Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Food funds help everyone

President Obama' economic stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, will pass the Congress in the near future.

It appears likely that a portion of these funds will be allocated for increasing the depth and the reach of the Food Stamp program, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for Americans at the lower end of the nation's economy, and that number is growing.

Before the end of 2008, over 31 million of our fellow citizens received Food Stamps. However, for many the benefits were meagre compared to the need for food products among these families.

For a good analysis of the issue take a look at the most recent edition of "Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity."

Hungry, struggling families aside, we need to remember that every dollar set aside for the Food Stamp program is a dollar that gets spent in a local grocery market. The continuing circulation of these dollars improves the bottom line of grocers, provides jobs for workers, enhances the health and productivity of recipients, and puts dollars into the local economy. Better health and wellness outcomes affect performance at school and at work. Overall, this effort of our national community is a proven producer.

Dollars spent in this manner turn out to be a great, enduring investment in the recovery of the nation's economy.

The requirements for certification and re-certification need to be streamlined to meet the growing demand. Community centers, like the ones we operate here at Central Dallas Ministries, should be enlisted as "points of entry," complete with high-tech, user-friendly kiosks for folks to gain access to this essential and smart benefit. I've been "pitching" this notion for several years without much success. Possibly the new climate, coupled with the national need, will shake things loose!



Anonymous said...

Helping people with food is wonderful, but doesn't this again raise the issue of having real grocery stores in impoverished areas? I just don't see major chains going into poor areas of a city which are also high crime areas. I do wish this bill wasn't so full of pork. I am hoping the final bill will look better than the current one.


Larry James said...

rcorum, I think the final bill will be better than what has been reported to date, though this bill is not unlike most passed out the last 8 years and this one is full of work creating measures. The grocery store point is right on, but doesn't change the need for funds to purchase the food stuffs--another incentive for large stores to come toward the inner city rather than run from it.

Anonymous said...

I know from experience working with low income folks that this benefit (food stamps/SNAP) is very limited and rarely covers enough for the families who really need it. Any reasonable expansion of this program should be welcomed by those who care about our poorest citizens.

Anonymous said...

I agree whiole heartedly with your position on food stamps. And, Larry, if in fact your position is correct that this bill is not unlike most passed out in the last 8 years, then I have several issues with it - First, I thought OBAMA was going to change the way things are done in DC and second this bill is supposed to be focused solely on stimulus but yet the Democrats packed the house bill with money to fund pet projects that have nothing whatsoever to do with stimulus. In reality, nothing has changed within Congress.... just more of the same and they will never "get it" becasue they are so out of touch with reality. I am all for striking those nonsensical pet funds and using that money for real stimulus and helping those who need it NOW - not for STD prevention, etc.

Chris said...

Well, let's hope it goes down in flames. It's the biggest rip-off in American history. It's just a pay off for the election.

Both House and Senate have loopholes that give illegal aliens cash payments. Money will go to groups like ACORN, the same group accused of massive voter fraud. 600 million goes for new cars for government bureaucrats, 600 million goes for "climate change" research projects. 50 million goes to the National Endowment for the Arts, 650 million to change from analog to digital TV. Almost half of the proposed spending will directly benefit the Service Employees International Unions, federal, state and municipal employees unions or other Democratic controlled unions.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. It runs 680 pages. I doubt if anyone has read it all.

The much acclaimed program for major infrastructure projects--gets only 5%.

Even if this bill were to pass, it will fail in its goal to stimulate the economy and Obama will be a one-term President. I can't see why he is staking his political future on it.

On second thought, It is a way to buy votes.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know that there are people like Chris who, in a strong showing of bipartisanship, are actively cheering for our economy to crash and burn. Way to stand on principle!

Chris said...

Once started the entitlements would never end. I prefer not to have a country like the European socialist. It's all about power.

Anonymous said...

Just making sure that you're on record as desiring this country to fail...

Anonymous said...

If you are as ideologically driven as Chris (and Rush), better actual failure than having to admit any potential shortcomings in your ideology.

But what does any of this have to do with Larry's original post? It's amazing how often one could read Chris's posts and come to the conclusion that all Larry ever talked about here was turning the US into a socialist state - as opposed to talking about faith and its relationship to the poor.

Anonymous said...

1138am - chris is responding to Larry's comments at 810am. Quit throwing out the same old tired rhetoric to comments you don't like and maybe read through all comments so you can figure out when and why someone might be responding to another prior comment.