A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: ‘Tis the season; since lots of kids are hungry, can we figure out how to feed them?

‘Tis the season, as they say, and Kentuckians caught up in the spirit are ready to spread the sort of comfort and joy one might expect as Christmas draws near. Well, most of them anyway. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, a sterling advocate of the “I’ve got mine I don’t care about yours’’ philosophy of Ayn Rand, is at it again. In a state where 20 percent of the children...

Dustin Pugel: Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program puts food on the table

This holiday season, as Kentuckians celebrate with friends and family around the table, we must also remember the impact policy choices are having on one of the best tools we have to ensure we all get enough to eat. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, plays a critical role in improving the health and well-being of 580,000 Kentuckians, including...

Farm Bill seems likely to pass by the end of the year as part of year-end budget package

It seems likely that a new Farm Bill will pass by the end of the year, Harwood Schaffer and Daryll Ray of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee predict in their latest “Policy Pennings” column.  The big sticking point is proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The House version of the bill includes...

Commentary: Kentucky organizations urge protection of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

By Dustin Pugel Policy Analyst, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state’s economy, and injects even more into our local communities during hard...

New poll shows voters don’t support cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Congress is considering cuts to a key hunger-fighting program, a move that a new survey shows wouldn’t be popular among voters. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides food assistance to about 650,000 Kentuckians, and a new poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research reveals that nearly two-thirds of people said they were opposed to reducing SNAP...

Ashley Spalding: To improve health through work, Kentucky needs to commit to better job quality

With the state’s new barriers to Medicaid coverage soon to be erected under the guise of encouraging work, we’ve heard a lot in Kentucky recently about the health benefits of working. Besides the fact that revoking coverage for low-income Kentuckians who fail to meet a work requirement has been shown as ineffective in promoting employment, these barriers do nothing to improve the low quality of...

Commentary: Coalition of Kentucky organizations oppose food assistance cuts in Farm Bill

One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state economy, and injects even more into our local communities during hard times when they most need it. For decades, SNAP has been a program...

Critics say new Medicaid rules will result in greater loss of coverage than Bevin administration estimates

Changes in the state Medicaid program, to be phased in starting July 1, would lead to many more people losing health coverage than the state has estimated, 43 academic experts say in a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a lawsuit challenging federal officials’ approval of the changes. The experts argue that the changes are “likely to remove at least twice as many beneficiaries in the first...

Study finds Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding insufficient for a healthy diet

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, only covers 43 to 60 percent of the cost of the federal nutrition guidelines, according to a study by researchers who say policymakers should consider that as they propose deep cuts to the program. “Even though SNAP is not designed to cover all of the cost of food – it’s meant...

Benefind, assistance program among topics of Glisson’s testimony before U.S. House panel

Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson testified on Capitol Hill Thursday before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition. The subcommittee meeting was to evaluate technology and modernization in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The secretary provided an overview of Kentucky’s implementation experience with the benefind system...

Congress missed deadline on farm bill, but government shutdown grabbed the attention

The deadline for passing a farm bill extension was Sept. 30.(Photo by Tim Thornberry)   By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   Along with allowing the federal government to shut down, Congress has also allowed time to run out on passing a farm bill extension. The difference between the two is that little attention has been paid to the latter, except from the agriculture community most...

New report: 875,000 Kentuckians will see cuts to their food assistance benefits this fall

Some 875,000 people in Kentucky will see a cut in their food assistance benefits this fall, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is set to expire, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and detailed in a report from the Washington, D.C.,-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.   (Photo...

House passes Farm Bill … sort of; bright spot is hemp amendment that was kept in tact

By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   You can’t say the U.S. House of Representatives refuses to pass a farm bill anymore, but the legislation passed yesterday came at quite a cost, according to many lawmakers and farm organizations.   The bill, which has long included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was separated to make the two separate pieces of legislation...

What a difference a year makes: Kentucky’s 2013 corn crop is ‘good to excellent’ so far

The National Agriculture Statistics Service says Kentucky’s crop is 58 percent good and 24 percent excellent. (Photo from Creative Commons)   By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   The corn landscape around Kentucky looks considerably different this year from 2012, thanks to plentiful rains and moderate temperatures.   The latest National Agricultural Statistics Service listed...

Industrial hemp gets ‘yes’ vote, but Farm Bill fails in the House of Representatives – again

By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   For supporters of legalizing industrial hemp, the morning of June 20 must have felt really good as an amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill that would have allowed colleges and universities to grow and research industrial hemp passed, albeit by a slim 225-200 margin.   Granted, it wasn’t as broad of an amendment as its Senate cousin,...

Kentucky hunger problem not getting better as debate continues over assistance program

  By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   While debate goes on in Washington over proposed spending cuts to the nation’s largest food assistance program, legislators in Kentucky recently heard of how great the food insecurity issue is closer to home.   Tamara Sandberg with the Kentucky Association of Food Banks told the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture that funding is needed...

Number of Kentuckians struggling to put food on the table is ‘shockingly high,’ report shows

By Tim Thornberry KyForward contributor   To say a lot of people are hungry in Kentucky may be an understatement and a bit of a surprise, but a recent report on hunger shows one of five people here, over 20 percent, report not having enough money to buy food within the last 12 months.   (Photo from FRAC) The “Food Hardship in America 2012” report was released by the Food Research and...