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food stamps

Millions of families in the U.S. struggled to get enough food to eat last year, but conditions appear to be getting better as the economy improves.

In a new report released Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that about 11 percent of households — just over 14 million — had trouble putting enough food on the table last year and that in about 4 percent of households, someone went hungry because there was not enough money to buy food.

The numbers of low-income Ohioans turning to food pantries for help are climbing. And with signs of trouble for the economy on the horizon, advocates at Ohio's 12 regional foodbanks and the hundreds of food pantries and soup kitchens that they serve are worried.

Advocates say three million Americans in 40 states could lose their SNAP or food stamp benefits because of a federal rule change in how eligibility is determined at the state level.

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge," Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Tuesday, twisting Emma Lazarus' famous words on a bronze plaque at the Statue of Liberty.

The Trump administration is moving forward with regulations that are expected to dramatically reshape the U.S. immigration system by denying green cards and visas to immigrants who use — or are expected to use — a wide range of federal, state and local government benefits, including food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid.

The final version of the "public charge" rule, which has been a top priority for immigration hard-liners in the White House, is set to be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday.

A Trump administration proposal would cut food stamps benefits to over 3 million people nationwide.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

About 3.1 million people would lose food stamp benefits under the Trump administration's proposal to tighten automatic eligibility requirements for the food stamp program.

Walmart is expanding a program that allows for online orders of groceries to be picked up and paid for with food stamps at more than 2,500 locations.

It's the latest move by a major retailer to give low-income shoppers more options for using food stamps in the modern era of online shopping. Walmart, one of the world's largest retailers, began piloting the use of food stamps for online grocery pickup service in 2017 in a few locations.

bananas in a grocery store
StockSnap / Pixabay

SNAP recipients who were told they wouldn't receive benefits until next month will get a portion of their March allotment earlier than expected.

The longest government shutdown in U.S. history has some of the country's poorest residents worried about how they are going to stay fed.

In Pennsylvania, no place has more trouble keeping food on the table than the city of Reading, population 88,000, about an hour outside Philadelphia. Nearly half of all households there receive food stamps, the highest rate in the state.

The human toll of that statistic can be found everywhere, including among the people lining up for a monthly food pantry operated by St. James Chapel Church of God.

bananas in a grocery store
StockSnap / Pixabay

Ohio beneficiaries of SNAP, the federal food assistance program, will see more money turn up on their cards before the end of the month.

Government Shutdown Affects Food Assistance Program

Jan 15, 2019

People who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or SNAP benefits will be getting February benefits early due to the government shutdown.  

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has told states they have to distribute February benefits by January 20th, otherwise there would be no funding to cover them.

Summit County will distribute benefits on Wednesday.

Gov. John Kasich signed a bill this week increasing how often food assistance recipients must be certified for eligibility. The move is drawing fire from the state’s foodbanks.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. EST

Flanked by Democratic and Republican lawmakers, President Trump Thursday signed into the law the 2018 farm bill touting it as a "bipartisan success," even though it lacked the administration's much-sought-after changes to the food stamp program.

"We're here to celebrate a really tremendous victory for the American farmer," Trump said at the signing ceremony. "We've been working long and hard on this one."

The Ohio Senate and House have approved a bill, HB119, that will ramp up scrutiny of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The new review process will require government administrators to review a person’s eligibility every quarter, this is currently an annual process.

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