August 31, 2014

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Local food banks will have to shoulder food stamp cuts

COURTESY OF SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK

COURTESY OF SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK

The $8 billion in cuts to food stamps over 10 years in the farm bill passed in the Senate on Tuesday will further increase demand on food banks and food pantries, according to the head of the food bank that serves Lorain County.

Juliana Chase-Morefield, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio executive director, said demand is already outpacing food supplies due to hard economic times and previous cuts to food programs.

“We can’t absorb all of these continued cuts to the food stamp program,” she said. “It’s just not possible.”

Second Harvest, which also serves Crawford, Erie and Huron counties, distributed about 7.5 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 6 million meals in 2013, Chase-Morefield said.

That’s triple the amount of a decade ago. In November and December 2012, Lorain County food pantries fed 31,801 people. A year later, 34,873 were fed, a 9.7 percent increase.

Chase-Morefield partly attributes the most recent increase to the Nov. 2 expiration of federal taxpayer stimulus money that was approved in 2009 for food stamps in response to the Great Recession. The expiration cut monthly distribution by 5.5 percent.

For a mother with two children, the reduction meant about $29 less to spend per month. For a family of four, the cut was $36 a month, to $632.

In January, a new state rule in 72 of Ohio’s 88 counties eliminated food stamps for able-bodied people not working 20 hours per week or in job training 20 hours per week. The rule affects about 134,000 of the 1.8 million Ohioans receiving food stamps through the $80 billion per year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It affects about 3,600 of the 44,000 Lorain County residents receiving food stamps.

The bill will cut the deficit — estimated to drop to $514 billion by the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30 — by $16.6 billion over 10 years, the CBO reported. The White House said President Barack Obama will sign the bill on Friday in Michigan, the home state of Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow.

Both Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, praised the bill in written statements.

Brown said the bill “balances the need for reform while making smart investments in conservation, nutrition, renewable energy and rural development programs.”

Portman praised the bill for eliminating a loophole that allowed poor people to automatically receive higher benefits without proof of utility costs.

“This bill helps restore the integrity of the SNAP entitlement program which is riddled with loopholes that allowed the program to grow faster than economic conditions would have otherwise allowed,” Portman said.

Chase-Morefield said Democrats allowed Republicans to set the terms of the debate over the food stamp program.

“It became a question of how much, not whether it was going to get cut,” Chase-Morefield said. “There’s hope that the economy is improving, but for too many families, it’s not improving fast enough. Eliminating these safety nets just puts families a little bit farther behind while they’re still trying to recover.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • Mark B

    Keep enabling the lazy and they will never be able to support themselves. if you are on welfare for a extended period of time you should be moved to a warm climate and given a bag of seeds , a fishing pole and told to fend for yourself or starve. . i think many would be supprised on how many would staver because they are too lazy to grow food and support them self .

    • Michael A. Figueroa

      What a nice, and simple vision you have of hunger in America. A bag of seeds and a fishing pole, good lord. Is that what Christ gave everyone at the Sermon on the Mount? I guarantee you that if hard times befall you, you’ll go running right to the government and demand that they help you.

      • SniperFire

        If only it were for those on ‘hardtimes.’ It is a lifestyle for tens of millions who would rather sponge than work. You know it as well as the rest of us.

        • Tommy Peel

          Most food stamp recipients have jobs or are senior citizens or children. 36%are white, 22%are african american, 10
          % are hispanic.

          • SniperFire

            .. and 10s of millions would rather sponge than work. You know it as well as the rest of us.

          • Bob Owens

            This same farm bill GIVES billions to large corporations to NOT grow crops and offers price supports for the same companies. Seems you’re OK with that. Wake up. Tax dollars are tax dollars.

          • Toad

            you are right. we need to give more to blacks

          • SniperFire

            beats workin

      • Pablo Jones

        If people were only allowed to buy fish and bread with food stamps the cost would be much lower and they would be more willing to find additional work to buy other things.

        • Tommy Peel

          IF, pigs had wings!

          • Pablo Jones

            Then we could get pork chops and wings from the same animal.

            This is was in response to Michael above. He made the response that Jesus feed the people. Which I replied with give them bread and fish. Even give them water. If they can turn it into wine then they can drink wine as well.

        • Earl K.

          I can spot the welfare shoppers a mile away. They don’t cook–unless it’s shrimp or steaks. For the most part, they buy processed, microwave-type foods, and load their carts with sugary drinks, snacks, etc. Let’s keep enabling them!

          • KZ14

            Agree I also know they sell them, seen it first hand. There should be a limit or the receiver should have to do some work for the benefit. Government, Government, Government it’s all about them.

          • Linda

            Really? So which is it? You don’t like the poor buying expensive food or cheep junk food? Tell the truth you don’t like the idea of them getting any of “YOUR” tax money. Guess what? We all have to pay for things that we don’t benefit from (at one time or another) with OUR taxes. I happen to be disabled and a vegetarian, I buy fresh fruits and vegetables, I hate junk food and try to eat as natural as I can off of $200 a month for my son and I. You may think you know these people on food stamps but you don’t and you don’t care to either. Admit that it is you who is being greedy. If I could work I surely would but, not because of all the shaming of you ignorant, privileged brats. I have no pride in having to receive assistance, no one does.You care about yourself that’s fine, I care about my son and being here for my son, sadly I can’t do that alone. I bet you think that this will benefit you when you get rich (as if the tax breaks aren’t enough). Good to have big dreams honey! Having a job must be the all-encompassing justification to step on people, judge and lump everyone together, who you deem worthless because you can’t benefit from them. Well, if this justifies how your more deserving than the hungry… I hope you can sleep at night. I’d rather be poor than have your values.

          • Earl K.

            I sleep quite well, usually after having worked 50+ hours per week. And no, I am not some privileged brat as you say. Grew up quite poor, in fact, but never resorted to criminal activity as I had been taught well by a mother who was forced to return to work after having been out of the job market for almost 15 years. And no, she never took the easy road and accepted a government handout.

          • Pablo Jones

            May I ask how you are disabled? I have seen people in wheel chairs working, people missing fingers, arms, or legs working, blind people, deaf people, people with medical immune deficiencies working, with depression, anxiety, and many other issues. It is amazing how they can find jobs and work.

            I have also seen, i.e., know people, that are perfectly able to work, yet claim to be disabled. My shoulder hurts, I’m over weight and can’t walk, my knees hurt, I have depression, I can’t keep jobs because of my anxiety.

            I do believe there are many people out there that are truly disabled and can not work. But I think a large number of the people on disability now have the ability to work, maybe not at the job they want but they can work, but they choose not to.

            So if you are looking for a job tell use what your disability is and we can help you find a job that you can do with it.

          • Linda

            Nerve damage due to peripheral neuropathy caused by long-term b12 deficiency mainly caused by being a vegetarian for 17 years and having an eating disorder… for some reason I often get full after a couple bites, or I’m just not hungry and not taking vitamins because I thought I was getting enough nutrition through the healthy food I did eat. It took me 3 years to get it diagnosed because I didn’t have medical insurance and I was unable to work. I have severe DSPD I’ve had it since I was 12 but it’s gotten much worse in the past 3 years, on top of it I have intermittent insomnia. So I am unable to control my sleep/wake schedule. The only way I can is by staying up for a day and a half to reset it and it pushes forward again usually full circle within a week or so. Then I have to struggle to try to reset it again. I have severe depression, severe anxiety and myofascial along with panic attacks caused by these things. So now I am unable to stand for long periods of time I have pain and weakness walking up hill or riding a bike, swimming ect. to the point where my legs will give out. I also have nerve damage in my arms. I was severely low on vitamin D due mainly to not drinking milk and almost never seeing sun light. I hardly leave my apartment anymore as I don’t have a car and I’m very sensitive to the cold and sunlight. I haven’t gotten the nerve damage assessed yet I am waiting for my next disability appointment the day after my bday here to address it. You have to prove your disabled before you can get medical assistance. But I couldn’t prove I was disabled with out having medical assistance to see a GP. I was caught in a catch 22. The only way I got help was I had a miscarage and got on temporary medical assistance.

        • angelandfire

          Tell your Congressman. He takes money from Coke, Pepsi, Frito Lay and the rest of the junk food companies to keep the law so that food stamps PAY for this crap. One amendment and Congress could end it….but they won’t. Don’t blame the victim….blame Congress. $$$

          • SniperFire

            Coke and Pepsi make a cool $8 billion off of food stamps – each year.

          • Zen Grouch

            **Coke and Pepsi make a cool $8 billion off of food stamps – each year.**

            Hard numbers never were your friend, were they, Sweet Cheeks?

          • SniperFire

            You are what is known as ‘low hanging fruit,’ stoner. LOL

          • Joe Smith

            At his age, his fruit is probably hanging low.

            Sorry Zen, had to do it HA!

          • Zen Grouch

            There is some truth in that.

            Gravity can be a b****.

          • Zen Grouch

            In that case, eat me.

          • Pablo Jones

            I believe food stamps are administered by the state. And in any case the high level rules are done by the state representatives but most rules are put in place by the heads of the departments.

      • angelandfire

        Exactly. The conservatives in Joplin Missouri wouldn’t give a dying man a glass of water. Then the tornado came…killed 260 people and wiped half the town off the map. They cried like babies for Obama …. FEMA….anyone….Hollywood….or other countries to give them money and lots of it. All that conservative crap went right out the window. They did not care where the money came from or who gave it….they wanted it and they wanted it now. Along with food, clothing, cleanup costs, you name it….they were all of a sudden ENTITLED to it. Imagine that. Funny to watch. What turns a conservative into a liberal? A storm.

        • Tommy Peel

          Very well said. They also turned into hypocrites.

        • Mark B

          And to this day they are still waiting on Obama to give them Federal Aid

        • Joe Smith

          How did you determine they were conservative? Or are you just speculating not knowing what you are talking about?

    • Bob Owens

      But you have no problem giving money to corporations to NOT grow crops and subsidize companies that are doing well. wake up. You’re being suckered. i

    • ekwaykway

      So let’s eliminate social security payments and send seniors to a warm climate with a fishing pole, bag of seeds. Great idea! Saves tax dollars to get all those lazy old people off the backs of the taxpayers. I bet you think thats a great idea Mark? I bet you would be all for concentration camps too?

  • stargazer2012

    Food Banks and Food Pantry’s need money to buy food from Second Harvest. How much food these places can buy depends on how much money is donated for this purpose. Many of these places hold fundraisers. If you see a fundraiser for a Food Pantry, please attend or donate to the cause. There are many people out there NOT working the system, the ‘honest’ poor who fall between the cracks and are truly, truly indigent. Every dollar counts. These are hard times that are not going to go away and may get far worse. Remember these people and the children, especially the children.

  • SniperFire
  • Daniel Sutter

    After obama more then double the budget for food stamps congress takes away 1 percent. Ohhhhhh the pain.

  • John Davidson

    According to Obama we should not even need food banks or entitlements in the not to distant future. He’s putting everyone back to work, lowering medical insurance costs, and raising the minimum pay to over $10 per hour.

  • Pablo Jones

    They tell people not to feed the animals in the woods because they will become dependent on handouts and won’t be able to take care of themselves. Doesn’t the same thing apply to people.

    • Tommy Peel

      No, you shouldn’t feed the people in the woods!!

  • trose1

    Well people voted the GOP in office, greedy bastards don’t care about the poor.
    When poor and middle class whites stop voting against their own interests things will get better.

    • SniperFire

      Not a thought in your head as to how it is all paid for. LOL

      • trose1

        Same way the GOP paid for the two wars they started and the prescription drug program. wake up

        • SniperFire

          LOL. Only an idiot Liberal (redundant) would argue that negotiating down from the Liberals demand for a 900 billion perscription drug program to the 400 billion compromise was the GOP overspending. But then again, the average Liberal is an ignorant liar.

          • Zen Grouch

            **But then again, the average Liberal is an ignorant liar.**

            You sweet talkin’ thang!!!

          • Bobo McStevens

            LOL. Only an imbecilic Conservative liar (redundant) would argue that a bill the Dems voted against (225 Republicans FOR, 189 Dems AGAINST) was something the Democrats wanted. But then again, the average Conservative is a morally bankrupt idiot.

            DERP

          • SniperFire

            Hilarious.

            Bush campaign promised a $120 billion prescription drug benefit.

            The Democrats rejected it in Congress, demanding a $900 billion prescription drug benefit.

            After much wrangling and demogoguing by Democrats, the Republicans finally relented and adopted Blanche Lincoln’s (Democrat Senator) $400 billion prescription drug legislation.

            As usual, the Republcians biggest failure was trying to compromise with Democrats, because as we see by leftwing losers, Republicans get blamed for it.

            You aren’t bright or honest, but then again, that makes you a perfect Liberal. And how does it feel to be playing out of your league, son? LOL

          • Bobo McStevens

            Hilarious.

            “the GAO ultimately concluded that the Bush administration ***”illegally withheld data from Congress on the cost of the new Medicare law”*** and that Scully “should repay seven months of his salary to the government.” While Scully was later fined for other ethics violations, he was never held accountable for his role in the Medicare fraud. Today, Thomas Scully “now works for a law firm and a private investment firm, has registered as a ***lobbyist for Abbott Laboratories, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Caremark Rx and other health care companies.***”

            Democrats wanted the ability for the government to be able to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers, saving TONS of money yet ***Republicans blocked*** that. “…prices for 10 commonly prescribed drugs were 80 percent higher than those negotiated by the Veterans Department, 60 percent above that paid by Canadian consumers and still 3 percent higher than volume pharmacies such as Costco and Drugstore.com.” This ban on Medicare negotiating better prices directly with the drug companies is the key reason why only 16 House Dems voted for it.

            “Which is exactly as Louisiana ***Republican*** Bill Tauzin designed it. Just months after shepherding the Medicare prescription bill he wrote through the House, Tauzin, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee, left Congress and accepted a $2 million-a-year job as president of PhRMA — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.”

            As usual, you don’t know what you are speaking about. BUSH proposed the $400 million dollar program. Search for, Fact Sheet: Framework to Modernize and Improve Medicare ” and you’ll find the White House archives illustrating just how insipid you are.

            “The President has committed up to $400 billion over the next ten years in his FY 2004 budget to pay for modernizing and improving Medicare.”

            You still can’t explain WHY only 16 Democrats voted for it IF Lincoln’s proposal was selected because as we see by rightwing tards, Republicans shift the blame away when it was THEIR PROGRAM to begin and end with.

            You aren’t bright or honest, but then again, that makes you a perfect Conservative. And how does it feel to be playing out of your league, son? LOL

            I expect more posts from you entirely devoid of citations. Please entertain us more with your usual vacuous posts, son. LOLERSKATES.

    • Toad

      exatly y everyone needs to vote for mr. obama. he care about us and will take care of us.

      bush was cheap

      • trose1

        The GOP running this state are running it iinto the ground. Jobs are flowing out the state and the state is in the bottom of any statistic. PBO has nothing to do with the kasich klan of fools.

        • Bob Owens

          You can’t reason with the majority of these people. They don’t have a clue as to what is really happening in this country. Give em a gun and their double wide and they are good.

          • Tommy Peel

            And when they holler about their tax dollars, you know they aren’t able to think for themselves.

  • Joe Smith

    Give the money that would be given out as food stamps to the farmers to grow food to give to the poor, it would create jobs and people would not be hungry. Also, the stamp/ welfare recipients could put some time in at those farms to reduce costs.

    • angelandfire

      We have a farmer neighbor….he is paid NOT to farm. Waling to the mailbox is his hardest job each month. He joke at church about it. He’s a regular welfare queen.

      • Joe Smith

        Thats part of my point, if we are spending the money anyway, have them produce the food. Instead of paying them not to farm, pay them for the product they grow

  • ekwaykway

    Starving the poor, that’s a good way to get rid of ‘em, ain’t it?

    • Mark B

      If the poor are starving why is it that everyone i see at the store with a welfare card weighs in excess of 300 lbs ?

      • ekwaykway

        I hardly believe everyone you see is over three hundred puonds. And what about the elderly, eat cat food so they can afford medicine? A fixed income is just that, fixed.

  • JoyceEarly

    As it should be, taking our tax dollars by force to support unproductive people is theft, people should have to rely on the generosity of those who choose to give. I wish the whole food stamp program was cancelled. People will find a way to eat. We don’t feed the bears because they may become dependent and not fend for themselves. How are people any different?

    • Bob Owens

      This same bill gives BILLIONS to large corporations to NOT grow crops. Most of them are very successful.

    • Bob Owens

      The U.S. government presently pays about $20 billion in cash annually to farmers and owners of farmland. Between 1995 and 2005, the federal government paid about $250 billion in farm subsidies, per the Environmental Working Group in “Government’s Continued Bailout of Agribusiness.” Wake up!

  • Bill

    $632 a month for a family of four is well above what I spend, for a family of four.

    • Toad

      what do you want us to eat garbage. this is hardly enough to live on. bush gave less and it was hard

      • Bill

        Like I said, that is well above what I spend and we don’t eat garbage. Maybe you should take a look at what you are buying on our dime…..
        Maybe you should try living on what the military has to eat on a day to day basis and you might appreciate what our tax dollars give you.

        • Toad

          i eat really good now. if i wanted to eat like a soldier i would join the army

          what do u want me to eat mac n cheese every day

          i like a good steak just like u and i eat 1 for times every week

          i have a buget of 16 dollars every day to eat n i stay in my buget this odes not last long

          bush only gave me 11 dollars every day to eat. i am thank full for mr. obama takin care of me

          • Mark B

            Why dont you get a job and support yourself and also contribute to all of the lazy welfare recipients

    • LAB1660

      I hear you, Bill. Over 20 years ago, under Bush 41, a family of 4 was given $35.00 per week for food stamps in the Cleveland area. I wanted to see just what that $35.00 might do, so I set my budget to that amount. I was amazed that BECAUSE I COOK ALL OF MY MEALS, that the $35.00 I spent in 1991 would feed a family of SIX, not just four, and I had stock-up items and leftovers. It’s amazing what can happen when you expend a little effort on your own behalf and not depend on others do do your meal preparation!

  • oldschool

    Just where big brother wants you, dependant on the government!!

    • angelandfire

      God will visit your hardness towards others on you. You at least will know where it came from when it starts my dear.

  • nomokids

    In addition to getting foodstamps, recipients should have to take nutrition and cooking classes, learn to budget and make real meals. Foodstamps should be limited to appropriate meal items: no tv dinners, no sugary drinks, etc. It works with WIC (WIC approved items). Its disgusting watching a young woman with 6 gallons of colored drink, feeding her INFANT Mountain Dew from the bottle cap while sitting in the checkout line. Then they wonder why the kid cries (sugar rush) and will need silver teeth by first grade. Geezh! I’ve worked since teenage but couldn’t get foodstamps when unemployed because I have a home. I still think I would have received more USA help if I had washed up in a dingy on foreign soil. If Food Banks can buy meals for pennies on the dollar then why can’t we all?

  • ekwaykway

    C’mon all you lazy seniors, put down your food stamps and grab your walkers. Get out of your government subsidized luxury apartments and get to work. You expect taxpayers to pay for yor medicare and subsidized medication forever?

    • Toad

      old people don’t eat much

      • ekwaykway

        Dudden matter Toad. These old people been living on the dole for too long. Just look at the medical costs on the taxpayer. I’m sick of it! Let their children foot the bill, not me! The senoirs and children better get to work if their lookin’ for a free lunch from me. I’m tired of all the handouts!

        • LAB1660

          Woah, ekwaykway, Medicare is paid for through deductions from a working person’s wages while the person is working. Medicare Part B’s premium is taken right out of a person’s Social Security Check. Social Security is a deduction taken from a working person’s paycheck and is matched by the person’s employer. THUS, MEDICARE AND ANY “SUBSIDIZED” MEDICATION HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR BY THE MEDICARE RECIPIENT AND THE RECIPIENT IS PERFECTLY ENTITLED TO COVERAGE. SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS HAVE ALREADY BEEN MADE BY THE RETIREE AND THUS THE RETIREE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE HIS/HER STIPEND. If the retiree cannot make ends meet with the Social Security stipend, the retiree is entitled to subsidized housing, utility assistance and EBT or any other assistance available, BUT YOU REALLY HAVE TO BE ON THE BOTTOM RUNGS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISTRIBUTION STIPEND TO GET ANY ASSISTANCE.

          • ekwaykway

            You are a very evil and cruel person. THEN EXPLAIN TO ME WHY MANY SENIORS HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN MEDICINE OR FOOD?

  • LAB1660

    Please understand that I sympathize fully with those who are in financial crisis and depend on subsidies of any kind for meals. BUT, if those of you who must use food stamps and food banks learned how to cook your own food instead of using boxed mixes and TV dinners, you might make your dollars stretch a bit further. And, no, you’re not entitled to throw one dime’s amount of food away in the garbage, either. There is more food waste in this country than anyone could imagine. Poor and better-off to wealthy are no different in participating in this waste. My dad, who survived the depression and went right into war rationing (WWII), had it straight- Take all you want, but eat all you take. Leftovers are nothing to snub. Maybe that’s why my house is paid off and I’m OK. Frugality is a virtue.

  • Kate Elizabeth

    Please!! The cuts a relatively small! Use coupons and buy store brands! Don’t buy soda and junk food!

    • Tommy Peel

      Its relatively small if it doesn’t affect you. But you are right, spend it wisely.

  • Mark B

    Before one receives their food stamp card or welfare check they should be Tested for Drugs , Alcohol and Tobacco , if any of those are present you loose your goverment handout.

    • Tommy Peel

      They did that in multiple states and the cost of the testing cost more than it took to remove people from the rolls, because of a very small amount of people that tested positive.

      • Mark B

        Well that’s fine with me , I would rather see the money wasted on drug testing rather than drug usage. But I bet you that if they did the drug test with hair samples instead of a urine test many many more would test positive .

  • Mark B

    Paradise

    A “Liberal Paradise” would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment,
    free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing,
    free utilities, and only Law Enforcement has guns.
    And believe it or not, such a place does indeed exist ! it’s called prison !!

  • Linda

    Unemployment insurance — $22.88 / 2.3%

    Food and nutrition assistance — $36.82 / 3.7%

    Housing assistance — $19.90 / 2.0%

    Earned income, Making Work Pay, and child tax credits — $32.84 / 3.3%

    Supplemental Security Income — $18.91 / 1.9%

    Federal military and civilian employee retirement and disability — $43.78 / 4.4%

    Child care, foster care, and adoption support — $5.97 / 0.6%

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — $6.96 / 0.7%

    Railroad retirement and additional income security — $4.98 / 0.5%

    As is evidenced above, despite a person paying $191.05 for “Job
    and Family Security”, only $36.82 of that is going towards “Food and
    nutrition assistance.”

    Therefore, a married person with one child who makes $50,000 a year
    will pay $36.82 in taxes to ensure the food stamp program is fully
    funded. But wait, there is more. That $36.82 is not only for food
    stamps. Indeed, that money is allocated to two other programs that
    include the school lunch program, and the special supplemental food program for women, infants and children. Keep in mind, this comprises the totality of the costs associated with the program including administrative.

    The breakdowns for how the $36.82 is allocated is not readily available, but do the math.

    $36.82 divided by 365 days = 10 cents a day.

    Consider the context. A person who is paid $50,000 a year earns, on
    average, $136 every 24 hours. Meaning that in a little over six hours,
    in the example where a person is paid for every hour of their life in
    perpetuity, that person would be able to pay for their entire yearly
    contribution to ensure that hungry people are fed.

    By the way if you are curious as to what percentage 10 cents is while being compared to $136 a day the number is: 0.0735%All of this information, and more, is freely available to the public and can be found on The White House’s official website.