In May, The Senate passed the Farm Bill with a 4 Billion dollar reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would vastly reduce eligibility for the supplemental food program. The House of Representatives have opted to vote on the Bill after elections in November. If the bill is passed, as many as 200,000 Illinois residents risk losing these vital benefits, and 280,000 children risk losing free breakfast and lunch benefits.
- Cuts in the Farm Bill Could Spell Trouble for Neediest Americans, Stephen Ross Johnson, Progress Illinois, 10/10/12
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed in 1996 and changed to face of welfare in the United States. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and program that limits the assistance to 5 years, led a decrease in the number of people receiving benefits. The Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty projects that 32,000 people would escape poverty, and 15,000 would escape extreme poverty if half of Illinois families that are eligible for TANF actually received benefits.
- Does Welfare to Work work? , Jamey Dunn, Illinois Issues, October 2012
Social Security has a profound impact of keeping many seniors in the United States out of poverty according to a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities . According to the study, without Social Security, an additional 14.5 million seniors would be living below the poverty line. In Illinois, this prevents over 579,000 seniors from living in poverty. The poverty threshold in 2011 was $10,788 for an single senior.
- Social Security Keeps 21 Million Americans out of Poverty: A state-by-state Analysis, Paul N. Van de Water and Arloc Sherman, Galesburg Planet, 10/17/2012
Although the debates on Tuesday provided an opportunity for the Presidential candidates to mention poverty, it wasn't addressed. With high poverty rates at the forefront of the mind of voters, Half in Ten is still encouraging candidates to discuss poverty at the remaining debate. NPR discusses the reason both Presidential candidates should be bringing up poverty in a more substantial way at the debates.
- Candidates Views on Poverty Get Little Attention, Pam Fessler, NPR, 10/15/12