All Articles Tagged "poor people"
With recent light shed on “food deserts” — or neighborhoods without access to quality healthy foods — a new initiative shows that partnering with local farmers can help both sides of the deal.
By making it easier for farmer’s market vendors to accept payments from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — formerly known as the food stamp program — fresh produce sales increased by over one-third among SNAP customers.
This counters some critics’ opinions that even if fresh fruits and vegetables are made available in underserved communities, people won’t purchase them because of poor eating habits.
“I’ve heard that, but I really think that people want good food and will eat it,” says Dr. Allison E. Karpyn, director of research and evaluation at The Food Trust, and co-investigator of the study that uncovered these findings.
Read the rest of the story at theGrio.com.
More on Madame Noire!
- What Happened To These Child Stars?
- Tell ‘Em Why You’re Mad: Ladies, Are We Way Too Hard on Each Other?
- Ask a Very Smart Brotha Live: Sleepy Tummys and Office Romances
- White Female Rapper: New Wave in Hip Hop or Pure Minstrelsy?
- What You Can And Can’t Fix About Your Sex Life’
- Hair-Raising!: Real Life Hair Horror Stories
- Six Blacks Who Made Forbes’ Billionaire List
- She’s Trying to Erykah Badu Me: 7 Men Whose Style Changed For Their Lady
While Congress continues to hammer out the framework of the agreed-upon debt deal that would basically cut trillions in spending, in order to raise the debt ceiling, it is almost guaranteed that most of America will lose out. What they call a shared sacrifice, I call the gutting of the middle class and the poor.
If I sound a little bit jaded about this situation, it is because I am. You see, the government has been taking money from me since my first taxable job at age 15. They told me that in exchange for these deductions, I would be entitled to unemployment if ever I lost my gig; social security and health care when I retire; food stamps if ever I needed it. Yet through months of long debate about budget deals and debt ceilings I learned that the government has been borrowing against my SSI benefits and basically made it impossible for me, and people like me, to retire at 65 years of age.
But what angers me the most is watching normally responsible people bemoaning the Republicans for not taking a deal from the Democrats, the so-called protectors of the people. Make no mistake, what the Democrats were offering wasn’t any better.
Most people believed that compromise was needed to thwart financial despair. It seems like in this day and age, the coolest side to be on is the side against entitlements. The Tea Party movement is a good example of the level of cognitive dissonance, however, they are not the only ones fed up. I was in the supermarket the other day and overheard a conversation between two older black ladies, who were presumably not Tea Party members, discussing how how “both sides” are the problem. The poor are draining the system with their entitlements and the top 1 percent and corporations have been getting free passes on their taxes for decades.
This conversation between the older black women is indicative of what a researcher at Cornell University has already discovered; and that is that half of US social program recipients believe they have not used a government social program. Few folks understand that entitlements go beyond welfare, social security benefits and Medicare. Those who have ever gotten a federal subsidized student loan or a Pell grant, had their kids enrolled in head start through public school, taken the home mortgage interest deduction on your income taxes or driven on a freshly paved road in your neighborhood, have all have received entitlements.
In a way, you really can’t blame folks too much for how they feel: members of the middle class, regardless of political affliation, who think they have more in common with the rich tend to support government policies, candidates and legislation against their own interests. Ronald Reagan and the media have done a pretty good job of demonizing recipients of entitlements as welfare queens and able-bodied SSI cheats. The newfound hatred of the entitlements has enabled the middle class for two decades now to support programs that scapegoat all of our social ills on the backs of poor women, children and the disabled by throwing them off of welfare into low wage jobs, which provide below average livable earnings and little to no benefits.
However, now, the so-called middle class is now seen as the target and this time, it appears that Republicans and Democrats are working together to ensure that we are all viewed as welfare babies and able-bodied cheats. Politicians are fond of talking about how the middle class will be affected by policies and laws, but rarely do they define who is actually part of that group. Is the middle class only the top 5 percent of U.S. households, who have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975? Or is it the bottom 80 percent of American households who hold about 7% of the liquid financial assets. Perhaps the middle is the more than 40% of Americans, who actually are employed in service jobs. Or maybe the middle class is now the more than 42 million Americans, who now rely on food stamps. If this were the middle than I would hate to see what the bottom looks like.
Is it safe to say that the middle class might be dying? I don’t know for sure but our complacency and unwillingness to fight for our own interests and save the very things like entitlements, which enable the United States in the past to have one of the largest and thriving middle class, is sure a sign that we might be going down that road.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.