Government shutdown and salmonella outbreak; food stamps for unemployed

Oct 9, 2013

This week, we’ll take a look into one state some students at giving food stamps to the unemployed.

An outbreak of salmonella linked to raw chicken is spreading across the country. As Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, the partial government shutdown could make it tougher to track.

It’s been four years since the only grocery store closed in the small town of Pilot Grove. Since then, residents had to drive about 20 minutes to purchase the necessities they needed. Now Cody and Paula Tyler are opening ‘Tyler’s Market.’ The Pilot Grove community banded together to open the store. The group, called Pilot Grove Community Betterment, worked for more than a year to secure the budget and an operator.

Pilot Grove native Laurie Beach was part of the group Pilot Grove Community Betterment. She said she contributed a building and some of her own money to the effort which included 23 investors.

“So mainly they are all farmers and part of the community here in Pilot Grove," she says. "So together we are building the grocery store that will more or less serve the community and surrounding small areas.”

Co-owner of the market, Cody Tyler, says the store will have multiple sections including sporting goods, and serve sandwiches and breakfast.

We’ll have three to four sit-down tables on one side of the store where like I said, people from the community, they can come in and sit and drink coffee, eat lunch,” he says.

Tyler says he hopes to promote the convenience for not only the community, but also the cyclists from the nearby Katy Trail.

At the end of September, next-door neighbor Kansas let a 2009 government waiver expire that provided food stamps for the unemployed.

So now, able-bodied Kansans between 18 and 49 – who do not have dependents - have to work or be in a job training program to have access to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program…or SNAP.
Eight other states either have required, or are in the process of requiring healthy people to work for food stamps.

As Laura Ziegler reports for Harvest Public Media, advocates for the poor say these changes will create a dangerous hole in an already thin safety net.