Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program | St. Louis Public Radio

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Spoiled Food And Drug Deals Gone Wrong: SNAP Recipients Want Change At Corner Stores

Nov 16, 2019
Charlie's Convenient Market in Washington Park is known as the "Orange Store" among neighbors. The corner store just outside St. Louis is an authorized SNAP retailer. 11/15/19
Michael B. Thomas | Special to Kaiser Health News

EAST ST. LOUIS — The parking lot was dark when Marie Franklin and her husband, Sam, last stopped at a corner store near their home. The couple didn't want much from the market that night. But they still strategized before Sam, 49, went inside.

"My husband wouldn't let me go in," Marie Franklin, 57, recalled. "About four or five guys were hanging around the door."

For her, the scene felt all too familiar in a city where it's getting harder to find a safe place to buy milk.

Patrick Strattner | Getty Images

For Missouri families needing government assistance to pay for food, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a necessity. But it’s not always enough.

Empower Missouri's #MOSNAPChallenge campaign invites state and federal legislators to shop for a three-day supply of food for a family of four using only the average amount of money available to families enrolled in the program. That’s just $1.33 per person per meal for a family of four, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services.

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske delved into the nonprofit organization’s campaign and discussed various legislative efforts aimed at increasing SNAP benefits, such as the Closing the Meal Gap Act of 2019

jpellegen | Flickr

Food insecurity is affecting a significant number of seniors, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. A recently released report found 12% of Missouri seniors did not have consistent access to food in 2015.

Close to 170,000 older Missourians — or 1 in 8 of the state’s seniors — suffer from food insecurity. That’s when a person can’t safely access healthy food due to cost, lack of transportation or other factors. With seniors in already-vulnerable health, a lack of healthy food can cause new health conditions and make existing ones such as high blood pressure or diabetes more serious.

Updated at 3 p.m. Dec. 20 with Trump signing legislation — The long-awaited final version of the farm bill was unveiled Monday night, and it hews somewhat closely to the previous piece of massive legislation — aside from legalizing hemp on a national level. 

The Senate took a crucial step Thursday to making sure that, among other things, the hungry are fed, farmers have crop price protections and land is preserved beyond Sept. 30 — that is, the day the farm bill expires.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway says Missouri appears to be wasting millions of dollars through misuse of its food assistance program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. It helps low-income Missourians get food at grocery stores by using a state-funded electronic card.

Low-income customers' dollars will get twice the value on money spent on fruits and vegetables at several local farmers markets.
Courtesy SNAP 2 It! Program, via St. Louis Farmers Market Association

A new program at several local farmers markets will give low-income customers double the value for money spent on fruits and vegetables.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Canned veggies, soups, tuna and fruit.

Nonperishables like peanut butter, crackers and cereals.

There’s nothing fancy on the "want list" of St. Louis area food pantries: just the basic canned and shelf-stable foods they have always distributed to the region’s hungry families.

Commentary: Hungry Missouri families have reason to fear

Sep 20, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The U.S. House of Representatives last week voted by the slim margin of 217-210 to cut $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). The citizen advocates of Missouri Association for Social Welfare are deeply disappointed in this action and call for the U.S. Senate to reject cuts to this essential program.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 11, 2019: WASHINGTON – By denying the food stamp program its traditional seat at the farm bill table, the Republican-led U.S. House – in a tight 216-208 vote on Wednesday – angered Democrats and set up a potential food fight with Senate negotiators.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 19, 2012 - WASHINGTON – To the dismay of some low-income Missourians, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., voted for an amendment to slash funds for food stamps and convert it to block grants for states.

Upsetting some environmentalists, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is backing an effort to reassess a pesticide rule that farmers and ranchers oppose. She also wants to require the Environmental Protection Agency’s agriculture counsel to weigh in on behalf of farmers and ranchers on proposed new rules with an impact on agriculture.