Entries Tagged 'Food Stamps' ↓

Ending Food Deserts

Guest Post by by David Z for Mayor and Patricia Lucas

I want Sioux Falls to be a thriving, robust city with healthy citizens. Healthy citizens need a nutritious diet based on regular access to fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat.

This goal has become increasingly challenging. In our state of South Dakota, one out of nine individuals is food insecure and one of every six children is at risk of going hungry. The closure of grocery stores, higher cost of food, transportation limitations, and the COVID pandemic make the problem of food access critical. Some areas of Sioux Falls don’t have nearby supermarkets – they are food deserts. Food deserts occur most often in rundown parts of a city when grocery stores move away from high crime and low income areas. The HyVee on Kiwanis Avenue recently closed creating a food desert.

A former manager of this supermarket commented on www.reddit.com that the closure of this store “will undoubtedly impact countless families and individuals who shopped there on a highly consistent basis. A majority of the clientele were elderly, disabled, and lower income shoppers who may already have a difficult time in getting to the grocery store, especially in frigid winter months … it really is leaving behind a food desert.”

This is a crisis for our city of Sioux Falls. Malnourished people can become obese, have heart disease, and suffer from type 2 diabetes. Children can suffer even more. Hunger can slow their mental and physical development. They don’t do well in school and have lower graduation rates. Hungry children often don’t reach their full potential and remain disadvantaged during adulthood. Hunger results in reduced health and that increases medical costs and expensive emergency room visits.

A short term solution for hunger is providing food access through charities and government programs like food stamps and subsidized school lunches. While these excellent programs solve critical needs, they don’t solve the whole problem. We can make food more affordable by removing the sales tax on food. City government can subsidize placing grocery stores in food deserts and thereby increase local access to healthy nutritious food at reasonable cost. Urban agriculture can provide gardeners with delightful fresh fruits and vegetables. We can support the health and welfare of Sioux Falls by investing in our citizens of all ages, sexes, income levels, and races. We improve the present and build the future. Let’s solve local hunger together.

Should we really be ‘celebrating’ the expansion of a food bank?


You know my feelings on this. While the (business) community bands together to help a food bank charity, wouldn’t it just be better if these businesses paid their employees enough so they can buy their own food? I know we will never totally eliminate hunger. There will always be people who can’t afford food, such as those on disability or the elderly that can’t work anymore. But it is a sad when a working family can’t afford to buy their own food.

On top of that, the ignorance of our governor and state legislature raising taxes on food so we can pay ONE sector of public employees more (a program that is running into snags and not really working the way it intended).

It is time our lawmakers get serious about the minimum wage in our state and raising the wages of ALL workers in this state to compete with other states. Enough of selling us as a low wage state.

Of course some lawmakers still think it is all just a big joke. Our esteemed mayor took that opportunity when he jokingly said this during the above press conference about the administration building (about 6 minutes in);

“I like new and big buildings to . . . I do. Did I just say that? I think building new is better then remodeling.”

The poor and the hungry seem to be just a big joke to some people. Make sure the developers and contractors in this town stay well fed. And while we are planning to bond for a $22 million dollar administration building, we are proposing no wage increases for city employees in 2017. Better funnel some more money through the development foundation so they can give it to the food bank. Now that’s workforce development at it’s best!

To heck with FEEDING South Dakotans, how about PAYING South Dakotans so they can afford to feed themselves


I commend anybody who is willing to give towards combatting hunger  in SD;

large donation from a Huron couple is helping a non-profit organization which fights hunger in the state.

With a food distribution to follow, officials with Feeding South Dakota announced the $1 million donation from Paul and Muffy Christen Tuesday.

The money will go into an endowment. Its interest will feed South Dakotans for years to come.

I think it is great many leaders and philantropists are coming forward in SD to help this charity, but I often wonder if these same leaders put the same amount of time and effort into raising wages in South Dakota and raising our quality of life if it would be time, energy and money better spent instead of helping these people once they hit the bottom of the pyramid. it would also be nice if we eliminated the sales tax on food.

Like I said, there will always be ‘hungry’ people in our state that need assistance, but let’s work harder to reduce those numbers by helping some of these people make a living wage. Prevention is usually the best cure to a problem.

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


· 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

Republican—South 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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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’.