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  1. #1
    Senior Member MyAmerica's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Wisc-Order restored among crowd seeking food vouchers

    Order restored among crowd seeking food vouchers

    Posted: June 23, 2008

    Milwaukee police said they have restored order this morning but will remain outside of the Marcia P. Coggs Human Services Center after a crowd awaiting free food vouchers - which never were to be distributed - became unruly this morning.

    Police Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said Vliet St., between N. 12th and N. 13th streets, is blocked, and barricades have been installed so people are able to line up around the block of the building at 1220 W. Vliet St.

    "That line is pretty huge," Schwartz said. "We are going to be here for the duration."

    Police responded to the building about 7 a.m. after 2,500 people lined up on the sidewalk and eventually began to block traffic in the street. A number of people had rushed the door, and some people became caught in the crush; however, there were no serious injuries, according to Schwartz.

    She did not think police had made any arrests, nor were people being asked to leave.

    "We want to make sure people stay here in an orderly fashion so they can get what they came to get," she said. "We're still trying to figure out why so many people showed up."

    People had begun lining up at about 5 a.m.

    As of 9:20 a.m., a large crowd of frustrated people remained.

    Some said they heard of the reports while visiting food pantries over the weekend. Others said the word came through friends or others they know.

    "It's a mess down there," said Lillie William, who arrived at 6:45 a.m. and already found a long line.

    William said she lost about $150 of frozen meat when her power went out during the storms.

    Residents in line said they were expecting to receive immediate help, but several said they were told it would be 30 to 60 days before they received any money or credits to their FoodShare debit cards.

    Yvonne Love, a mother of three children, said she heard there would be immediate help while at a food pantry Saturday. She left the scene frustrated, talking briefly to a reporter before running to catch a bus to P.A. Staffing Service, a temporary employment agency.

    "Now I have to try and get (to) a food pantry," said Love, whose children are 8, 10 and 14. "I've got to feed my kids."

    At one point, 34 squad cars had been sent to the scene, according to police Lt. Anthony Boylan.

    "It's bad over there, apparently," Boylan said. "They've got a lot of squads over there. Fights have been breaking out."

    Information was given out that the office was giving out free food vouchers, but it was only taking applications through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for food vouchers, Boylan said.

    Told of the incident in Milwaukee, a FEMA spokeswoman said the agency would not be involved with food stamp distribution and was unaware of any media reports about it in the Milwaukee area.

    Eileen Force, a spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Barrett, said her understanding is that applications for general flood assistance were to be taken at the location, but somehow a rumor developed related to food stamps.

    Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, said she believed that a news release issued by Gov. Jim Doyle's office may have suggested to people that they could get food stamp aid immediately.

    A news release on the governor's Web site makes clear that people who need food assistance should go to their local county to "fill out the simple, two-page application to see if they are eligible for emergency food assistance."

    "The food stamp program is just not that fast," Tussler said of the application process. "Your average Joe ends up in a flood situation and thinks the help will be immediate."

    Tussler said each applicant has to undergo a one-hour interview. The entire process can take as long as 30 days.

    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 19 counties in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee County, have been designated for the Disaster Food Stamp Program.

    All told, 92 flood-struck counties in Wisconsin, Iowa and Indiana have been made eligible for the program.

    According to the Department of Agriculture's Web site: "Through (the program) people who might not ordinarily qualify for food stamps may be eligible if they have had disaster damage to their homes or expenses related to protecting their homes, or if they have lost income as a result of the disaster, or have no access to bank accounts or other resources."

    Linda Spice and Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report. ... rmat=print
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  2. #2
    Senior Member azwreath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Are they going to be checking on the legal status of those lining up for this assistance? Are they going to be checking to make sure that those seeking assistance actually live in the state and counties they claim to live in?

    Or is this going to be another Katrina and CA wildfires scenario where IAs from all over the country, and even Mexicans making a specific trip across the border, are going to be looting the programs intended to help Americans who are actual victims of a disaster?
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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