Tag Archives: food stamps

S.C. Gov. Haley wants to link food stamps to jobs

Gov. Nikki Haley will not support an earlier proposal to keep food stamp recipients from buying junk food, instead backing an idea requiring people in three counties to show they are working or looking for a job to get the benefits.

Haley’s proposal will have to be approved by the federal government. It would be limited to food stamp recipients in Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties for now.

The requirement to work or be looking for a job is part of fighting obesity in South Carolina, just like the governor’s original idea to limit food stamp purchases to healthier foods, maintains South Carolina Department of Social Services Director Lillian Koller, who agency runs the food stamp program in the state.

“There is a strong correlation between unemployment and obesity. Food stamp recipients, in particular, the longer they receive food stamps, the higher their BMI,” Koller told The Post and Courier of Charleston.

BMI is body mass index, a formula of height and weight that health care providers use to determine obesity.

But advocates for the poor say Haley’s latest proposal may not be any better than her initial idea.

“It breaks my heart that those of us working on removing barriers have to deal with others putting up more barriers. Why do we keep thinking that they’re not good people? And that’s what we’re saying if we say you’ve got to prove you’re looking for a job,” Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, told The State newspaper.

Haley’s original proposal made in February 2011 would have prevented people from using benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — SNAP — to buy candy, soda, chocolate and chips. Haley’s administration said they backed off that idea after public meetings across the state.

The new “SNAP Work 2 Health” proposal would apply to everyone getting food stamps in the three counties. People with children under age 6 would be exempt.

The counties were chosen because they have both the highest unemployment rates and obesity rates in South Carolina, Koller said.

Food stamps at pot shops banned under Colorado bill

Yes, cannabis has green leaves. But no, it isn’t a leafy green being purchased with food stamps.

In the days after Colorado retailers began selling marijuana to adults, they also began debunking rumors about food stamp use in marijuana shops. There haven’t been any reports of public EBT cards being used at marijuana dispensaries.

Still, several Republicans have proposed legislation that they say is needed to make sure people don’t redeem food stamps for pot. The bill would add marijuana dispensaries to liquor stores, gun shops and casinos as places where recipients of public assistance payments and food stamps can’t use their electronic benefits cards to access cash.

Colorado’s marijuana industry supports the bill.

A hearing for Senate Bill 37 hasn’t been set.

S.C. Dems to Nikki Haley: No junk food for governor’s mansion

Lawmakers in South Carolina are trying to keep junk food out of the governor’s mansion.

The move was a response to the governor’s efforts to fight obesity by limiting what people can buy with money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, known more commonly as food stamps.

State senators inserted a clause in the 2013-14 budget plan that would bar Gov. Nikki Haley’s office and the Governor’s Mansion from buying junk food with public money, whether for employee treats or entertaining.

Those efforts need federal approval before being implemented.

Democratic Sen. Darrell Jackson of Columbia pushed for the provision. He says it’s only fair for Haley to implement with her staff the healthy purchasing she’s promoting for poor people.

Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey says Jackson is playing political games with a serious health epidemic.

Paul Ryan asked for federal help as he championed cuts

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sought more food stamp benefits, stimulus cash and other government support behind the scenes as a member of Congress.

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of documents found the Wisconsin Republican voiced support for the types of government assistance he now rails against as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

Letters obtained via public-records requests show Ryan asking for cash under President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program or health care law. Ryan has vocally criticized both on the campaign trail.

Ryan’s spokesman says the letters are nothing more than Ryan doing his job by helping constituents navigate the federal bureaucracy.

A link to Ryan’s letters…