food stamps

Ryan Levi and Mary Kate Metivier / KBIA

 

UPDATE (Associated Press):

On May 15, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that could potentially allow people convicted of drug felonies to qualify for food stamps under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature.

Drug felons are currently banned for life from the aid program. But the bill would allow them to receive the benefit if they have completed or been determined by the state not to need a substance abuse program. It would not apply to people with three or more felony drug convictions.

Bobby and Christie Clark share a late afternoon snack of frozen chicken fingers inside their Sedalia, Mo., home on Monday, April 21, 2014. Christie and her two kids receive food stamps, but Missouri denies Bobby access because of his drug felony. Missouri
Ryan Levi and Mary Kate Metivier / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are scrambling this week to finalize and pass legislation before the end of the legislative session on Friday, May 16.

As Missouri senators and representatives put the finishing touches on their work, we took a look at some of the biggest bills this legislative session. This edition of Talking Politics looks into the abortion wait-time bill, the student transfer bill and the override of Nixon's veto on an income tax decrease.

 

missouri capitol
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation to give food stamp users an incentive to buy healthy foods at farmers markets.

Under the bill advanced Tuesday, the state would create a test program for participating markets where food stamp users could be reimbursed up to $10 per week for buying meat, fruit and vegetables.

The provision was attached to a broader bill that would give a state and local sales tax exemption for goods purchased at farmers markets.

USDA

Advocates for the poor say Missouri is making it harder for the state's neediest residents to receive food stamps.

Officials with the Missouri Association for Social Welfare tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Missouri is the only state where fewer people have received food stamps through the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance in recent years amid the recession and a subsequent slow recovery.

Flickr / Natalie Maynor

An apple a day keeps the doctor away — at least that's what the backers of a Missouri bill to reimburse healthy food purchases are hoping.

USDA

Fifteen percent of Americans received federal food stamp benefits in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released in early January.

In the Harvest Public Media network, that includes about 936,000 people in Missouri; 420,000 in Iowa; 2 million in Illinois; 179,000 in Nebraska, 507,000 in Colorado, 316,000 in Kansas; and 926,000 in Indiana.

Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

The next farm bill is all but certain to contain cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

The number of people on food stamps declined after Missouri ended most face-to-face contact between social services caseworkers and people seeking public assistance.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

An official with the Missouri Department of Social Services briefed a House Interim Committee Monday on Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposed rule change to cut able-bodied adults without children from the food stamp program if they don’t have a job.  

USDA

Missouri already has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, and one of the lowest rates of assistance available to families, according to Sandy Rikoon, director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security. Upcoming cuts in to benefits could have an unusually harmful effect on Missouri residents living below the poverty line.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP and formerly known as food stamps, will have its benefits reduced for every household across the nation for the first time in the program’s history Nov. 1.

kthread/Flickr

This week, Kansas let a 2009 government waiver expire that provided food stamps for the unemployed. 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 (SNAP), or food stamps.

Kansas currently has about 318,000 food stamp recipients. Advocates for low-income people say this change will create a dangerous hole in an already thin safety net.

Missouri seeks to tighten food stamp eligibility

Oct 9, 2013
supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

Missouri is considering tightening food-stamp eligibility for thousands of adults.

Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. House passed its version of farm bill legislation Thursday. The revamped bill strips out funding for food aid and deals only with farm policy, exposing a hefty rift in decades-old alliances between urban and rural legislators and between food aid and farm policy interests.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

On this week's Business Beat: 47 million Americans are enrolled in the SNAP program, or food stamps, including nearly 16 percent of Missourians.  SNAP is the biggest spending item in the farm bill. And the program has a big bulls eye on it as Congress debates new legislation. As Grant Gerlock reports for Harvest Public Media, the economic considerations go beyond who receives SNAP benefits to how and where the money is spent.

At the farmers market, with food stamps

Jun 5, 2013
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

April Segura is a regular at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, Neb. On a warm, May afternoon, the single, stay-at-home mother of three greeted friends and acquaintances while strolling past tables of lettuce and herbs. She hoped to find more asparagus for sale.

“I love asparagus season and it’s probably about to be over,” said Segura, holding two grocery bags with one arm and her one-year-old son, Jeriel, with the other.

Food stamps dividing support for farm bill

Sep 11, 2012
Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

With Congress going back into session, farm groups are demanding action on a new farm bill. The current law expires at the end of September. But an issue that goes beyond the farm is edging in on the debate.