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Higher income limits allow more to get food stamps

Posted July 1, 2010

— The state's federally funded Food and Nutrition Services program, commonly called food stamps, is now open to more North Carolina families.

Less stringent income rules – offering assistance to families with gross income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level – took effect on Thursday.

Officials said the poor economy prompted the state to take advantage of a federal option to ease income requirements.

The state's federally funded Food and Nutrition Services program now is available to applicants whose 

“A family making around $36,000 to $38,000 a year, a family of four that will be the group that will possibly qualify. Again, it's going to be based on gross income, the number of people in the household. What their rent or mortgage is, and we have a standard for utilities," said Dean Simpson, chief of the state Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Social Services Economic and Family Services Section.

Simpson said unemployment benefits put some people above the current income threshold, but they still needed help buying groceries.

Also starting July 1, the state is launching a pre-assessment Web site with several tools to help families find out if they qualify for food stamps.

11 Comments

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  • caniac8402 Jul 8, 10:22 a.m.

    All I can say is .. those that are condemning this right now you don't know what you will have to face before you die. I know plenty of people who live within their means but because of life situations (ie divorce, death or the like) are really hurting for money and could use the extra help. I do however, think it is a disgrace for the government to essentially hand out money to those that just are plan and simply lazy. The ones who can't hold a job more than a week because they don't want to do what the boss says etc.. These are also the same people that have nicer cars, wear nicer designer clothes and have better cell phones. All of which paid for by our wonderful welfare system. Stuff happens and the government should help those in need yes, but those that are just plan lazy no. I grew up with .. You don't work you don't eat.

  • Blessed and Highly Favored Jul 6, 2:51 p.m.

    First and foremost..everyone needs to stop talking and think about what our parents had when we were coming up how did we eat. Wether is was farming or public assistance. They all run hand in hand. I am a single mother of three and make 21k a year and have been for ever told that I make $150.00 ove the poverty line. Now you all have mentioned about bad decisons...if that is the case you are one of them. You weren't always on your high horse being able to look down at the less fortunate. Remember take a look around you..this crazy world. the crooks are fallinig from the top now and not the bottom...AND one more thing The GOD that I know and serve is so good and merciful..come next week or two months from now..it could be you in that same line with everyone else that saying end those programs...remember you may live to that ripe old age and be in need of the same system to house you and feed you. You cant take all the money with you and whose to say that it is going to last with your goo

  • lumberman Jul 6, 2:09 p.m.

    Just one more hook in to the American public. The democrats want you dependent on the government for everything. And if you are on the receiving end it is great. But when eveybody is depending on the government it will all stop. Because the government does not make anything and they sell almost nothing. (Oil & gas leases) So tax payer money is the governments main income. When nobody pays taxes all help will end. And the USA will then be just be another drag on the human race.

  • down2earth Jul 6, 12:44 p.m.

    Starbutterly, I can relate 100%. I, too, have been a single mom of one child, never been on assistance, sometimes working two jobs and have NEVER lived beyond my means. The system needs to be reviewed.

  • DeM Jul 6, 11:26 a.m.

    I make far in excess of 30K, but don't spend it.
    Mortgage (230k loan, perfect credit), taxes, insurance - $1450
    Food for 3 (if you don't know how, read Faye on Smart Shopper!) - $200
    Utilities (Water $28, Electric $75, Gas $27, +$100 for 6 months)- $180
    My house is cold (58 degrees) in the winter, and hot (90 degrees) in the summer. Don't buy utility service that you can't afford, & FOOD is more important than being perfectly comfortable.
    Cell phone, internet, and landline, 2 pay-as-you-go plans - $110
    If you're poor and can't buy food without a subsidy, you should only have 1 of the above services, on an economy plan of $35 or less...yes, you will need to conserve cell minutes, and you won't be able to stream movies, but YOU'RE POOR! Car (no loan) maintenance, gas, car insurance - $280 If I were in that tax bracket... state and federal taxes - $125 ...with $155 to spare!!

  • nc56peach Jul 6, 11:03 a.m.

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT...YOUR POST DIDN'T GO OVER VERY WELL. First of all everybody's situation is different.why end all subsidy programs? what would that do to not only our poor but those programs also help boost the economy. just because its on plastic it still spends just like that green paper money. unfortunately we just dont always know up front that something was a bad decision. Im just happy that we do have PROGRAMS in place when we realize the bad decision we made and we need a little help keeping us afloat. besides you dont know wether the nice car was given to them or if its even their car. lets just not assume any thing and remember any one of us CAN be hit with hard times. Family planning? you can plan all u want that dont mean you will never need the system. I am a single parent of six children. No I wasnt always single and nor did i impregnate myself but my marriage was bausive so when i decided to leave i needed to turn to the system cause you cant make anybody do anyt

  • delilahk2000 Jul 6, 10:36 a.m.

    TO THE FIRST 2 POST ALSO IF YOU WERE AN ILLEGAL AND DROPPING KIDS LIKE CRAZY AT OUR EXSPENSE YOU WOULD QUALIFY IN AN INSTANT. THIS IS REDICULIOUS.

  • readme Jul 6, 10:04 a.m.

    I know this post will not go over well, especially with all the single moms posting here who work for a living and barely make it. But... we really should end all these subsidy programs anyway. Put the accountability on the people for responsible financial and family planning, and get both parents to contribute. I guarantee you there are many people on food stamps that own homes and drive better cars than me. For every person here who is doing everything they can to stay off public assitance, there are 10 that throw caution to the wind and don't mind at all burdening the rest of us for their bad decisions.

  • juliemom2 Jul 5, 11:39 a.m.

    There is much more to this than in the story. There are 3 other qualifications. You have to be disabled, SSI, or workfirst. They are wanting it to look like they are helping lots more people but they aren't.

  • poeticallycorrect-InvNo1 Jul 5, 10:33 a.m.

    starbutterfly- I understand exactly how you feel! I am also a single mother making about the same and can get no assistance. I was told if I were to have another child then I would be in the bracket to receive help. What the? If I already am trying to make ends meet with one child I can only imagine how much harder that would be with two kids. the system is so screwed up that people with 3 and 4 kids get so many foodstamps a month that they sell them but I cant get any. I jsut dont understand their reasoning

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