SNAP

When U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow announced passage of the Farm Bill in February, she echoed a refrain from a car commercial.

“This is not your father’s Farm Bill,” she said.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA

  The Columbia Farmer’s Market brings many different people together on Saturday mornings. Thanks to a local food program run by Sustainable Farms and Communities, this includes low-income families who can receive extra help to purchase fresh and locally-produced foods.

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.

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.

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.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and some Missouri social welfare advocates are concerned about the impact of the cut on rural Missourians. SNAP, formerly food stamps, was already expected to receive a fund cut this November.

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the number of Missouri households threatened by hunger has grown over the past three years.

supplemental nutrition assistance program
Selbe B / flickr

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the farm bill, a version that excludes funding for nutrition assistance programs nationwide.  But most analysts believe the Democrat-controlled Senate won’t approve a version that does not include funding for programs like food stamps. 

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.