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food stamps

The Trump administration wants to change the way states determine who qualifies for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits, also known as food stamps. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 3 million people would lose their food assistance as a result.

A sign posted on the Port Richey Department of Children and Families Access Office confirms it's closing next month.
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Pasco County residents may soon find it more difficult to get help filing applications for Medicaid, food stamps, temporary cash assistance and more.

A sign in the entrance to the Port Richey Florida Department of Children and Families Access office confirms it's permanently closing on Friday, July 26.

Sabrina Rubich shopped for milk, bananas and other basics this week at an Albertson's grocery store in Missoula, Mont., with her nine-month-old son, Kenny. When she got to the checkstand she paid for some of her groceries with money from the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP—which is issuing its February payments early.

Rubich is one of about 39 million people who are now spending their SNAP payments not knowing when the next one will come due to the federal government shutdown.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing stricter requirements for people receiving food stamps.It’s part of the farm bill passed by Congress, and if these new measures are adopted, it could mean more people in Florida will go hungry.

While using food stamps to purchase vegetables at a farmers market may seem like a simple exchange, it depends on complex government contracting requirements and increasingly sophisticated technology.

When families don’t know where their next meal will come from, it can be especially hard on young children. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior shows that 5-year-olds who experience food insecurity are more likely than other kids to have behavior problems.

Florida lawmakers are once again trying to reform the state’s food stamp program, which has more than doubled since the Recession. But unlike in previous years, the Republican-led effort could be making some in roads with Democrats. 

Senior citizens and people with disabilities who have pre-registered online will be able to conduct the qualifying interviews to receive Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (D-SNAP)   aid over the phone starting this weekend, according to an announcement of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), which administers the program in the state.

There is still a chance for some people to sign up for D-SNAP disaster food assistance in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Update 11/20 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Florida to conduct telephone interviews for individuals who pre-registered for DSNAP who also have a disability or who are over the age of 60. The lawsuit is continuing to push for registration possibilities for people who do not meet that criteria.

After Hurricane Irma, the federal government offered a food assistance program to Floridians who needed help because of the storm. The signup period for that program ended last week.

But there’s an ongoing lawsuit that might reopen registration for some people with disabilities because, the suit claims, the lines to sign up were prohibitively long.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is urging the Department of Agriculture to extend the deadline for Floridians to apply for emergency food benefits in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Bill Would Block Use Of Food Stamps For Soda

Aug 21, 2017

A House Republican filed a proposal Friday that seeks to prevent people from using food-assistance benefits to buy soft drinks.

President Donald Trump's budget would drive millions of people off of food stamps, part of a new wave of spending cut proposals that already are getting panned by lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill.

Thousands of military households rely on government food assistance programs, but the Pentagon doesn't track how many service members have trouble feeding their families.

Most people in Florida who get food stamps are required to work in order to keep them.

A bill (HB 23) that’s slated to be heard by the full state House of Representatives would increase the penalties if people fail to meet those requirements. A now-competing bill in the state Senate would strike these penalties.

At least 157,000 kids in Florida could lose food stamps under legislation moving in a Florida House committee Thursday.

Legislation by Frank White, R-Pensacola, sends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility requirements back to pre-recession levels.

On paper, Florida’s economy has recovered since the great recession. But that progress isn’t obvious looking at the state’s public assistance enrollment.

Food Stamp Recipients Face Work Requirement

Apr 7, 2016

About 300,000 Floridians who qualified for food stamps now face a work requirement that went into effect Jan. 1 -- and the possibility of at least temporarily losing benefits if they don't meet the guidelines.

Back when Laura Rollins first used food stamps for her family—more than two decades ago—she was sometimes embarrassed to use her  stamps at the grocery store.

“When we used to have those books of food stamps that you know that to me was embarrassing because that was telling everybody that was around me and letting them know that, ‘oh, she’s poor,’” Rollins recalls.

More than 1 million low-income residents in 21 states could soon lose their government food stamps if they fail to meet work requirements that began kicking in this month.

More With SNAP Buying From FL Farmers

Jun 29, 2015

Food stamp recipients in Florida are buying a lot more from farmers and farmers markets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says expanding access to fresh produce for SNAP recipients has been a top priority.

Redemptions under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp program, have ballooned since 2008 by more than a thousand percent.

Amy Rupert-Secol is chief vegetable officer at Homegrown, a Central Florida food co-op. She says even more could be done to get low-income families to shop local.

This one almost snuck past us, but the combination of a cute dog and a local innovator with a cool invention once again caught our eye -- just like it caught the attention of new "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon.