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HungerMore bad news in this new release from the N.C. Justice Center:

“1,708,000 people in North Carolina will see a cut in their food assistance benefits this fall, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is set to expire, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discussed in a new report from the Washington, DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

All of the more than 47 million Americans including 22 million children who receive SNAP, known as Food and Nutrition Services in North Carolina, will see their food assistance reduced when a modest boost in benefits to SNAP recipients that policymakers included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to strengthen the economy and ease hardship expires on October 31.

For a family of three, that cut will mean a reduction of $29 a month— $319 for the remaining 11 months of the fiscal year. This is a serious loss for families whose benefits, after this cut, will average less than $1.40 per person per meal. Read More

Senior Researcher Arloc Sherman of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put up an extremely helpful and illuminating post yesterday afternoon on the group’s Off the Charts blog about poverty.

It shows a critical fact that is frequently misrepresented or not reported in the public debate:  While poverty has been on the rise over the last decade, non-cash public benefits like housing assistance and food stamps (SNAP) do make a significant difference in keeping it in check.  He notes that because the “official” poverty rate is based on pre-tax cash income, it ignores important non-cash benefits that, when factored in, lower the poverty rate.

This does not mean, however, as conservatives frequently try to argue, Read More

Saying Newt Gingrich is the best debater in the GOP primary race is like saying an elephant does a better cannonball than a mouse – sure, it’s true, but that really isn’t the point.  The same can be said about what Newt keeps saying about President Obama: sure, more people are using food stamps than when he took office, but is that really the point?

No, it isnt’t, but it sure does get headlines. Newt’s newest attack glibly claims:

“The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history … I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job.”

Aside from the fact that the president didn’t “put” anyone on food stamps, this might not be the winning argument Newt thinks it is. According to a new poll , Read More

If you’re lucky enough to be among the North Carolinians who can look forward to a delicious Thanksgiving feast this week, be sure to check out this new report from the N.C. Budget and Tax Center first.  The report includes a county-by-county table  that documents the rise in unemployment and Food Stamp participation since the onset of the Great Recession.