Entries Tagged 'Food Stamps' ↓

21,231 of Minnehaha County residents receive SNAP

I often cringe when I hear our mayor talk about the 3% unemployment rate in Sioux Falls, because when you compare that rate to how many people are receiving food stamps, something isn’t adding up. Sioux Falls is a bastion of ‘working poor’ who may have a job or several, but still must depend on government programs to get by and feed their families. Of that 3% rate, I am curious how many of these people are ‘underemployed’ or are working 50-60 hours a week and several jobs.

I challenge our finance director and mayor to give us the ‘real’ numbers when it comes to employment in SF.

DOC, County by County: WEB_SNAP_July2013

Oh Snap! Snooki Noem busted again for being a hypocrite (H/T – Helga)

New analysis finds that 14 members of Congress voted to continue farm subsidies from which they personally benefit while failing to continue nutrition aid for 47 million Americans. These members of

Congress:

· Are each Republicans;

· Have a total net worth of up to $124.5  million;

· Have received a total of at least $7.2 million in

farm subsidies;

· Each previously voted to gut the SNAP

program by giving states large financial incentives to kick families off SNAP.

Rep. Kristi Noem

RepublicanSouth Dakota  At-Large

Total Farm Subsidies Received: $503,751*

Net Worth: -$464,992 to  $674,999

Individuals in Noems home county,  Hamlin County,

receiving SNAP Benefits: 462  (7% of Hamlin Countys

population)

Vote on Southerland Amendment to H.R 1947 to Gut

SNAP: Rep. Noem voted YES on an amendment to gut

the SNAP program by giving subsidies to states that cut

off familiesbenefits.

Vote on H.R. 2642: Rep. Noem voted YES  to provide

farm subsidies for himself while allowing authorization

to expire for nutrition programs including  SNAP.

*Total subsidies do not include any possible federal  payments

Okay, the State legislature did pass one good bill

HB 1206 passed and the governor signed it on Friday.

It makes an appropriation for emergency food assistance grants and repeals the sales tax on food refund program.

Now if we can just get rid of that pesky food tax!

MLK DAY

When you listen to this speech by MLK, you can’t help to think about our current situation, except it applies to ALL of the working class, not just minorities.

“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will only be an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway.“  -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

FROM BREAD FOR THE WORLD

Let’s Do Something About Why People are Hungry.

There are many reasons. One is South Dakota’s tax on groceries.

• Grocery prices are up! The state can’t undo the high prices, but it could help by getting the tax off.

• Times are tough!

• Solutions are available! especially for the state portion (4%) of the food tax. This would help middle- and lower-income people. Most states do not tax groceries. No state bordering South Dakota taxes food.

• The food tax refund program is not the answer. It now reaches only 264 households in the whole state, despite much greater need. These types of programs are inherently ineffective.

• Cutting the food tax is the right thing to do. This tax hurts. What people pay annually in food tax (state + city tax) could buy their food for 3 weeks.

What to do? Enough people need to ask state legislators to start cutting the food tax. To join an email network of advocates, send your name, address & phone to: ryebread@breadrising.org.

www.endthefoodtax.org

South Dakotans ended the tax on medical services and outlawed paying to use toilets. You don’t pay a tax before you can vote or before you can breathe. No one should have to pay a tax before they can eat.

Alarming

These numbers about food stamps should tell us just how well the economy is doing and the ineffectiveness of certain government mandated programs;

• The number of people on food stamps in South Dakota has jumped 75 percent in the past five years.

• 1 in 8 in South Dakota is on the program

• In 2009, the latest year numbers were available, food stamp participants in this state spent $111.2 million.

• C-Stores make up a more then a 1/3 of food stamp vendors (36%)

Like I have said in the past, people who need food stamps should get them, but there needs to be certain restrictions, IMO;

The high number of convenience stores in SNAP alarms public health advocates. “There’s not a lot of good, healthy food in convenience stores,” Brownell said.

In an era of rising obesity rates, some argue that restrictions should be placed on what people can buy with their EBT cards. Without restrictions, participants often eat foods that lead to health problems, which then lead to higher costs in government-run health care plans.

“It doesn’t seem to me that government should buy things that make people sick and then clean up the mess later,” said Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

This is a perfect example of restrictions. I’m not saying that vendors like C-Stores cannot participate, I’m just saying certain products should not be available for purchase with food stamps. We live in a modern society that relies on barcodes, it is very easy to block out certain items from purchase with food stamps. This is not rocket science.

But Jeff Lenard, spokes-man for the National Association of Convenience Stores, disputes the idea that conveniences stores are a source only for snack foods and pop.

LMFAO! Yeah, because every time I am in line behind someone paying with a EBT card at a C-store, they are buying fresh fruit, milk, bread and eggs . . . In fact I have never once seen anybody buy anything healthy from a C-Store with an EBT card. I think the closest was a guy buying chocolate milk. And even if they were buying healthy food, it costs a lot more to purchase it from a C-Store then from a grocer. It makes zero sense to allow people to buy unhealthy, expensive food with government money, but hey, the Pentagon buys expensive shit we don’t need all the time.

I am all for convenience when it comes to the EBT card, especially for the elderly and handicapped, but seriously folks, this system needs to be fixed, not just to save taxpayers money, but to provide healthy food to people who are using it. I think everyone should go to bed on a full stomach in one of the richest countries in the world, but there is a better way to achieve that goal.

Real Classy South Dakota

Okay, so the state department of revenue just chooses to ignore a state law for decades (instead of just telling the legislature to fix it) Then all of sudden decides they must enforce it? Then says if you want to skirt the law, you can go thru a complicated application process for something you may do a couple of times a year? Then, the kicker, since they can’t tax people who receive free food (from food banks and churches) they have to tax the food these orgs are giving away? WOW! Talk about having to pay extra for a undercooked shit sandwich;

About 275 organizations statewide that give away food to needy people might be forced to pay a long-unenforced sales tax, prompting some to worry the agencies simply will stop providing food to the poor.

At issue is a handling fee that agencies pay to the organization that supplies them with food.

A state law outlining the taxes has been on the books for decades. But it wasn’t until late last year that an audit discovered the maintenance fees existed and needed to be taxed, said Jan Talley, director of the state’s Business Tax Division.

“We are charged with enforcing the statutes of South Dakota,” she said.

Your charged with enforcing a law that you haven’t enforced for decades? So instead of just getting the powers of be to fix it, you have to be the assmunch instead and enforce it? Seriously?! Pierre is freaking broken, and this is further proof.

But the best part is the Argue Endorser’s online poll today;

 

I would like to meet these clowns that think it is okay to tax orgs that give food to the needy. I have a sandwich I would like to feed them. And it’s not made of turds.

 

Another reason why a sales tax increase in SD is idiotic

Peeps so poor in SD they can’t buy food;

MITCHELL, SD – A new study shows more people in the Dakotas are enrolled in a federal program that provides food assistance.

Data from the Urban Institute shows enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program increased by 58 percent in South Dakota between 2007 and 2010. North Dakota had an increase of 33 percent during that period.  Nationally, the number of people using food stamps increased 69 percent between from 2007 to 2010.

Congress adopted the Federal Food Stamp Act in 1964 to help needy people buy groceries. The program cost approximately $60 billion in fiscal year 2010.

I saw a guy the other day pull up to the C-Store in a brand new car, nicely dressed, in his 30′s, grab a Mt. Dew and couple of candy bars and pay for it with his Food Stamp Card. I don’t have a problem with people getting food stamps, but it should be reserved for those in need of FOOD! Yet the good ole state of SD thinks we need to increase the sales taxes (on food to) to pay for stuff we already have money for. I call it the ‘stupidity cycle’.

The working poor and the $2 million dollar impact of the Events Center

While our city ‘Leaders’ and supposed ‘Progressives‘ talk about increasing regressive taxes in Sioux Falls to build a $169 million dollar playground, WORKING people can’t even afford to feed their families;

South Dakota’s working poor slipping into food insecurity is a phenomenon emergency food agency heads already have recognized.

“We are seeing more people coming in where one or both parents have a job,” says Tamera Jerke-Liesinger, executive director of The Banquet. The Banquet fed notably more people in 2009 than previously.

The Feeding America report suggests 36 percent of households requiring emergency food aid have at least one employed adult. But 74 percent of those families have incomes below the federal poverty level. About one-third of those families reported having to choose between buying food or paying for utilities or housing, and 25 percent had to choose between buying food or medicine or food or transportation.

“Until the early 1980s, food stamps provided most of people’s food needs. But during the 1980s, so much of that public safety net kind of unraveled,” says Hugh Grogan, Minnehaha County human services director.

“It used to be there was almost no way you would not qualify for food stamps if you were poor,” Grogan says. “Now there are lots of ways.”

Also, food stamps don’t go as far as they used to, according to Davidson. “With bigger families, food stamps just aren’t enough,” she says.

Gassen said the numbers in the Feeding America report on the working poor “told a unique story about South Dakota. People are reaching out for hope. They’re not doing nothing, trying to get free food.”

I started thinking about this the other day. Like I mentioned previously, taking $50 million out of the economy by giving it to the city in the form of new taxes actually takes money away from local businesses, which is very BAD for the economy. The irony of all this is that the Events Center Task Force has said that the EC would have a $52 million dollar impact on the city each year. So if you subtract those numbers, it seems building the EC would have only a $2 million dollar impact each year. Whoo-Hoo! What are we waiting for, we are losing money!!!!!! Let’s get it built!

A Shocking 48% increase in Food Stamp usage in Minnehaha County in one year

Souf_R_C_-49027

For those who think Sioux Falls is sheltered from the recession, check out these numbers (Bread for the World)

SD food stamp enrollment saw an incredible one-year increase from Sept.’08 to Sept.’09: 34% !!

Food stamps traditionally go up and down with the economy. But no one envisioned such a huge one-year increase.

(The Food Stamp program is now called SNAP.)
Find the data for your county here:

http://dss.sd.gov/foodstamps/data/foodstampdatapast/index.asp

Minnehaha County residents will be completely shocked by their 48% increase.

Let your local Social Services workers know you appreciate them. They are working hard.

One more note: Even if you include up to 4,000 households using commodities rather than food stamps (option available on reservations), there are still thousands of eligible low-income households NOT signed up for food stamps, easily 15,000 to 20,000 or more. The state should campaign for them to sign up. (It’s all federal funds.)


• Food tax refunds’ dismal reach:
less than 1% of SD’s low-income population.

Only 630 households in the whole state are receiving the quarterly food tax refunds. Make sure your local media report this.

Why is it important?

• People pay a lot of money for the tax. Every year the money families pay in food tax would cover meals for 3 weeks.

• There is a movement afoot to raise sales tax for new city projects, even tho’ cities have other ways to raise funds. In an attempt to make this palatable, the draft of the state legislation says cities may refund the new tax to their low-income residents. So far, there is no effective way to do refunds. Such refund programs are inherently ineffective. People need to know, so they don’t think this option would solve the problem of a higher sales tax, and the resulting higher the cost of living.

END THE FOOD TAX in SD!

An email from Bread for the world;

 

The food tax refund system does not meet the need. The Governor’s proposal to drop it does makes sense, in large part because a better alternative is so available.

The refund program returns to taxpayers only about 3.8 percent of the total food tax, and you know there is more need than that.

(You can find more info about the refund program at http://www.endthefoodtax.org/.  Some items on that website have not been updated lately, but some have.)

 

Grocery prices are rising, and times are tough. The state legislature could help. Rather than a refund system that leaves out most low income families in the state, South Dakota could end this unfair tax, as most other states have done.

 

Legislators are putting in bills this week. We hope and assume there will be a bill to end the food tax. It is needed now more than ever. 

 

When you visit with state legislators (via phone, email, letter, or in person), you can advise them that South Dakota should stop taxing groceries altogether.

 

A good option is available: The whole food tax could be ended once and for all by adding ½% to non-food sales. This tax shift would cost the state nothing, AND the cities and tribes could be fully reimbursed. Thus, NO public money would be lost. 

What about families? This tax shift would help middle- and low-income families. It would move the sales tax burden slightly up the income scale. 

 

“No other tax so directly takes food off people’s tables.” -Matt Gassen, director of Community Food Banks of SD

If they could save the tax on $100 food, a family could buy 2 gallons of milk. Think of the impact in a family with teenagers!