skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, May 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

At least 15 dead as severe weather sweeps across central US; on Memorial Day, IA labor leaders honor fallen workers; Medical center installs microgrid to safeguard clinic power supply; 'Second look' laws gain traction, but MS sticks to elderly parole; Will summer heat melt New Mexicans' cravings for ice cream?

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

One congressman cites ways Biden could get more support from communities of color. A new Louisiana law reclassifies two abortion medications as controlled substances. And Ohio advocates work to boost youth voter turnout.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Food Insecurity Looms Amid Inflation, End of COVID Era Supports

play audio
Play

Tuesday, December 27, 2022   

The issue of charity around meals is a common theme during the holidays, though this year the prospect of a sudden drop-off in federal benefits has hunger advocates worried.

The federal government's response to the pandemic saw Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits increased, so anyone in the program got the maximum benefit for their household size. The likely end of the current federal health emergency sometime next year will bring with it a reduction in food support for thousands of Marylanders.

The increased benefits have been one of the more enduring parts of federal government stimulus programs since the pandemic began.

Michael J. Wilson, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, said the state has seen a large economic benefit from the program.

"Over the course of the pandemic more than $2 billion dollars has been spent in Maryland through the SNAP program," Wilson pointed out. "And if you think of the impact that has not just on low-income folks, but on grocery stores, on farmers markets, on corner stores, it's infused our entire economy."

Maryland Hunger Solutions estimates every dollar in SNAP benefits spent in the community generates $1.85 in local economic activity.

The SNAP program is revised in the Farm Bill, which is approved every five years and is due to be negotiated in Congress next year. Wilson sees the upcoming debate over the bill as an opportunity for advocates to educate legislators on issues of food insecurity and equity.

One example he cites is how SNAP recipients cannot buy a hot pizza or rotisserie chicken in a grocery store, but could buy frozen ones. Wilson wants to see the policy changed as it does not take into account people in different circumstances.

"There are some folks who may be seniors, who may be disabled, or who may be homeless and to tell them you have to buy the frozen chicken, and not the rotisserie chicken doesn't recognize the changes that exist in society or in the retail sector," Wilson contended.

In November the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated the level of food price inflation at grocery stores to be at least 11% in 2022. While the forecast predicts inflation slowing in 2023, they anticipate grocery prices will still rise another 3% next year, and Wilson added people in need will continue to rely on a spirit of generosity.

"I want that spirit of charity to extend beyond just the holidays," Wilson remarked. "I want that spirit of charity to focus on how we can deal with food insecurity in a sustainable way, and not just a single meal, so that we can make sure that we really are focusing on addressing food insecurity."


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Ice cream makers in the U.S. produce more than 1.38 billion gallons of ice cream annually, with consumption usually peaking in July. (auremar/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

In addition to honoring fallen service members, Memorial Day has come to be known as the unofficial start of summer, which can mean lots of ice cream…


Social Issues

play sound

Memorial Day commemorates Americans who lost their lives while serving in the military. But the Iowa Federation of Labor takes the opportunity to …

Health and Wellness

play sound

This Memorial Day, Connecticut health experts are guiding caregivers on how to keep people with Alzheimer's safe. People with the various forms of …


The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …

Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

The median length of stay in juvenile detention has increased in Pennsylvania. The average and median lengths of stay have increased, from 17 and 11 days in 2018 to 27 and 14 days in 2022. (Seventyfour/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021