July 17, 2024

Spending Bill Cuts $93 Million from WIC

The huge spending bill passed by Congress last week cuts $93,000,000 from the Women Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That program gives low-income mothers and children vouchers for food that meets nutrition guidelines. WIC has been one of the most successful government programs in history. Both WIC and SNAP add money to local economies. In fact, every five dollars in SNAP benefits generates nine dollars in community spending. And the food purchased by SNAP recipients generates 3,000 farm jobs. In addition, every study shows that WIC improves birth outcomes. Almost half of the participants in SNAP are children. Legislators did require the WIC program to add white potatoes to the foods on the allowed list, pandering to industry lobbyists. … [Read more...]

More Farmers Markets Going Wireless With SNAP Benefits

In an effort to expand access to healthy foods for recipients who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be using $4 million to put wireless point-of-sale equipment at farmers markets that don’t have them. Funding for the expansion came from the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012. “These grants increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to SNAP customers and further encourage them to purchase and prepare healthy foods for their families using SNAP benefits,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, in a statement. “In general, research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pocket of American farmers. Installing wireless … [Read more...]

USDA Cracks Down On Food Stamp Fraud

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is cracking down on individuals and businesses who commit food stamp fraud. The move is part of the Obama Administration's effort to cut waste and fight fraud and abuse of federal programs, the agency said. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest of USDA's 15 nutrition assistance programs. In 2012, 22 million households were participants. Nearly half of all those receiving benefits are children The new rule expands the legal definition of “trafficking” as it applies to benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The term now includes the direct exchange of SNAP benefits for cash and other indirect methods of obtaining cash for SNAP benefits.  This would include the resale of items purchased … [Read more...]

USDA Cracks Down On Food Stamp Fraud

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is cracking down on food stamp fraud.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps 46 million low income Americans buy food each month. But sometimes benefits aren’t used to buy food for those most in need. Trading benefits for cash or lying on an application to receive benefits are the two most common examples of SNAP fraud. They will be targeted under new measures announced this week by the USDA which include tougher financial penalties on retailers and new eligibility requirements and tools for states. "USDA has a zero tolerance policy for SNAP fraud," Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, said in a statement. "These additional measures reaffirm our ongoing commitment to ensuring these dollars are spent as … [Read more...]

SNAP Will Replace Food Lost in Disasters

Many who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can be in real trouble when they lose food in a natural disaster. When the power goes out for more than four hours, perishable foods become unsafe to eat and must be tossed. Food Poisoning Bulletin contacted the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA and was told that anyone who lost food that was purchased with SNAP can request replacement coupons from their local human service office. Those requests are time-sensitive, so it's important that recipients know about this program and act quickly. Foods that are eligible for SNAP benefits include breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds for food and plants that produce food. The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service can also provide … [Read more...]

USDA Aims To Make Shopping At Farmers Markets A SNAP

Shopping at farmers’ markets this summer will get a little easier for some families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) thanks to a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA’s goal is to expand the availability of wireless point-of-sale (POS) equipment in farmers’ markets not currently participating in SNAP to make it easier for shoppers to redeem their benefits electronically. About 1,500 of the 7,100 farmers’ markets nationwide currently use electronic benefit transfer, and SNAP purchases at farmer’s markets have increased 400 percent of the last four years, according to the USDA. "This funding will help SNAP customers increase their opportunities to access healthy, local foods," Kathleen Merrigan, USDA deputy … [Read more...]

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