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Rule change will help N.C. residents get food stamps

Posted May 25, 2010

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— Less stringent income rules that take effect July 1 will make it easier for North Carolinians to get help with buying food.

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 gross income is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level.

It will change to a gross income of less than 200 percent of the poverty level for applications in July.

“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.

77 Comments

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  • bindimon Jun 3, 5:33 p.m.

    THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS WOULD CURDLE IN MANY OF YOUR,E MOUTHS WHAT WOULD JESUS DO ?

  • eaglesphanatic May 31, 11:04 a.m.

    75% of the applications, 5 clients a day, 4 days a week, were those on hard times."

    I am thinking you are not being honest here. I work in the industry and have for a LONG TIME. The numbers you recite are not even close to reality. About 60 percent are lfers. Sorry, had to call ya on that one.

    "will be registered to work, no job in 3 months"

    That has been waived for about 2 years now. No one is registered for work anymore that receives FNS.

    "If you are a DRUG FELON, NO BENEFITS."

    Not true. ONLY CLASS "G" drug felons are not eligible and that is NC residents.

    IF, IF you were a Case Manager, it was not for very long. Maybe a year, six months?? Sounds like you learned just enough to be dangerous.

  • eaglesphanatic May 31, 10:58 a.m.

    "The # of people using welfare/food stamps as a lifestyle are shrinking, and far outnumbered by the people who've lost jobs and cannot find a new one."

    Not, it's not. That number is actually growing. The number of people who have been on assitance because of lost jobs is now starting to diminish because of the slight and slow uptunr of the economy and minute job growth that has taken place over the last 6 months.

    The number of "lifers" grow each and every year and has continued to grow for the last 30 years.

  • cindyedwards38 May 31, 10:49 a.m.

    People need to realize that the food stamp program is a federal program not a state program. Everyone in the U.S helps support the program. I myself was a child of a food,stamp family. My parents worked very hard to support us but needed that little extra help and they were not proud of it. Not everyone who receives help is an abuser of the system.
    As for having to work for your welfare most states if you get cash assistance you do have to participate in a work program. Here in NY it is 25 -30 hrs a week if your a single mom.If you miss days at work they cut you the adult off and keep your child on.
    While you people are complaining about feeding the poor don't forget you also help heat the poor in the winter time with the HEAP program!!!
    Before raising cane about programs from offered through social services how about you read some information on them and really see what one has to go through to get help. It is not as easy as just walk in and apply and boom you are approved.

  • eaglesphanatic May 31, 10:39 a.m.

    1 in 9 North Carolinians currently are receiving food stamps. How much easier does it need to be?

    It's actually about 1 in 6 folks in NC now that are receiving food stamps. The one in nine number does not take into account Work First Recipients and SNAP (elderly) cases.

    That number has actually fell over the last 3 to 6 months as the economy has SLOWLY started to recover (at least from the outside perspective).

  • readme May 28, 1:27 p.m.

    This is a complete joke. 200% of an already-inflated poverty line? Give me a break. We are subsidizing people who don't need it, taking away their incentives to better themselves and save responsible. I'm not saying some people don't need it. But come on, let's give free handouts to people who need it and only to people who need it. This is not a good thing. I could even argue these subsidies are keeing wages down and keeping people in the povery they are trying to get out of.

  • Mugu May 28, 12:18 p.m.

    With the rise in prices of cigarettes, I am seriously going to look into this to offset the higher expenses.

  • sumpinlikedat May 27, 3:01 p.m.

    There certainly is a lot of smug high-and-mightiness in this thread.

    There is one thing that a lot of you seem to be forgetting. Each and every one of you is a couple of mistakes away from being EXACTLY where the people drawing welfare are. That's what a lot of people found out when they lost their jobs and their homes due to the economy.

    I work every day and would still not have enough to feed my kids if they weren't living with my husband. Thank god I trusted him enough to give him primary custody when we divorced.

  • gateway40 May 27, 9:37 a.m.

    Has anyone making comments about turning down jobs actually completed an application at Walmart or McDonalds, listing your credentials and experience? They don't look at you because they know you'll leave as soon as something better comes up. It's not about pride. They've all gotten applications from me, including Home Depot, and they're not interested. Many people can't take lower level jobs because they are overqualified and the jobs are given to those with less experience and education. Not all of us are unemployed by choice. The assistance is welcome, and in my case, will not be abused.

  • happy4ver May 26, 12:28 p.m.

    I processed application in the FS system (Income Maintenance Caseworker) 75% of the applications, 5 clients a day, 4 days a week, were those on hard times. Those that used the system as it was meant to be used a supplement. I like the fact when people say MY TAX DOLLARS as if none of these recipients have ever worked?! Granted there are lifers out there that is all they know. However, if you are 18-49(not caring for a disabled family member or child under age 6) and able to work, YOU will be registered to work, no job in 3 months, NO BENEFITS. If you are a DRUG FELON, NO BENEFITS. I had clients that did gardens and also went to the coop extension office for gardening tips, budgeting, etc. I have not been in these folks' shoes and hope not to be however, their road of life has bumps in it, I will look down my nose at them

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