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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Since 2001, one-third more get food stamps

    Gee, they can't understand why the number of people getting food stamps is up! Hmm, let me see. ILLEGALS. People that have lost their jobs due to outsourcing, companies closing plants and moving them overseas. H!B visas to bring in MORE cheap labor. On top of that they are ENCOURGING more people to get food stamps. Never mind the fact that it is OUR hard earned dollars that pay for it! Perhaps they want MORE people dependent on the government so they will be able to control MORE of us.

    Ya think? ... xml&coll=2

    Since 2001, one-third more get food stamps
    State officials say too many who could get help don't sign up
    Monday, August 14, 2006
    News staff writer
    MONTGOMERY - The number of Alabama families receiving food stamps has risen by one-third in five years, but state officials say that's not enough.

    Officials at the Alabama Department of Human Resources worry that too many people who could get help don't sign up.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated in 2003 that 56 percent of Alabamians who were eligible received food stamps. The national rate that year also was 56 percent.

    "Our goal is to get to 80 percent by 2010," DHR Commissioner Page Walley said. Walley believes the percentage is starting to rise, since total numbers are growing. But new estimates have not been formulated. And state officials say they can't fully explain the reasons for growth that has occurred despite a strong economy.

    In April, 214,414 Alabama households received food stamps, compared to 159,647 in April 2001, a 34.3 percent increase. Alabama households received $47.18 million in food stamps in April, compared to $30.1 million in April 2001, a 57 percent rise.

    Numbers also have risen nationally, from 17.2 million recipients in 2000 to more than 25 million in 2005.

    Joyce O'Neal, state director of the food stamps program for four years, said food stamp enrollment normally rises during economic slumps. But the current trend persists despite unemployment rates being at the lowest level in decades.

    "I believe in the past we have always been able to relate growth to the economy," O'Neal said. "If the economy is bad, food stamps increase. But we can't say that because the economy is better."

    O'Neal said she believes hurricanes Ivan and Katrina partly explain the most recent growth. DHR offered one-time food stamp enrollment to Ivan victims in 2004 and Katrina victims in 2005. More than 55,000 households signed up after each storm. O'Neal said some of those families realized they were eligible for long-term assistance and became part of the regular food stamp rolls.

    "I know Ivan and Katrina helped many people understand they are eligible," O'Neal said.

    Still, O'Neal and Walley say too many people aren't taking advantage of food stamps. They will meet Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 with officials from the 10 Alabama counties that have the lowest participation rates to talk about ways to reach more people.

    "We'll discuss some strategies; what is working and what isn't, and what are some ideas that might be helpful," Walley said.

    Lee County DHR Director Jan Burke said she was surprised to learn from a recent letter from the state office that her county ranked 66th out of 67 counties in the food stamps participation rate. According to the 2003 estimate, only 33 percent of those eligible in the county were receiving food stamps.

    Since getting the letter, Burke said she has delivered stacks of food stamps applications to food banks and other agencies that serve low-income people, as well as senior centers.

    "The elderly, to me, are the ones who are least ready to ask for assistance," Burke said. "They're very proud, and they've worked all their lives, and they don't want to be in a position to ask for a handout."

    DHR also plans to work with the Alabama Department of Senior Services, which oversees senior centers, meal deliveries and other programs for the elderly, in efforts to increase food stamp usage.

    In September, Walley and O'Neal will visit South Carolina, which has launched a program aimed at increasing food stamp participation among the elderly.

    In Alabama, only 5 percent of food stamp recipients are 60 or older. Officials don't think that percentage reflects the need.

    "I think we have a lot of people in this state just struggling by on what they could make when they could receive help," O'Neal said.

    People apply for food stamps through county DHR offices. An interview is required. O'Neal said DHR will consider simplifying the application process.

    "We have a 22-page application," O'Neal said. "Is that not tedious?"

    DHR county offices can also offer more flexible hours for interviews, O'Neal said. DHR workers can visit senior centers to spread the word about food stamps. Walley said DHR will also talk to the Alabama Grocers Association about raising awareness.

    The USDA does some mass media advertising about food stamps in large cities, but not in Alabama. Federal grants are available for outreach programs. Walley did not rule out spending state dollars on advertisements because he thinks it would be a good investment.

    The USDA runs the food stamp program and pays all the benefits with federal funds. The state pays for half the administrative cost.

    He said DHR will hire more food stamp case workers. Last year, the state earned a $4.3 million bonus from the federal government for having the seventh best accuracy rate among states in administering the program. Walley said more workers can continue to improve efficiency.

    Walley said some people feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help through food stamps. DHR has changed terminology as part of its effort to remove the stigma and refers to the program as food assistance. Stamps haven't been issued since 1997, when Alabama began using Electronic Benefits Transfer cards, similar to debit cards.

    "We're trying to get away from stamps and the historical perception that it's tied to welfare," Walley said.

    Many families can qualify for food stamps even if the head of household works. A family of four can be eligible with a gross income of up to $2,100 a month, which is 30 percent above the federal poverty guideline.

    A recipient generally can't have more than $2,000 in a cash account, or $3,000 if they are 60 or older.

    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    They NEVER show the ethnic breakdown of the folks drawing all those freebies, and I bet the biggest # is those from the illegals.

    I am so glad that I didn't have children. It breaks my heart to imagine what future existing children have and those now being conceived. It will be a nightmare existence unless they're biological makeup is part "illegals". Seriously. The world you and I and our parents grew up in, is over. We're leaving them a war zone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Why do you think I keep fighting? Because of my kids!
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God

  4. #4
    Senior Member steelerbabe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Bethel Park, Pa.

    Re: Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by ohflyingone
    Why do you think I keep fighting? Because of my kids!
    AMEN! I have two children and we fortunate to get away from the mess with illegals back in Northern Virginia. I will write, make calls, fax until I am six feet under for them.

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