SNAP | St. Louis Public Radio

SNAP

Visitors look over produce at one stand at the Old Town Farmers Market on July 20. The Belleville market started accepting SNAP benefits this year.
Eric Schmid | St Louis Public Radio

The Old Town Farmers Market draws people seeking fresh, local produce to Belleville’s downtown every Saturday morning. 

Food stands line a block of South Charles Street offering fresh meats, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and a steady stream of patrons checks out the options six months of the year.

Now the popular farmers market hopes to attract a new set of customers: SNAP users. 

Belleville Diocese Waiting To See If Pope Accepts Resignation Of Controversial Bishop

Jun 26, 2019
Bishop Edward K. Braxton initiated the practice of holding a Red Mass each fall to mark the start of the U.S. Supreme Court session. He's shown here in 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville.
Derik Holtmann | Belleville News Democrat

Bishop Edward K. Braxton turns 75 on Friday, prompting supporters and critics to wonder how much longer he will be leading the Catholic Diocese of Belleville.

Canon law requires bishops to submit resignations at age 75, but it’s up to Pope Francis whether to accept them.

“The ministry of a bishop in a diocese requires a total commitment of energy, and anything, including age, that decreases the ability to dedicate oneself fully to serving the church and the faithful is the reason that retirements are offered at 75,” said Monsignor John T. Myler, diocesan spokesman and rector at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville.

Missourians who are eligible for Food Stamp benefits will receive their February Food Stamp benefit early.  The United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamp program, informed states that payments for the February Food Stamp or SNAP benefit must be issued on January 20 due to the partial federal government shutdown.

Farm Bill Compromise Reached With SNAP Changes Out, Industrial Hemp In

Dec 11, 2018

Lawmakers unveiled the much-anticipated farm bill compromise Monday night, ending the months-long impasse over whether a critical piece of legislation that provides subsidies to farmers and helps needy Americans buy groceries could pass before the lame-duck session concludes at the end of the year.

After 10 years of consistent gains, the number of immigrant families enrolled in SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, fell by 10 percent in 2018.

New, preliminary research presented this month at the American Public Health Association conference showed the drop was highest for for families who had been in the U.S for fewer than five years. It’s a reflection of what Harvest Public Media and other outlets reported earlier this year: that some families are choosing not to participate in federal benefit programs out of fear it could impact their immigration status.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

More than half of Missouri’s poorest residents are paying more than half of their yearly income in rent. Non-profit leaders at two Missouri organizations say this level of rent burden prevents families from being able to afford other basic necessities, such as food and health insurance.

Empower Missouri released a report Thursday on the nearly 800,000 Missourians living in poverty, and nearly 2 million Missourians living near the poverty line. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the state population is about 6 million.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Lobbyist gifts, a tax credit for the elderly, and a bill frowned upon by labor unions are on next week’s tentative agenda for the Missouri General Assembly.

Some Senate members appear to be close to their own version of a proposal to ban most gifts from lobbyists. Details are being withheld at the moment, but Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said it could be voted out of committee next week.

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers continue to work on several bills, including one that could result in the first filibuster of the 2018 legislative session.

A bill sponsored by State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would ban participation in the federal program formerly known as food stamps, now called SNAP, for heads of households able to work but who choose not to. Food benefits would also be cut off to dependents living with that individual, including children.

Sam Johnson, left, assists a visitor at the food pantry he manages for St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Church, in north St. Louis.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

When Sam Johnson helps people fill grocery carts at the food pantry he manages now, he notices that the items have been picked over more than usual.

“Normally we have meat. Chicken, we might have fish. But we ran out of meat that you can cook,” Johnson said.

Instead, a fold-out table offers a selection of canned chicken, SPAM and tuna in the basement on the grounds of the St. Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist Church, in north St. Louis.

In the past few years that Johnson has managed the pantry as a volunteer, he’s seen demand rise during the holidays and again in the summer. Now, he’s starting to see another group of newcomers: visitors who recently lost their public assistance benefits in the state’s latest round of cuts.

Pope Francis waves to crowds gathered in Philadelphia, which include a group of De Smet Jesuit High School students and faculty.
Courtesy of Kenneth Luecke, De Smet Jesuit High School

As St. Louisans who traveled to see Pope Francis during his U.S. visit in Philadelphia last weekend return home, some said they were "awestruck" by an experience they described as "thrilling."

But not everyone was pleased with the pontiff's words, particularly around the issue of clergy sex abuse. 

Flickr/Mike Trott

Funding for food stamps dropped off sharply Friday after stimulus dollars for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ran out.

The additional funds had been used to give more food stamps per month to families and make more people be eligible for the program.

According to Sandy Moore, the president of St. Louis-based Urban Strategies, more assistance is needed; not less.

(via Flickr/clementine gallot)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has reversed course on a proposed rule change that would have cut food stamp eligibility for unemployed adults without children.

Nixon had initially cited concerns over the amount of federal funds available for state-run food assistance programs, but now says there's more certainty due to the end of the partial government shutdown last week.  Fellow Democrat and State Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis says she's elated by the governor's reversal.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that his administration is dropping a plan to cut the state’s food-stamp rolls by stopping a federal waiver that had allowed Missouri to expand eligibility for the last four years.

The governor, a Democrat, said in a statement that he “has directed the Missouri Department of Social Services to withdraw a proposed rule to modify Missouri’s existing waiver under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).”

(via Flickr/clementine gallot)

An official with the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) briefed a House Interim Committee Monday on Governor Jay Nixon's (D) proposed rule change to cut able-bodied adults without children from the federal food stamp program (SNAP) if they don't have a job.

Allison Campbell with the DSS Family Support Division says they initially sought to implement the change on October 1st via emergency rule, but she admits that approach was a mistake.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The state of Missouri is planning to cut back on eligibility for food stamps, a move that swiftly prompted criticism from the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

The proposed change would require that most able-bodied Missourians, aged 18-50 and without dependents, would receive food stamps only if “they are employed, seeking work or are enrolled in an education or training program,” according to a statement issued by the state’s Department of Social Services.

Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows the number of Missouri households threatened by hunger has grown over the past three years.

While the national average shows 14.7 percent of American homes had low or very low food security between 2010 and 2012, Missouri's average is 16.7 percent, or about one out of six households.  That's up from 15 percent during the 2007-2009 survey period.  Glenn Koenen is Hunger Task Force Chair for the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

The new pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first-ever Jesuit pope and the first non-European pope of the modern era.  He is the first to adopt the name Francis.

Pope Francis now leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Host Don Marsh spoke with a variety of guests to talk about the meaning behind Pope Francis’ selection and about some of the major controversial issues within the Church, including clergy sexual abuse, the role of women and same sex marriage.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jul 25, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Nixon announces emergency assistance for farmers

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield Tuesday to announce emergency assistance to farmers who need access to water. At the Springfield Livestock Market, Nixon outlined a plan to make more state dollars available faster to farmers. An existing cost-share program is expanding. The state will pay 90 percent of the cost of deepening or drilling wells; previously, the state had covered 75 percent of the cost.