The state of snap and food prices

The state of snap and food prices

 

Economics was never my favorite subject but its principles if used correctly do explain why certain things happen in the economy.  I guess the reason is that with a somewhat photogenic mind, I never had to study but only read texts for the most part with the exception of economics theorems. .

I decided to do some research about food prices as well as SNAP , the latter of which I fortunately never really have known a lot about.  So first things first, I inquired why the food prices have increased so dramatically and the basic reason is Economics:

WHY HAVE FOOD PRICES INCREASED DRAMATICALLY:

It is explained with this principle:   When demand for a commodity rises on constant supply, prices usually rise. … Rising supply on constant demand causes a fall in prices while falling supply on constant demand causes prices to increase. So one could conclude that rising food prices have been caused by falling supply or increased demand.

What this all means is supply and demand.  People require certain commodities such as staples, Milk, Bread and Butter etc.  It used to be that we could purchases these items for half the price at one time, but taking into consideration, that the number of farms have not increased and milk production is not as high, the cost increases, but the demand for milk by all of us is still there,  Catastrophes can also raise prices like ecola in eggs recently, lowering the supply.

When no one wants or needs something, you will note that these items are discounted at a store because the demand for them fell. Or if there is an overabundance of something, it doesn’t change how much of it we may want or demand, so as a result it is sold at a lower price. So the fact that food prices have increased is because more people demand specific items and the producers can’t keep up with the demand.

SNAP IS ONLY SUPPLEMENTAL TO INCREASE YOUR FOOD PURCHASING POWER AND PREVENT HUNGER

What I did not understand initially was that  SNAP meant “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”, meaning it is meant as a supplemental food source based upon your income and not meant to provide you all of the food you may require in a monthThe reason I was curious is that I know many of the young people in White Springs who do not seek work, sell their SNAP cards to others, so they have drug money.   The first time I realized it was “supplemental” was when a neighbor told me that she could get only $14.00 from the SNAP program, so she decided to not go through the hassle, but she did buy cigarettes regularly which was more important than nutrition.

So SNAP provides low-income households with monthly benefits to increase their food purchasing power and prevent hunger. Benefits can only be spent on food purchases. In Fiscal Year 2015, $74 billion in SNAP benefits were distributed by the U.S. Government to an average monthly participant base of 45.8 million people.

DOES BINGING AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH AND FASTING AT THE END CAUSE OBESITY?

It has been a longstanding observation that those receiving SNAP benefits tend to have serious problems procuring food at the end of the month. Benefits are spent rapidly with an average of 59 percent spent within the first week of issuance, with a quarter of all households exhausting benefits within the week .

The Studies determined that whether binging during the first part of the month and fasting at the end of the month caused obesity, there was no weight gain in either men or women..  But intake still is determined on calories and unfortunately if one drinks alcohol, you may gain weight and if you are on drugs, you may lose weight but the effects of drugs may cause you an early death.

Given the national concern regarding the health effects of obesity, it is difficult for many to view hunger as a serious problem in the United States. In addition, social welfare policy is heavily oriented toward food assistance programs  Yet it is dependent upon what one eats.  And today with all the preservatives and chemicals placed in meats to increase growth in animals and birds faster, that in itself causes weight gains.  It is not as if you are raising your own meat supply and organic vegetables but instead everything that was given to animals and birds are being indirectly served to you.

YOU HAVE TO BE A CITIZEN AND HAVE YOUR RESIDENCE IN FL TO GET BENEFITS:

Florida bases their food stamp eligibility on citizenship, residency and income levels. Non-citizen students and other non-U.S. citizens who temporarily reside in the state of Florida do not qualify for Florida food stamps benefits in the state.

FL food stamps eligibility guidelines generally require beneficiary households to show a gross income level that matches, or is lower than, 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for the household’s size. To qualify for food stamps benefits in FL, for example, a household of four must report $4,050 or less in gross monthly income. Households may be able to deduct some expenses, such as some medical costs, certain shelter and utility costs and paid child support, from the monthly income.

INFRACTIONS WITH THE LAW CHANGE YOUR ELIGIBILITY:

Drug Trafficking and other infractions also have an effect on SNAP.The income requirement for food stamps eligibility in FL is lowered to 130 percent gross income (and 100 percent net income) for households with a member who has become ineligible for SNAP benefits due to drug trafficking, avoiding a felony warrant, or failing to take part in a mandatory work program.

HOUSEHOLDS WITH DISABILITIES OR ELDERLY BENEFITS:

To qualify for food stamps benefits in Florida, households with disabled members or elderly members (those older than age 60) must only match the 100 percent net income requirement. For example, a four-person household with a disabled or elderly member must report a net monthly income equal to or lesser than $2,025.

Qualifying for food stamps benefits in Florida also requires some beneficiaries to demonstrate limited assets or resources. For instance, FL food assistance households with a disabled or elderly member and an income above the gross income limit may have no more than $3,250 in assets such as checking or savings accounts. Florida food assistance households with a disqualified member may not have more than $2,250 in assets; however, such households are allowed $3,250 in resources if an elderly or disabled member is part of the household

SOME RESOURCES ARE NOT INCLUDED WHEN DETERMINING INCOME ELIGIBILITY:

.Food stamps eligibility in Florida does not consider some resources of the claimant’s belongings as counted as resources with regards to the by the Florida SNAP foods benefits program stipulations. Examples of these exempt resources include:

  • Homes
  • Property
  • Household goods
  • Personal items
  • Vehicles
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Some pensions

IF YOU ARE ABLE-BODIED, YOU HAVE TO WORK IN FLORIDA TO RECEIVE SNAP

The food stamps requirements FL has passed require able-bodied, non-exempt adults between the ages of 16 and 59 to actively seek and accept employment or participate in work training, in order to receive food stamps benefits. Any able-bodied (physically and mentally fit) adult between the ages of 18 through 49 who is childless and not pregnant must either work or actively enroll for at least 20 hours per week in a workforce training program in order to remain qualified for food stamps benefits in Florida for longer than three months within a three year period.

BENEFICIARIES HAVE TO REPORT WEEKLY

The food stamps requirements Florida has established maintain that beneficiaries report weekly. Because household income and employment status may change at any time, beneficiaries are required to notify the Florida Food Assistance program of any changes affecting food stamps eligibility in Florida. If the household gross income surpasses 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Line, the household must report this change within ten days. Households must also report within ten days if the working hours of able-bodied adult members falls under a monthly average of 20 per week. Failure to report pertinent changes may result in getting SNAP benefits repealed

 

THE TRUMP EFFECT  IS CHANGING THE LOW WAGE GROWTH AND COMPANIES ARE NOW HIRING FULL TIME WORKERS – PROSPERITY MAY CHANGE THESE FACTORS IF GROWTH CONTINUES AS IT HAS BEEN:

The number of people receiving federal food assistance money in Broward and Palm Beach counties remains near a record high despite a steady decline in unemployment rates. Between June 2009 and June 2015, the number of people receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increased 94 percent in Broward County and 112 percent in Palm Beach County. Experts say people are continuing to suffer because of the area’s high housing costs and low wage growth, as well as the fact many part-time workers can’t find full-time jobs.

When I volunteered at Interfaith of Ocala, we secured much of the same information FL received.  The only difference was that we provided supplemental food from our groceries stock to assist those who had nothing or who were applying for SNAP for a period of six months.  Also provided were ID’s and reading glasses.   

in White Springs the Churches are assisting with food distribution for the poor.

There are so many people in need especially the elderly and it is good that we have some programs to assist.  Insofar as the able-bodied youth that sell their food stamps, it is a shame.  All they are doing is spending other people’s money  (taxpayers) and have no idea what it would be like to excel in a vocation they love and to become self-sufficient.  That saddens me more than anything because each of us has talent and intelligence or logic and there are so many things we can do for ourselves and others.

 

 

Karin for the blog

 

 

 

 

Background
SNAP is the largest federal food assistance program. It was originally authorized as the Food Stamp Act of 1964, and has been reauthorized with various legislation including the U.S. Farm Bills. On October 1, 2008, the program name changed from the Food Stamp Program (FSP) to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Although the program name was FSP during most of the analysis period, the program will be referred to here by the current name, SNAP.
By 2002, all states operated Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems where benefits are issued automatically to accounts accessed by participants at qualified food retailers using an EBT card similar to a debit card.
SNAP is a Federal program, but administered by the states. Benefits are issued monthly according to different dates chosen by the states

 

 

 

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