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Food Stamps

Of the 49 million people last year unable to consistently get enough food to eat, 17 million of them were children. There was a particularly telling aspect of this pointed out that at 6 years old and younger the number of children experiencing hunger TRIPLED since 2006. So you’re talking about half a million children who are in a very, very dangerous place in terms of hunger.

And the way this translates into greater problems for society as a whole — the health impacts of hunger have everything to do with failure in education. Hungry children are sick more often so they don’t attend school. They have discipline problems. They have academic problems. They have an overall inability to learn – and we all know from listening to political leaders what the consequences of having an uneducated workforce. And this report seems to show that that our next generation is headed into that very, very bad place because of the lack of nutrition.”


Fraud/Iraq contractors:
By 2007, U.S. spent over $637 billion on the Iraq war– much is going to 60,000 civilian contractors.
The Pentagon admitted it has a hard time accounting for how billions of your tax dollars are being spent — and the billions that may be lost to contractor waste, fraud and abuse.

Fraud in the military:
A Kuwaiti company that has been a leading food supplier for the U.S. military in Iraq was indicted Monday in U.S. federal court for allegedly overcharging the Defense Department on $8.5 billion worth of food contracts.

Tax cheats:
The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that more that 14,700 Americans had been attracted to an amnesty program in recent months and disclosed their secret foreign bank accounts — many more than had been attracted to a previous I.R.S. program.

Corporate fraud
74 percent of U.S. workers surveyed witnessed misconduct on the job in the past year, and most blamed such activity on a corporate culture that promotes “do-whatev¬er-it-take¬s” operating conditions.
Enron: Shareholders lose nearly $11 billion. Employees and shareholders received limited returns in lawsuits, despite losing billions in pensions and stock prices.

But let’s all get OUTRAGED that there might be a few thousand people undeservedly getting Food Stamps.”


Thank you for caring, USDA. And skroo you, Reptilians! It’s hard enough needing Food Stamps without your state wrongly denying you.

With more Americans going hungry than ever before, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is concerned that dozens of states aren’t adequately administering food-stamp programs for low-income Americans.

Just 18 states enrolled 70% or more of those eligible for food stamps in 2007, according to the department’s annual report on food-stamp enrollment and eligibility.

Wyoming and California had fewer than 50% of those eligible enrolled to receive food stamps. Missouri was the most successful state, where nearly 100% of those eligible received aid.”

There are agencies to help if you are denied Food Stamps, but feel you qualify. How many working poor can go to the library, wait for a computer, spend a couple of hours on a pre-paid cell phone to contact an agency, and then spend a day off work to fight the denial?


The reason that the Reptilians have no solutions to the problem of poverty is that they do not see poverty as a problem.

The working poor have health constraints.

A recent study by Jay Zagorsky at Ohio State has found that fully one-third of the working poor have health limitations or other serious conditions that may limit their ability to rise out of poverty. He found that those who suffer from such conditions are more likely to become members of the working poor, and that the working poor who have such conditions stay in poverty longer and earn less money once they finally leave poverty. Almost half (48%) of the working poor with serious health conditions stay in poverty for five or more years. Thus the working poor face not only the problem of holding jobs that pay adequate wages and provide steady earnings, but also more difficult problems of having health conditions that limit their ability to work.

The working poor have less access to health care.
The working poor are less likely to be covered by health insurance by their employers. Only 18% of the working poor are covered by health insurance available through their employer or their union, compared to 55% of all workers. Most likely, the jobs these workers hold are less likely to offer health insurance.


What you can buy with food stamps …
• Foods for the household to eat (bread, fruits and vegetables, cereal, meats, dairy products, etc.)
• Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.

… and what you can’t buy with them:

• Any nonfood items (pet food, soap, paper products, household supplies)
• Hot foods, or food that will be eaten in store
• Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
• Vitamins and medicines


Still Working Hard, Still Falling Short!

The American Dream is grounded in the belief that hard work leads to economic advancement and self-sufficiency. Today, the stark reality is that too many American families, despite working hard, earn incomes too low to achieve economic security.

The statistics paint a troubling picture:

~~More than one out of four working families with children is low-income. In all, a total of 42 million adults and children struggle to get by.

~~The number of low-income working families increased by 350,000 between 2002 and 2006.

~~ Income inequality among working families increased by almost 10 percent from 2002 to 2006.

And BTW, look at those dates. Who was the President?


The working poor do not participate in welfare programs to the extent that they qualify, even though they need this assistance.”

Although many of the working poor qualify for food stamp benefits, few receive them. Of those who qualify for these benefits, two-thirds do not receive them. It is unclear why the working poor do not receive these benefits, but lack of need does not seem to be the reason. Qualitative research suggests that the working poor do not know that they qualify for these benefits. In addition, welfare administrators in some states incorrectly tell applicants, especially men, that they do not qualify for these programs.


Preventing Food Stamp Fraud:

The program has systems to prevent trafficking and strong penalties for those who do the trafficking. Recipients and retailers who engage in such illegal activities will be disqualified from the program and prosecuted.

The advent of electronic benefits transfer systems (EBT) will make it easier to prevent trafficking. EBT will eliminate the paper coupon system and replace it with a type of benefit card similar to a bank card; recipients can use the card for their food purchases where they shop.

An EBT card is much less likely than a paper coupon to be traded or sold since access to the benefits requires a “Personal Identification Number.”

Recipients are also likely to be unwilling to trade the card since it would provide access to the entire month’s benefits. In addition, EBT will significantly improve the ability to detect trafficking by creating an electronic “paper trail.”

Seventy percent of food stamp households currently receive their benefits through an EBT system.


“”There are strict eligibility requirements for participation in the Food Stamp Program, based on financial and non-financial factors. Households must have gross incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line and net incomes below 100 percent of poverty, except households with elderly or disabled members. Countable resources (e.g., checking/savings account, cash, stocks/bonds) cannot exceed $2,000. For example, the market value of a car in excess of $4,650 is considered a countable resource, and could make a household ineligible for benefits.

Eligibility in the Food Stamp Program includes work requirements. All non-elderly adults receiving benefits who are able to work are required to be employed or to register for employment. Many must participate in work training and job search programs.

Able-bodied, childless persons between the ages of 18 and 50 are limited to three months of food stamp receipt in a 36 month period unless they are working at least 20 hours a week or participating in an employment and training program.”