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Food Stamps And Hunger In Las Vegas
Food Stamps And Hunger In Las Vegas

AIR DATE: July 20, 2012

The House Agriculture Committee approved its version of the farm bill last week, a bill that would cut over $16 billion in food stamp assistance over ten years.  About 350,000 Nevadans are currently on food stamps – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as “SNAP.” 

Katie Planchon is a single mother of two who currently receives food stamp benefits. If the cuts go through, she says she will have to pare down an already skimpy food budget.

“I don’t know what more I would lose. It’s so much cutting corners now as it is,” says Planchon. “I’d lose nutritional value. I’d have to buy cheaper canned food. We’d have to live off Ramen. I would lose a lot.”

Jody Tyson, research and public policy manager for Three Square Food Bank says that the families who would be affected by the cuts are single parent families, like Planchon’s, and also families where one parent has lost their job, forcing the family to live on one income.

Howard Webb of Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services says the families that will be affected by the cuts vary by income.

“If I could use Katie’s family as an example, her household size of three, we’re looking at a maximum income of $3,090 dollars,” says Webb. “That’s the gross monthly income that the family needs to be under before they can qualify for the SNAP program.”

Families whose SNAP benefits are cut may find themselves more reliant on local food banks, which will tax already over-taxed local charities.

“I’m nervous and I’m scared,” says Planchon. “Usually I use these food banks at the end of the month, but they would become my primary resource to provide essentials to my kids.”

    comments powered by Disqus
    People on food stamps, welfare and unemployment need to realize that the benefit money they freely spend - money that they claim to have a "right" to - comes not from the magic lamp of some all-caring government, but comes instead from the pockets of hard-working people. Literally, the government steals money (taxes) from productive people, and then gives that money to unproductive people. The fact the government is the middle man in the transaction does not mean that the money was not stolen, so the reality is that "benefit" recipients are spending money that belongs to others. How just is that? Does the "right" of some to food stamps trump the right of others to keep their hard-earned dollars and spend (or donate) them as they wish? Those on welfare should be humble and respectful, and should spend the money they get wisely, for the goods they buy come courtesy of others.
    Tom HurstJul 19, 2012 12:28:44 PM
    I caught your program on the rerun. I have to make this comment to Katie. I receive $200 less a month in food stamps that you do yet I buy organic fruits, vegetables and organic meats. I do not buy GMO foods either. You said you cannot afford to buy organic but you can. You need to go price shopping. It is important to do this because if everyone did this we would be a much healthier nation, both physically and environmentally. A burden would be lifted off medicaid.
    Ligeia WillJul 19, 2012 00:13:42 AM
    Tom, you have this hierarchical sense about yourself. You actually think that 'you' are supporting me and therefore you have the right to cast judgement. I have been in this program for quite sometime and your remarks are stereotypical to say the least. What you are doing is in the same category as racism and sexism. It is called classism. I know I am choosing the healthiest foods and my family's medicaid bill proves it. There is a flat amount we get a month, what concern is it of yours if I choose Trader's, Sunflower's and Whole Food's over Walmart. I choose to be well educated on my ingredients, where my food comes from and how it affects the environment. Believe me, I would rather buy it from ranchers locally but people like you would vote against it because you are in the same category of racists. Is that really how you want to live your life? As for you Mary, I was on Welfare years ago and found a job and worked my way out of any governmental support only to find myself back on it years later because the economy tanked. What you two fail to realize is Welfare and Unemployment does not add up to anything that someone can support themselves with. So keep on kicking!
    Ligeia WillJul 18, 2012 11:40:41 AM
    I find the comment by Tom Hurst and Mary to be very offensive, degrading and completely stereotypical. Is that how you live your lives, stereotyping and judging people? Let me tell you something...until you have walked through this program you have no right to make judgments. I know this program inside and out because I am entrenched in it. What the Food Stamp program has given me is the freedom of choice and isn't that what our country is all about, freedom? Do you realize how degrading it is to take a mother's choice away from her when it comes to buying food? You have no right to tell me where I can shop and where I can't. I have a certain amount of money every month that I have to work with. It is up to me to learn how to budget this small amount and make it last. It is also up to me to make the right choices for myself and my son. I choose to buy organic fruits and vegetables, I choose to make all of our meals, I choose the ingredients wisely and I steer clear of ALL processed foods. My son won the Governors award because he never missed a day of school. He is NEVER sick and neither am I. I had to turn away most food at a food bank because of how unhealthy it is.
    Ligeia WillJul 18, 2012 11:21:28 AM
    @ Ligeia Will,you say you have to budget a small amount,so that means you have a pretty good income. Cause what I know is if you make much,you get a little,if you make less you get alot. its just you and your son. so your food should last you. so why dont you get off foodstamps and let the people who really need it get it.And dont get upset. We are just telling the truth.
    maryJul 19, 2012 12:03:59 PM
    I would like to see steps made that will allow food stamps buyers to purchase directly from NV farms. We have local CSAs up in Moapa that deliver to communities in the Las Vegas Metro area. We could be using SNAP federal funds to drive our local economy, and can begin to restore the food desert that our city has become.
    J. SouthJul 18, 2012 09:35:10 AM
    Excellent idea!
    ligeia willJul 18, 2012 11:05:04 AM
    Why is it that literally every food stamp user I see is buying expensive prepared foods - foods that I don't buy because of cost - with their benefit, or shopping in expensive stores rather than discount stores? And then there's the alcohol and cigarettes they buy with their cash that they somehow couldn't bring themselves to spend on food. To be honest, I think most welfare recipients are just parasites that need to take responsibility for themselves and get a job, any job. I'm tired of supporting them.
    Tom HurstJul 17, 2012 13:19:34 PM
    there are even people who sell their foodstamps for cash. the first of every month is a bad time to go shopping. the people with the foodstamps buy everything. so now i wait 3 days later to go. i think they should stop foodstamps as well as unemployment checks. my job needs people. does anyone stop to apply? no. there is this person who gets unemployment and has a job that pays cash.
    maryJul 18, 2012 09:41:14 AM
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