told him they could drop off groceries at his apartment, but only on days when Wolfson is undergoing dialysis for his kidney disease. So the pantry had to turn him down. “They ain’t delivering it to me,” Wolfson joked.
Wolfson has diabetes and anemia, so his diet must be low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in iron-rich foods like red meat. The first two weeks, Wolfson can manage that diet on food stamps, but then the money runs out. “The doctors want me to eat all protein,” he said. “The last two weeks the only protein I’m getting is eggs.”
Nationally, one in seven seniors lives in poverty, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In New York City, as many as one in three elderly people are poor. As many as half of elderly people who qualify for food stamps in New York do not apply, and surveys have shown that older Americans in particular feel there is a stigma associated with the program.
Sackman said the elderly, who are often living on fixed incomes, can become “invisible” in these debates, which often focuses on why young and healthy people need assistance.
House Republicans hope to cut the $80 billion annual program further, by kicking off 3 million people each year for 10 years. Under their plan, adults without minor children must enroll in a job training program or be employed to receive the benefits. The AARP, the powerful seniors group, opposes the proposal.
“We’re really worried,” Sackman said of the proposed cuts. “This is just the start. We’re looking at a rapidly growing senior population here and across the country and a lot of poverty.”
Wolfson said he tries not to worry about whether steeper cuts could be in the pipeline. In the meantime, he plans to scour the grocery store for sales to make up for the $11 less he gets per month.
“I’ll deal with it as it’s happening,” he said. “I’m not going to dwell on it.”
Uhm...this was NO "glitch"! Problem. Reaction. Solution.
LA gov Bobby Jindal moves to strip food stamps from recipients who took advantage of a technical glitch last month
**I'm having a hard time copying and pasting this article - could someone do so for me? Thanks!
Yes, it happened AGAIN!
Walmart Website Error Allowed Customers to Buy $600 Electronics for $8.85
Walmart has said that it has resolved an issue that was causing an online frenzy among shoppers. An apparent glitch on the company's website early this morning led to $8.85 listings for items that included computer monitors and projectors normally worth hundreds of dollars.
The country's largest retailer was selling a 24-inch high-definition Viewsonic computer monitor, an InFocus IN2124 Projector digital projectors and other products, many for $8.85. The projector is listed for $578.89 on Walmart.com and $579.99 on Newegg.com.
As customers shared the deals on social media sites like Instagram, wondering if the site was hacked, products sold out in just hours.
A spokesman for Walmart said the company was scanning the millions of items on its site to see if there are still any technical errors causing price discrepancies.
"The issue has been resolved and Walmart.com is open for all," Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala told ABCNews.com. "Given the wide discrepancy in pricing, we are notifying customers who ordered these items that their orders have been canceled and that they'll be refunded in full. In addition, we will send these customers a $10 e-gift card that can be used toward future purchases at Walmart stores and Walmart.com."
Earlier today, Walmart assured the media that the site was not hacked.
"We experienced a technical error that caused some items to show incorrect pricing," Walmart said in a statement. "We are working quickly to correct the error and during this time, there may be intermittent site availability. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers."
"I want to make very clear this is not a hack. This is an internal technical error," Jariwala said earlier today.
When asked if the company will honor items sold to customers at the mistakenly low prices, Jariwala said the company is "still working through those details."
Just two weeks ago, Walmart stores in Louisiana experienced another frenzied shopping day, but that time with live customers. An error in the food stamps EBT system caused account limits to temporarily disappear, leading customers to load up shopping carts with hundreds of dollars worth of items.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
How the Food Stamps Cut Will Affect the U.S. Economy
Following the U.S. National Debt Clock is frightening. America's national debt sits at $17 trillion already, and it increases an additional $2.63 billion each day. And government stimulus continues to pour into the economy. As seen in the recent food stamp cut debacle, government stimulus cannot sustain long-term success while necessary pullbacks cause rippling effects through the economy.
In the wake of the 2009 financial crisis, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which, in part, increased funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, the average increase of food stamp users was 20% in dollars per household. Then the one-time stimulus boost deadline arrived on Oct. 30. It ran its course. Now alarms and cries are resounding through the press — as if some retailers, politicians, and Americans were unaware that the temporary funding increase would cease.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that not continuing the 2009 food stamp stimulus will give the government an additional $5 billion in 2014 and approximately $6 billion in the following two years. To put this figure in perspective, though, the Federal Reserve buys over $1 trillion in bonds a year through its seemingly unending quantitative easing policy. Comparably, the $78 billion a year food stamp program only comprises 7.6% of the Fed's bond buying stimulus. Still, spending must be held in check, and the impacts of the food stamp stimulus program's end are becoming more apparent.
The rippling effect
In addition to food stamp users, grocers, convenience stores, and dollar stores are wondering how they will cope with the adjustment. Smaller enterprises like Spartan Stores (NASDAQ: SPTN ) , a grocery retailer and distributor in Michigan and Indiana, may take a harder hit than larger, cost-effective stores like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) . For example, during its third quarter conference call, Spartan's CEO informed shareholders that the food stamp reduction is a potential reason for concern and that the reduction could be "a meaningful event for us."
Due to its economies of scale, ability to drive down costs, and many locations, Wal-Mart's chief executive for U.S. stores is more optimistic. William Simon reminded investors that because price matters more to food stamp users, Wal-Mart is more relevant than its higher charging competitors, for instance. And, Mr. Simon is right; but, Wal-Mart estimates that about 18% of all food stamp spending occurs within its store.
Running numbers, we see that Wal-Mart generated roughly $14 billion of its $443.9 billion from food stamps in 2012. Moving forward, assume food stamp users do not use cash to maintain their current purchasing patterns, and assume food stamp users who shop at higher priced stores do not begin shopping at discount retailer Wal-Mart. Combining these assumptions with the $5 billion cut to the food stamp program reveals that Wal-Mart will lose about $900 million in sales in 2014. But with a 0.3% increase in U.S. store sales in 2012 and a profit margin of 3.6%, each dollar is critical for Wal-Mart's bottom line.
After Wal-Mart, about $60 billion is divided among the other companies that accept SNAP funding. Spread out over 248,000 locations, the effects of the decline will likely be minimal for these stores (click here for a list of all stores nationwide that are enrolled in SNAP).
While time will tell these retailers' fate, they likely won't be going bankrupt any time soon due to food stamp reductions.
The bottom line
The cut in food stamps will lead to difficult times for many Americans; after all, about 48 million Americans utilize the program, 15% of the country's population.
As a nation, we must recognize that stimulus issues do not exist in a vacuum and supply chains, capital, humans, and other resources are involved in the processes. So, if a 2009 temporary increase in food stamp issuances can cause such concern and conflict — even when the deadline is set in stone — what will occur once the effects of other stimulus efforts reach American consumers? Perhaps it's time we mend our national spending habits. And then, maybe, we can rebound.
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Crisis Accelerates: Food Banks Running Out of Food
Food pantry organizers “unable to plug the hole”
Paul Joseph Watson
November 4, 2013
The head of the Pennsylvania’s largest food bank has warned that demand for groceries following a $5 billion dollar cut in the food stamp program cannot be met.
Joe Arthur of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank “says the donor network for the food banks is already stretched too thin to quickly expand,” according to an Associated Press report.
From November 1st, $5 billion was wiped off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as a result of a planned stimulus withdrawal. Almost 50 million Americans who are supported by the program face an average loss of $36 dollars a month, which is a significant amount for those living near the poverty line.
Food pantry organizers will be “unable to plug the hole being left by a reduction in federal funding for food stamps,” which will leave families of four in Pennsylvania facing the prospect of 20 fewer meals per month, according to Arthur.
The Association of Arizona Food Banks sounds a similar warning, noting that the 5 per cent cut, although appearing minor on the surface, equates to about half a week’s budget for someone whose primary source of food is SNAP.
Spokesman Brian Simpson illustrated how the massive surge in demand for food was linked to the struggling economy.
Before the 2007 recession, the five food banks in his association were handing out an average of 69,000 emergency food boxes per month. Last month, 108,300 boxes were handed out, an increase of around 80 per cent.
The true impact of the cut will really be felt in the final week of November, when food stamp recipients will begin to run out of benefits.
According to Margaret Purvis, the CEO of the largest food bank in America, members of her Food Bank for New York City organization, are“panicking” over the decrease in benefits, fearing a rush of hungry Americans.
“We’re telling everyone to make sure that you are prepared for longer lines,” Purvis told NBC News.
Her comments were echoed by Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, who stated, “It’s going to send people into a charitable system that’s already overwhelmed and screaming for help itself.”
Purvis also invoked the threat of riots caused by millions of Americans going hungry when she told Salon.com, “If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food.”
This has prompted some to speculate that the Department of Homeland Security is gearing up for potential unrest with its recent hiring of security guards to protect government buildings in New York, as well as the purchase of half a million dollars worth of fully automatic pepper spray launchers and projectiles that are designed to be used during riot control situations.
Again, all by design(and it wasn't a "glitch either, again)...
Louisiana Suspends EBT Cards for Food Stamp Cheats
The Advocate reports that the Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal's office will cancel food stamp benefits for anyone who participated in a fraud and shopping spree catalyzed by an EBT malfunction.
More than 12,000 people were sent an insufficient funds notice when the problem with the EBT cards was fixed on Oct. 12; those who transgressed may lose their EBT cards for a year.
Suzy Sonnier, the secretary of state at the Department of Children and Family Services, released a statement saying: "We must protect the program for those who receive and use their benefits appropriately according to the law. We are looking at each case individually, addressing those recipients who are suspected of misrepresenting their eligibility for benefits or defrauding the system."
Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said, “It was worse than any Black Friday.”
Stores were emptied of their merchandise. Walmart spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said Walmart decided to let the crowds go ahead and buy rather than cut them off. Once the system was fixed, it became clear how much fraud there was; one woman had an EBT card with a balance of 49 cents but still had $700 worth of goods in her shopping cart.
On October 11-12, at least 17 states experienced problems with their EBT card systems. In Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana, cards indicated they had no spending limits, so EBT holders went wild with purchases.
The stores that were cheated are bound to come up with the cash they lost, which may prompt them to join local prosecutors to bring charges against the fraudsters.
The Advocate reported that violators will receive a letter stating their EBT cards have been canceled along with information as to how to appeal their cases. They may lose their EBT cards forever.
Obama using food-stamp cash to fund Michelle’s ‘Let’s Move’
As you dig into your Butterball with all the trimmings this Thanksgiving, remember that millions of famished schoolkids around America may be forced to forgo classic turkey — and chow down instead on vegan black-bean patties and organic locavore quinoa salad.
On Nov. 1, sizable cuts were gouged into the federal food-stamp program (or, as it’s now called, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which feeds 47.6 million people, or nearly one in six Americans. In the city, 1.9 million folks get the bulk of their Jell-O and Campbell’s Soup from stamps.
But news has spread among the poor, like leafy green vegetables, that it wasn’t heartless Republicans who triggered the cuts.
Rather, some of the food-stamp cash was snatched to pay for Michelle Obama’s pet project, Let’s Move. What?
It’s come to this. Some 76 million meals a year will vanish from this city — poof! — partly because the president diverted money from SNAP to the first lady’s signature program, part of her Let’s Move anti-obesity initiative — the bean-sprout-heavy, $4.5 billion Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
The rest of the $5 billion annual food-stamp cuts was taken when 2009 stimulus funds dried up. But with ObamaCare woes stealing the oxygen in Washington, there’s little urgency to replace dandelion greens served on recyclable trays with family-friendly buttered mashed potatoes.
Right now, the country’s poorest families of four are seeing food-stamp allotments cut from $668 a month to $632. It may not sound like much, but understand that $36 is enough to buy a truckload of Kool-Aid and ramen noodles. (Lose the noodles if the Food and Drug Administration succeeds in banning trans fats.)
How did this happen?
Hunger activists are livid. In fact, the cuts will bring on no less than civil unrest, according to the head of the Food Bank for New York City.
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people can’t afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, Food Bank president and CEO, told Salon.com.
“We were told, you know, by the president . . . these cuts will not happen,” she said.
“Well, guess what. No one has restored that money.”
“It is bad policy to take away a child’s dinner and put it in his lunch,” Triada Stampas, director of government relations for the Food Bank, told me.
An administration source told me that the president wants to fund SNAP and healthy lunches in the latest budget, both of which he finds important. But getting it past Congress seems unlikely.
The great food grab began in 2010, when President Obama, with Michelle and US Department of Agriculture honchos at his side, signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. At the time, he admitted taking cash from one pocket to feed the other.
“Some of the funding [for the lunch program] comes from rolling back temporary increases in food-stamp benefits,” he said, starting in the fall of 2013.
“I’m committed to working with [Congress] to restore these funds in the future.”
It proved to be magical thinking.
Part of the problem is that the food-stamp program has grown like wildfire under Obama — to $80 billion last year, with a more than 70 percent increase in recipients just since 2008. Do they all need the help?
Hunger activists have lately rolled out hard-luck cases to the media, like grandmother Katherine McKinnon, who became a single mom of three after her daughter died.
McKinnon was last seen on CNN, walking the streets of New York hunting for cans to sell for a nickel apiece.
“No matter how people look at you, keep your head up,” she said.
Things will get even tighter. The Republican-controlled House wants to cut $39.9 billion over the next ten years from stamps under the farm bill now being negotiated, by eliminating fraud and asking able-bodied recipients to work or join jobs programs.
The Democrat-controlled Senate, which has asked for no such provisions, wants to cut $4.5 billion.
Maybe a good source for food money is the school-lunch program, as kids around the nation rise up against government-approved grub.
One school district’s kids said it “tastes like vomit.”
Ending obesity is a laudable goal. But cardboard lunches should never replace Christmas ham or Hanukkah chicken soup. Stop moving — and sit down.