food stamps

Gregg Avedon / Flickr

The Miami metro area has a higher percentage of households relying on food stamps than nearly every other major metropolitan area in the country, according to new data from the U.S. Census.

In 2012 and 2013, 17.5 percent of households in the Miami metro received food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Only the Detroit metro area ranked higher with 18.5 percent.

11/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents examines studies of South Florida’s “working poor.”  Having a job doesn’t preclude a lack of sustenance. Only 1% of those who get food assistance are unemployed.  Seniors often face a choice of paying utilities and rent . . . or going hungry. We’ll learn more about the efforts with guests: United Way of Miami-Dade Sr. Dir.

Creative Commons

A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.

Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.

Creative Commons / Flickr user Clementine Gallot

Florida is getting a big bonus this year. The Federal Department of Agriculture is rewarding the state $7 million for being efficient and accurate when it comes to giving out food stamps to families.

At 0.81 percent error rate, the state ranks the second most accurate in the country. That means families don’t get more, or less, help than they qualify for.

The bonus won’t mean more money in the pockets of families, but it will help streamline the process for future need.

Miami Herald

FLIPANY, or Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth, is taking grocery-shopping to another level. The non-profit organization wants to teach Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County residents how to cook healthy, affordable meals with their groceries.

Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

Cuts to food stamps for over 3.5 million Floridians went into effect Friday, Nov. 1. And more could be coming through the pipeline soon.

Increases in food stamps, which are part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), were approved as part of the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to the economy. And those increases have run out.

For a family of four, the cuts translate to $36 per month or a total loss of $396 per year. Cuts to benefits in Florida are the third largest.

South Florida Food Banks Prepare For Funding Cuts

Oct 28, 2013
Gloria Lewis

Florida's food programs are bracing for cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that kick in Nov. 1 --- while watching warily as U.S. House and Senate conferees prepare to negotiate a federal farm bill, which could have much more far-reaching consequences for hungry Floridians.

Gloria Lewis

Florida is among the top 10 states with the largest share of its population relying on food stamps. Nearly 20 percent of the state requires assistance. However, with federal cuts to the program likely, many could find it even more difficult in South Florida, where the cost of food is above the national average.

Just over a year ago, Miranda Childe was an assistant professor in English at Miami-Dade College. But due in part to funding cuts at state colleges, she suddenly found herself out of work.

The Republican-controlled House's vote to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program is just the latest example of how the GOP balance of power has shifted rightward over the past decade.

President George W. Bush isn't fondly remembered by progressives for much. But anti-hunger advocates credited him during his administration for strongly supporting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the formal name for food stamps) and other policies to help unemployed or low-income workers and their children escape the fear of not knowing where their next meals would come from.