Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Recent Articles

SNAP use grows at farmers markets

 

More Minnesotans are using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase fresh fruit, vegetables and other eligible products at local farmers markets. SNAP use at farmers markets has more than tripled in recent years, seeing a 239 percent increase in dollars spent from 2011 through 2013. The gain follows efforts by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and its partners to make it more convenient and cost effective to use Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at markets. Market Bucks, a special incentive from Blue Cross, matches EBT card purchases with up to an additional $5 in bonus coupons each market day. Market Bucks can be used during the same trip or anytime during the 2014 market season on SNAP-eligible purchases, which include fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy products of farm and field. Continue Reading →

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Extend emergency unemployment insurance

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Marian Wright Edelman

Contributing Writer

 

In the last few days of the year, most Americans are wrapping up their holiday celebrations and pondering the promise of 2014. But millions of Americans who have been struggling the longest to find work in our slowly recovering economy are now facing deep uncertainty and despair instead of a Happy New Year. The budget deal Congress finally reached in December did not extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term unemployed and 1.3 million struggling jobseekers who lost needed survival benefits on December 28. Unless Congress acts immediately in the new year to extend these benefits, huge numbers of struggling jobseekers will be affected. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates almost five million jobless workers will lose benefits over the next 12 months. Continue Reading →

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Cutting food assistance is not just morally wrong — it’s bad economics

 

By William Spriggs

Guest Commentator

 

The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (the value of all goods and services in the economy) figures show GDP per person is $53,211. That’s per person, not per family. Those figures also show we annually spend $2,797 per person on food — that’s $233 per person a month. After netting out imports, we sell nearly $14 billion in food overseas. Clearly America is a wealthy nation that is fully food secure. Continue Reading →

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Cognitive dissonance

By William E. Spriggs

Guest commentator

 

The U.S. Department of Treasury has announced that the deficit for 2013 was $680 billion (which is about $200 billion less than projected back in February). It has been falling since 2009 at the fastest rate on record since the demobilization of World War II. But, somehow, tea party Republicans have succeeded in getting the Washington media elite and the president to continue focusing on the deficit. What continues to be overlooked is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also produced an estimate that the gap between current GDP (the value of all goods and services in the country) and where CBO estimates GDP would be if the unemployment rate was six percent instead of around seven percent was $439 billion. The Washington elite, who have been absorbed by discussions of long-term budget projections since the mid-1990s, cannot come to grips with the current crisis’ impact on the economy. Continue Reading →

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Help available for Minnesota’s SNAP recipients as benefits change

Help is available for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who will see two changes in their benefits amounts during October and November 2013. On Oct. 1, benefits increased slightly for some SNAP recipients to reflect the costs of living. On Nov. 1, most recipients will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the federal government during the recession. Continue Reading →

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Forklift driver/cook says hard work — not welfare — saves families

“Black people,” says Anthony Zeigler, “have always been in a recession. We just deal with it.” When life got tough, you simply hitched up your britches and kept stepping. “When it gets harder to find work, well, you just have to look harder, that’s all. “In our culture, as African Americans, we learn how to handle things. Make do with what we have.” Zeigler says of his home life as a youngster, “It was never an issue of how much money we had. Continue Reading →

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Over 25 percent of African Americans struggle with hunger

 

Data released in early September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that 25.1 percent of African American households were food insecure in 2011. Food insecure households are those that struggle to put food on the table and often don’t know where their next meal will come from. This figure is more than 10 percentage points higher than the overall U.S. food insecurity figure of 14.9 percent.  

 

 

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