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NEWS
November 7, 2013
I decided to participate in the Food Stamp Challenge last week to confront Congress' recent benefit reduction, as highlighted in The Sun's recent editorial ("Hunger gets a boost," Oct. 29). As a social worker in D.C., I am acutely aware that food stamps may supplement income but do not provide sufficient benefits for an entire month. I have met only one recipient who was successfully able to stretch her food stamps each month. She was meticulous in what she bought, where she shopped and how often she went to food banks and churches.
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NEWS
October 9, 2014
In addition to Max Obuszewski's prescient observation of what has become President Barack Obama's war, this perpetual war with no borders has gotten the support of much of the media and Congress ( "Has President Obama undergone a chance of heart?" Oct. 3). What began as a promise by President Obama not to engage in conflict with U.S. advisers has evolved to a debate over "boots on the ground," or, in other words, active combat. How many will be maimed and killed during this mission?
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NEWS
November 22, 2013
The photo used in the recent article on food stamps showing a woman purchasing prepared food in individual serving containers illustrates the problem with the way food stamps are used ("Md. food stamp recipients worry about plans for cuts," Nov. 19). Considering the cost of individual servings of prepared food, most people could stretch their budgets further by buying raw ingredients in bulk. Supermarkets need to institute some form of guidelines on what can be purchased with food stamps before the government is forced to step in with costly and awkward regulations.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger and The Baltimore Sun | September 16, 2014
The federal government plans to shift the cost of accepting food stamps to retailers in the coming weeks, a move that Baltimore officials and anti-hunger advocates said Tuesday could make it harder for some families to buy groceries. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and her administration are working with advocacy groups to inform merchants of the change and to help them prepare. About a third of the city's population relies on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, known as food stamps.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2013
Xerox officials said Sunday they had resolved a technical glitch that left those who use food stamps in Maryland and 16 other states without access to their benefits the day before. The outage, which Xerox said was caused when the electronic benefits system temporarily shut down during a routine systems check, left many in Maryland and across the country unable to buy groceries for most of the day Saturday. Xerox has a contract with the federal government to administer the electronic benefits system.
NEWS
July 2, 2013
Happy Independence Day . I am not talking about the one we celebrate on July 4 but the other that happens each month in grocery stores across the United States. Let me paint the picture. My husband and I work 40-plus hours a week and stop into the local supermarket on our way home. As we shop for food we can afford to buy, we notice the carts going by us filled with not healthy foods but junk. We proceed to checkout line and yes, in front of us a family paying with food stamps is checking out. The plentiful snacks are being put into the bags, and it looks like someone will be eating T-bones tonight!
NEWS
November 10, 2013
In all levels of all programs and institutions, public or private, big or small, government or corporate, there is some degree of fraud or mismanagement ("Food stamp fraud is real and must be stopped," Nov. 6). There is no way to have a program like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as food stamps) that will not have some degree of misuse, or even outright fraud. The federal government spent around $80 billion on food stamps in 2013. If it was even granted that 5 percent of that $80 billion was misused, that would mean there was $4 billion worth of federally subsidized misuse or outright fraud.
NEWS
December 9, 2011
As an organization working to end childhood hunger in Maryland, Share Our Strength appreciates your editorial about the merits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("Food stamp recipients are the new welfare queens," Dec. 4). Three-quarters of all SNAP benefits go to families with kids. Over time, SNAP has proven to be efficient, effective and fraud is at a historic low. Critical federal child nutrition programs like SNAP and school breakfast are vital to the well being of America's children.
NEWS
October 30, 2013
It is unfortunate that The Sun would publish irrelevant commentary such as Michael J. Wilson's "Living hungry" (Oct. 28). There are dozens of programs, many overlapping, administered by federal, state, county, and municipal agencies devoted to assisting low-income individuals and families. While Mr. Wilson portrayed the $30 per week "food stamp" budget as the only money recipients have available, the program has instead always been intended as a supplement to other income and programs.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan
The Baltimore Sun
| October 12, 2013
A technical glitch left shoppers who rely on food stamps to buy their groceries unable to pay at many supermarkets for much of the day Saturday. A spokeswoman for Xerox, which runs the benefits system in Maryland and 16 other states, said the underlying problem had been fixed Saturday afternoon but some stores were still experience problems. Brian M. Schleter, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources, which is responsible for the EBT - or Electronic Benefits Transfer - card system, confirmed the problem.
NEWS
By Michael J. Wilson | September 1, 2014
Fifty years ago this week, the Food Stamp Act of 1964 was signed into law. The goal was to ensure that those of us with the least would not be without food. In the ensuing decades, the program adapted to cultural, economic and technological changes and has provided millions of people with better nutrition. Today, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, the modern incarnation of food stamps) remains our nation's most effective tool in the fight against hunger. The Food Supplement Program (FSP, Maryland's name for SNAP)
NEWS
July 28, 2014
It didn't take Democrats much time to denounce Rep. Paul Ryan's latest plan for addressing poverty in this country. The main feature of the Republican's proposed "Opportunity Grant" would be to roll a lot of social welfare programs together and leave it mostly to states to decide how the money is spent, which sounds a great deal like the block grant proposals of the past. Critics included Maryland's own Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking member on the House Budget Committee, who said the former vice presidential nominee has used the mantra of "reform" as a cover to cut safety-net programs.
NEWS
By Yvonne Brown | June 26, 2014
Editor's note: This op-ed has been updated from an earlier version to reflect developments.  On Friday, I and 2,000 of my co-workers at Johns Hopkins Hospital were scheduled to go on strike for the second time in two months. It's not a step we wanted to take, but one we felt we had to take. But late yesterday, our union president and Hopkins management agreed to a one-week cooling off period at Gov. Martin O'Malley's request. We hope that time will make a difference. For almost four months, we've been in talks with Hopkins management for a contract that would end poverty pay at our world-renowned hospital.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2014
The Baltimore City Council is unanimously calling for area companies to pay their security guards more. The resolution, which supports the efforts of private security guards to unionize, says labor unions "allow for improved terms and working conditons. " The Service Employees International Union's local chapter sent out a news release Tuesday praising the council's Monday action.  The union estimates that Baltimore's more than 1,000 security officers cost taxpayers $33 million a year in entitlement spending because some have to rely on food stamps and public health insurance Some security officers are paid as little as $9 an hour, the union says.
NEWS
May 13, 2014
I always have to laugh when I read Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s column in your paper. He's always pitching his fantasy of the Republican party as the champion of "small business," when in fact we all know the Republican party is the champion of big, multinational corporations, not small businesses. ( "Building a business is bad under Obama," May 11.) A more truthful storyline would be if Bob Ehrlich's "Nancy" were to try to start a small business selling "widgets" only to run up against "Widgicorp," a huge multinational corporation with a Super PAC at the ready to lobby Congress.
HEALTH
By John-John Williams IV, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2014
Many held signs reading "End Poverty Pay at Johns Hopkins Hospital. " Some repeated union rally chants. Others brought their children and family for support. All gathered Saturday at the Inner Harbor to demand better wages and benefits from the world-renowned hospital. About 2,000 Hopkins employees participated in the Mothers' March & Rally for Justice at Johns Hopkins. Several dozen tour buses filled with at least 1,000 supporters from New York, New Jersey and Washington joined the effort.
NEWS
July 28, 2013
Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives, on a party-line vote, broke with tradition by stripping from the farm bill the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. What's left in the bill is billions of dollars of subsidies, mostly for farming conglomerates. The U.S. Senate passed a much more balanced bill last month. The farm bill sets U.S. agricultural, food, and resource conservation policy for the next five years. Over the past 18 years, our government has doled out an average of $7 billion per year of taxpayer funds to support the livestock and dairy industries.
NEWS
April 12, 2014
I am so impressed that there is a small group of representatives from city congregations working on how to alleviate poverty Baltimore City ("Where are the city's churches?" April 9). As one of my friends said, "there isn't just rage, there is no longer any hope. " Years ago, the GOP swore that churches would "pick up the slack for the poor" as it cut welfare, food stamps, etc. Well, that didn't happen. Churches, synagogues and mosques have a vested interest in their own faiths and in carrying forward their particular programs and beliefs.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
A 58-year-old Yemeni man living in Baltimore was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison for wire fraud in a $1.5 million illegal food stamp scheme, federal prosecutors announced. Ahmed Ayedh Al-Jabrati was convicted of trading cash for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits at his two convenience stores, Second Obama Express and D&M Deli and Grocery, in the 900 block of Harlem Ave. The SNAP program allows eligible people to use an electronic benefit transfer card similar to a debit card for approved food items from participating retailers.
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